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Ezhiki is an authentic Russian recipe of meatballs with rice. They look fairly similar to Swedish meatballs because just like those Swedish meatballs Ezhiki are not cooked in a tomato sauce, so they remain brown in color. If you want to serve these Russian meatballs with tomato sauce, they’ll taste great too – I actually add the tomato sauce sometimes – it’s just the authentic Russian version of ezhiki doesn’t use the tomato sauce.
Instead of mixing the ground meat with the bread crumbs, Ezhiki recipe calls from mixing the ground meat with the cooked rice. The word “Ezhiki” means “hedgehogs” in Russian, and my guess is that these meatballs are called ezhiki because the rice grains in them resemble the tiny hedgehogs needles :)
Ezhiki is a great recipe if you are on a budget, since adding the rice inside the meatballs is a great way to stretch the meat :) My recipe calls for 1/2 cup of cooked rice to 1 lb of meat, but you can increase the rice to 1 cup and these meatballs with rice will still be very yummy!
Ezhiki Recipe – Russian Meatballs With Rice
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/2 cup of cooked rice
- 1 egg
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped or grated (use the food processor)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tbsp oil
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 cups water
Instructions How To Make Ezhiki Meatballs
- Mix the ground beef, cooked rice, egg, grated onion, salt and pepper.
- Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat.
- Shape the ground beef mixture into meatballs and put them on a frying pan (make sure they are not touching each other).
- Brown the ezhiki meatballs on one side for 3 minutes, then carefully flip them with the spatula and cook on another side for 3 minutes.
- Remove the browned ezhiki meatballs from the frying pan and put into a pot.
- Mix water with sour cream and pour over the meatballs. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook ezhiki for 25 minutes.