Did you know that 80% of Russians are currently eating Pelmeni?
Okay well I just made that up… but Pelmeni are a VERY popular Russian dish. Growing up, I was never short of these delicious ‘dumplings’, thanks to my mum and my grandma. Widely available in Russian supermarkets and restaurants, nothing beats having them the traditional home-cooked way.
Pelmeni are incredibly easy to make! The dough consists of flour, salt, water and eggs. The filling can be altered but is usually made with pork and beef or pork and turkey.
They are perfect to keep in the freezer and whip out on a busy night. Pelmeni are also super versatile and are loved by fussy eaters. If you are a health nut, you can even make them into a nutritious meal (add in some veg and go easy on the salt!). It is a perfect winter warmer when made into a soup and a great summer entree when served alone. Now you see why Russians are so crazy over these delicious meaty treats!
With a major Pelmeni craving kicking in, I decided to make them from scratch… and they didn’t disappoint! Read my recipe below and let me know what you think!
Ingredients for dough:
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
Ingredients for filling:
1 medium onion
1 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 tsp ground pepper
3/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp hot sauce or spices (optional)
Topping suggestions (this can be totally up to you):
Sour cream, vinegar, soy sauce, tomato sauce, chilli… whatever suits your taste!
How to make Pelmeni dough:
1. Measure 3 cups of flour and place in large mixing bowl
2. Break 5 eggs into a separate mixing bowl and add salt, mix together
3. Pour egg mixture into the flour bowl and mix with hands, making sure all lumps are gone
4. Once mixed, cover the mixing bowl with a kitchen towel and let it sit for 20 minutes
How to make Pelmeni filling:
1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a medium pan or wok. Add garlic and onion and saute until golden. Remove from pan.
2. Mix together (uncooked) pork,beef, (cooked) onion & garlic mix, 3/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp ground pepper and 1 tsp chilli or hot sauce.
Constructing the Pelmeni:
1.Make sure your kitchen bench is clean, pick up the dough and roll it into a thick log
2. Dust some flour over the kitchen bench and cut the log into 1-2 inch thick pieces
3. Using a rolling pin, roll these out (one at a time) into a large circle, making sure it is as thin as possible
2. Place 1 tsp meat filling on the rolled out dough, about 2 cm away from an edge
3. Pull the edge over the meat so it is covered and use a knife to cut around the edge (I used a glass roughly the same shape as the Pelmeni pieces as a makeshift cookie cutter)
4. Pinch the corners together to form a ball. Make sure no meat is visible.
5. Place pelmeni onto a well-floured cutting board or freezer-proof plate, arranging evenly so they don’t touch. Cover in cling wrap and place them in the freezer.
6. Once they are fully frozen, put them in large plastic bags and keep them frozen. Now they are ready to be taken out and cooked whenever the cravings kick in!
To Cook Pelmeni:
1. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add 1 teaspoon of salt for a medium sized pot. If you are eating the dish as a soup, you can also add in chicken or beef stock and more spices for taste.
2. Add frozen pelmeni and switch to medium heat.
3. Wait for the pelmeni to float to the top. Use a fork to make sure they are fully cooked.
4. Drain the water and serve with toppings suggested above or eat with the broth as a soup. Sprinkle with dill and chilli as desired.