There are many amazing Russian foods, but few are as delicious as pelmeni. They are a very popular dish throughout Russia and have a long history that can be traced back to their origins in Siberia. Though they have been called by many names in different cultures, to most Russians they are simply known as a wonderful and spirit warming dish to have on a cool winter day.
History of Pelmeni
The dish “pelmeni” is believed to have originated in Siberia where they were known as “Siberian dumplings,” that could be easily made by the hundreds or thousands and russian grocery store then stored over the long winter outside to be used as needed. They are very close cousins of “pot stickers” that are found in Asia or “pierogies” or any other dumpling that you find in many different cultures around the world.
Later they found their way into Russian culture and soon became a popular dish across the country because they were simple, hearty and delicious. But to Russians, making pelmeni was just as much fun as eating them!
How to Make Pelmeni
Traditionally, making pelmeni is a very social event that involves the entire family. Because they are so simple to make, everyone young or old joins in around the table to make this wonderful Russian food.
The basic recipe calls for a simple dough that is made from flour, milk, eggs and salt. Once the dough is made, it’s rolled out on a floured surface until it’s very thin and then cut into two inch circles (the size can vary depending on how much filling you want to use). Then the stuffing can begin!
The filling for pelmeni traditionally calls for a mouth watering combination of minced pork, garlic, salt, onions and pepper. Other meats can be used but pork is a favorite because it tends to stay moist and juicy, which makes for perfectly delicious pelmeni!
Once the filling is spooned onto the dough, the top edge should be folded over to meet the bottom edge and then pinched together to seal the filling inside. While these are being made, you should boil a large pot of water. Once the water reaches the boiling point, add a couple teaspoons of salt, a few bay leaves and then a dozen or two pelmeni (don’t crowd the pot too much, otherwise they will take longer to cook!).
Once the filling is completely cooked through, the pelmeni is ready to be served in a bowl with a delicious combination of sour cream, hot mustard, soy sauce and pepper.