Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Russian pelmeni

A friend of ours went on a mission to Russia quite a while ago and has been wanting to make dinner for us for quite some time now. He finally decided that it was time. So a week or two ago he came over and taught me how to make Russian Pelmeni. We made a meat version and a vegetarian version. I heard from everybody else they liked them combined. That way it wasn't too much of either.
Russian Pelmeni is like a Russian dumpling, or an Italian ravioli (He doesn't like when I call it that) but that's the easiest way to describe it.

Russian Pelmeni Meat Version (Vegetarian version to follow):

1 part ground beef
1 part ground pork
Whatever seasonings you like on meat. We used:
Salt and pepper
Grill seasoning (Steak seasoning)
Garlic pepper
Small amount of lemon pepper
Chili powder
*Optional: Part of an onion grated in for flavor and to help keep the meat moist. Traves completely despises onions so we didn't do that.*
Egg roll wrappers (or fresh noodle dough if you have the time)

(Kelsie's Note: I would not use very much meat, you only use about a teaspoon or so in the actually dumpling. Don't go too crazy when you buy it. Traves bought 2 pounds each and there was quite a bit left over. We also fed 7-8 people.)

Mix the meat by hand until well blended. Don't overmix or the meat will become tough.

Mashed Potato Pelmeni (Vegetarian version):

Whatever you like in your mashed potatoes
We used the following:
Sour cream
Garlic pepper
Salt and pepper
Egg roll wrappers (or fresh noodle dough if you have the time)

Cube the potatoes and boil until very tender for mashing. Add butter, sour cream and seasonings and mash well. This is the filling for the vegetarian.

If you make a little of each, then you can have a combination of both potato and meat dumplings.

Here is the meat filling ready to go:

Once you have both fillings ready it's time to put them into the dough. We used a biscut (or a round cookie cutter) to cut the egg roll wrappers into four circles per sheet. (we bought the large egg roll wrappers) Our circles were about 2 3/4" in diameter. You can use a glass or whatever you have to cut the wrappers.

Place a small amount of filling into the center of the wrapper and wet all the way around the edges with water. This will allow the dough to stick together and not to fall apart. (For the most part. Some will still fall apart).

Fold in half and press the edges tight.

This part is hard to see because of the photo, but you are going to fold in half now the other direction. You will have the seam facing away from you.

Here is what they look like all folded up.

Once you have them all ready to go, bring a pot of water to a boil. Once it's boiling, salt well.

Add dumplings to boiling water and boil for 8 minutes (on the meat ones to cook the meat) and just a minute or two after they start floating on the potato ones. I boiled mine in two different pots so I knew which ones were ready to be taken out.

Traves likes to top his with just sour cream and salt and pepper. He said you can top it with anything you like. Tomato sauce, cheese, etc. I've only eaten them once so I have no idea what else to pair them with. The sour cream and salt and pepper were good though.

If you have way too many left over you can freeze them (if they are still raw) then you can just pull them out whenever you want them. You can also spend all day long making tons of them and just freeze them so next time you want them you don't spend all day making them.


  1. Those look like Pierogies (which I've never eaten) but heard they are so yummy!

  2. I thought they were Pierogies at first and so I kept calling them that. Traves kept getting mad at me for calling them pierogies. I guess they are similar but not exactly.


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