Pelmeni (пельмени) or meat dumplings are the ultimate comfort food in Russia. They’re a great addition to soups and just as delicious on their own with a side of sour cream and fresh dill!
While pelmeni recipes can vary, these savory dumplings are traditionally characterized by a mixture of minced meat and thin dough. Our recipe for pelmeni (and Viktor’s favorite version) is simple and no-frills, yet full of flavor and incredibly addicting. While you could fry your pelmeni with a bit of butter or add them to a brothy soup, Viktor has taught me that the best way to enjoy these delicious dumplings is with a heaping spoonful of sour cream and a sprinkling of fresh dill.
As my program this last year included students from all over the world, many evenings were spent sharing our most loved dishes from home with each other. Dumpling nights very quickly become one of my favorite ways to spend the evening with friends. We would all gather around a large table, chat and spend the evening filling and shaping everything from mouthwatering Nepali momos to delicious Georgian khinkali. While social distancing means that Viktor and I had only a pelmeni making party for two, we can’t wait to share this recipe with our friends and family in the future. And if you’re looking for more recipes to (eventually) host your own dumpling night, let me suggest these cheesy chicken empanadas or spicy pork and kimchi mandu!
The filling is as simple as it gets and you can use whatever blend of minced meat you prefer — I generally use a 50/50 mixture of ground pork and ground beef. And the only other additions to the filling are onion, salt and a bit of soy sauce! The dough is also incredibly easy to work with. I generally use 3½ cups of flour, but if your dough seems like it’s starting to come together or getting dry you may only need 3¼ cups. To form and shape the dumplings, I like to roll out the dough as thin as I can and use a 3.5 inch (9 cm) round cutter. If you prefer, you could also roll out small individual balls of dough, but I find that it takes a bit more time.
Storing and Freezing Pelmeni
If you’re looking to freeze a portion of your pelmeni, place them on a tray in the freezer for 30 minutes and make sure that they aren’t touching to prevent any sticking. Once the pelmeni harden, you can place them in a freezer bag and store for up to three months. This is the perfect recipe to make in bulk and keep around for quick lunches and dinners!Print
Loving this pelmeni recipe? For more of our favorite Russian-inspired recipes, make sure to check out these posts:
- Sharlotka – Russian Apple Cake
- Medovik – Russian Honey Cake
- Cranberry Mors Drink
- Pryaniki – Russian Honey Spice Cookies
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