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How to Make Pelmeni

Homemade cooked pelmeni with sour cream in a bowl

My adventure with Eastern European cuisine in the chilly backdrop of Anchorage, Alaska, took an exciting turn when I decided to tackle making Pelmeni from scratch. Let me tell you, it was an eye-opener! I hadn’t fully grasped the challenge I was setting myself up for. Yet, with a dash of determination and a sprinkle of enthusiasm, I managed to create my very own rendition of this delightful dish. And, oh, was it rewarding!

With the help of Pinterest, I stumbled upon a variety of recipes. After a bit of tweaking to suit what I had in my pantry, I embarked on my Pelmeni-making quest. The result? A dish that brought a smile to my husband’s face and a sense of accomplishment to mine. He savored every bite of the homemade Pelmeni, and I basked in the joy of my culinary success.

The Origin of Pelmeni

But what’s the story behind Pelmeni, you might ask? This traditional Eastern European staple has a rich history that dates back centuries. Originating from the regions of Russia, Pelmeni is a testament to the ingenuity of the people, designed to withstand the harsh winter conditions.

These dumplings, filled with a mix of meat and spices, were originally frozen outdoors and could be easily cooked in boiling water for a quick, hearty meal. Today, Pelmeni has transcended its survival food status to become a beloved dish enjoyed in various forms across the globe.

Pretty cool, that leaving these little dumplings outdoor kept them frozen. The great out door freezer!


How to make Pelmeni from scratch - Russian Dumplings Recipe

If you want to learn how to make more ethnic dishes. Check out my post on how to make Filipino Lumpia.


Ingredients

Dough:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tsp salt

Filling:

  • 1/2 lb ground chicken
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

Dipping Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp parsley, freshly chopped (for garnish)
  • 5-8 bay leaves, and
  • 1 tsp whole peppercorn to add when boiling the pelmeni for added flavor and aroma.

Instructions

Mix dry ingredients:

Mixing flour for pelmeni recipe

In a mixing bowl, add dry ingredients starting with 3 CUPS all-purpose flour, and 1 TSP salt. Mix dry ingredients until well blended.

Combine wet ingredients:

mixing wet ingredients for pelmeni recipe

In a mixing bowl, add dry ingredients starting with 3 CUPS all-purpose flour, and 1 TSP salt. Mix dry ingredients until well blended.

Mix dough:

mixing dough with a dough hook

Use a dough hook for mixing. Set mixer to medium speed. Manually scrape dough mixture towards the middle. Continue mixing for about 10 minutes or until a smooth dough ball is formed.

Form dough ball:

making a dough ball for pelmeni recipe

Sprinkle flour around the dough before removing it to prevent it from sticking to your hand. Form dough into a ball on a lightly floured surface. Wrap or cover the dough and set aside for 10minutes.

Mix meat:

mixing chicken and pork for pelmeni recipe

Prepare the filling in a mixing bowl by placing 1/2 LB ground pork and 1/2 LB ground chicken. Add 1 TSP salt, 1 TSP ground black pepper, 1 TBSP minced garlic. Add 1 Medium onion pureed or finely chopped. Mix all ingredients until well incorporated. Use a stand or hand mixer if available. Cover the filling and refrigerate until ready to use.

Make Pelmeni:

cutting dough for pelmeni recipe

To make the pelmeni, place dough on a lightly floured surface. Divide into four (4) equal portions. Cover the remaining three (3) with a damp cloth. Roll and flatten each portion into 1/8″ thick. Improvise by using a hydro flask if a rolling pin is not available.

Fold Dough:

making pelmeni by hand

Use any small round glass to cut out a circle about 2.5″ in diameter. Place 1/2 TSP of the filling on each circle. Fold the edges together then press firmly to seal. Place the finished pelmeni on a floured surface 1/2 inch apart. Freeze some for up to one month for your next cravings.

Cook:

cooking pelmeni in a pot with boiling water

To cook, bring the water to a boil. Add bay leaves and peppercorn. Add the pelmeni when water starts to boil. You can tell it’s cooked when the pelmeni starts floating to the top.

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Jacob Petrosky
Jacob Petrosky
2021-02-07
Jacob Petrosky

Just like I remembered them back in Ukraine! So good!