How to Make Pelmeni

Learn how to make a comforting Russian specialty: meaty dumplings wrapped in a scratchmade dough and served with traditional toppings like vinegar, sour cream and dill.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

The Secrets Behind a Siberian Specialty

Pelmeni are little Siberian dumpling pockets that feature a seasoned ground meat filling stuffed into a basic flour and egg dough. They freeze extremely well and can be boiled for a satisfying snack, light lunch, or, when cooked in larger quantities, as a full meal. Make them in big batches, preferably with a group of friends at a pelmeni-prepping party.

Get the Recipe: Chicken Pelmeni

Dough on Demand

Start this easy, three-ingredient dough by whisking together one large egg and a cup of warm water in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together 3 1/4 cups of flour with a teaspoon of salt. Use a wooden spoon to stir the egg mixture into the flour until the flour mix is moist but shaggy. 

Knead to Know

Transfer the dough to a floured work surface. Start kneading it, adding between 1/4 cup and 1/2 cup additional flour, until it is smooth and soft, about 5 minutes. Form the dough into a ball, cover it with plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for 45 minutes.

Fancy Fillings

To make the filling, place ground chicken, garlic, chopped onion and one teaspoon of salt in a bowl. Stir in three tablespoons of cold water and mix it all together to form a smooth paste.

Rules of Rolling

To prepare the pelmeni, divide the dough into four pieces. Wrap three of the pieces in plastic wrap and set them aside. Flour your work surface and use a heavy rolling pin to roll the dough out to 1/16-inch thickness. Use a two-inch cookie cutter to cut out a few rounds and keep the rest of the dough covered with plastic wrap while you fill the first few.

Fill 'Em Up

To fill and form the pelmeni, brush a little cool water on one edge of a round. Place half a teaspoon of the chicken filling in the center and fold the dough over. Press out any air, pushing the filling up toward the fold, and press to seal the edges. The dough should stretch a bit at the corners so that the pelmeni is slightly crescent-shaped.

Pull and Pinch

Pull the two ends of the crescent-shaped pelmeni up so that they curl over in a ring and pinch them together. The dumpling should resemble a tortellini. Place it on a baking sheet and continue shaping more pelmeni, transferring batches to the freezer, uncovered, as you work. When the pelmeni are frozen fairly solid, transfer them to a resealable bag and freeze them for at least three hours before cooking.

Bubble and Boil 

When you're ready to cook the pelmeni, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and add 24 to 32 frozen pelmeni to the water. Stir the pot for about 15 seconds, then allow the pelmeni to simmer until the meat is cooked and the dough is tender, about five to eight minutes.

Buttery Bonus

While the pelmeni are simmering, slice a pat of butter into each serving bowl. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pelmeni directly to the bowls, but refrain from shaking the water off as you do so. Drizzle a spoonful of the cooking liquid on top of each portion and top it off with white vinegar, sour cream and chopped fresh dill for a truly authentic Russian experience.

Get the Recipe: Chicken Pelmeni

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