Margarita's International Recipes

East German



Solyanka is one of those East German dishes that remains both in the memories and cooking repertoire of people who grew up behind the Berlin wall. It's a particular favorite of Angela Merkel, who often has it for dinner. And why not? It's easy and cheap to make and results in a very satisfying dish.

I followed a recipe I found online, but solyanka has a million variations. People made it with whatever foodstuff they could find at the market. Instead of pork you can use any other leftover meat, or add more hot dogs.

I followed the recipe closely but I did not add hot pepper sauce (sambal) directly to the pot. Instead I made it available at the table, so everyone could customize their level of spiciness.



  • 3 Tbsp. Cooking oil
  • 1 lb boneless pork, cubed
  • 1 package hot dogs, sliced
  • several slices salami
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 8-10 small pickles, sliced
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup tomato puree
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • hot sauce to taste
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • sour cream
  • crusty bread


Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large pot. Add the pork and brown in all sides. Stir in the hot dogs and salami. Add the bay leaf. Generously cover with water, bring to a boil and then lower the temperature and simmer for at least 10 minutes.

Add the onions, pickles, diced tomatoes, tomato puree, and salt, pepper and hot sauce. Add some of the pickle liquid as well. Simmer for at least an hour.

Serve with lemon wedges, sour cream and crusty bread.

Adapted from Karo's recipe at Persephone Magazine.

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