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Pelmeni Dumplings Recipe - Russian Peljmeni


Little Meat Dumplings or Russian Pelmeni

Little Meat Dumplings or Russian Pelmeni

© 2009 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
This recipe for Russian little meat dumplings -- pelmeni or peljmeni -- is traditionally filled with ground beef, pork, and sometimes lamb, and served with red-wine vinegar, black pepper and melted butter. Mushroom, sauerkraut and vegetable fillings exist in other regions. The word pelmeni describes the ear-shaped appearance of these dumplings, similar to Polish uszka, or "little ears." And that is the main difference between pelmeni and pierogi -- pelmeni are smaller.

Here's a larger photo of Russian pelmeni.

Makes 80 to 100 Russian Pelmeni

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes


  • Dough:
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour + more for dusting
  • Filling:
  • 1 large finely grated onion
  • 8 ounces ground pork
  • 8 ounces ground beef chuck
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


  1. To make the dough: In a food processor, combine eggs, water, oil, salt and half the flour. Add the remaining flour and process until a smooth dough forms. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes or until no longer sticky. Wrap in plastic and let rest for 30 minutes. Dough can be refrigerated at this point until ready to roll.

  2. To make the filling: In a medium bowl, combine onion, meats, salt and pepper until thoroughly mixed.

  3. Cut dough into 8 equal pieces. Keep the rest covered while you roll one piece of dough into a finger-width cylinder. Cut this into 10 pieces. Roll each of the 10 pieces into a 2-inch circle. Spread 1 teaspoon of filling on the circle almost to the edges. Pick up circle and fold to create a half-moon, and pinch the edges together, making sure there is no trapped air which could cause them to explode when cooking. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

  4. Place a large saucepan of salted water on to boil. When you have made 10 pelmeni, drop them in the boiling water. When they rise to the surface, boil an additional 1-2 minutes (test a dumpling for doneness). Remove from water with a slotted spoon. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Serve boiled dumplings with melted butter, red-wine vinegar, black pepper, and sour cream, if desired. After boiling, pelmeni can also be sauteed in butter until lightly brown.

  5. Alternatively, pelmeni can be rolled out as for pierogi and frozen for later cooking as outlined in these how to make pierogi steps

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