This recipe shows you how to make Pelmeni using a Mold (Пельмени) called a Pelmenitsa. Pelmeni is my all time favorite food. Ever. That's a big statement, but nothing evokes the comfort food feeling better than Pelmeni for me.
Anglo cultures have their typical meat, potato and vegetable meals. Italians have their pasta meals, but this I suppose is the Russian version of a pasta comfort meal. As long as I can remember, making pelmeni was something we did as a family.
How to make Pelmeni
We had no aluminum pelmeni mold, it was all done by hand. Mum would roll out the pasta in long strips, and use an empty soup can or upside down glass to cut the round circles. The kids would all grab a fork of meat and make pelmeni. Check out my traditional way of making homemade Pelmeni. We also made Vareniki (Perogies) and Manti the same way. This Pelmeni Mold or Pelmeni Maker was bought on Amazon. I'm always trying to find a faster way to make them. I'm honestly not sure it's faster.
Being the youngest, I often got excused from making Pelmeni. I would make them lopsided, ugly, or have the meat sticking out, and it would become unstuck in the cooking process making it messy for mom. In my defence, my older siblings did a better job than me.
Mum had large aluminium baking trays that we would fill up with pelmeni, and they would go into the freezer. Once frozen solid, she'd put them into Ziploc bags for a quick meal that could feed the family at a moments notice.
Making Pelmeni using a Mold (Pelmenitsa) ensures the Pelmeni are all even and uniform in size. There are many variations of pelmeni meat flavours. The most common are the Siberian style with ground beef and onion, others add chicken or pork. For the classic meat mixture, simply remove the cabbage, sesame, chili and garlic chives. This recipe really is an Asian version of a Russian classic.
Other Slavic Dumplings
A similar meal is Vareniki, which is moon shaped pasta, filled with tvorog (farmer's cheese) or potato and cheese, sauerkraut, and even fruit. There are many variations of Vareniki, or Perogies which are like Tortellinis. If you want to make colorful Pelmeni, check out this cool Red Beet Pasta Dough recipe from the Belgian Foodie. You could use the red beet pasta dough and apply them to making colorful pelmeni.
Not the Usual Filling
This Pelmeni recipe is one that my wife sometime makes, with a bit of a Chinese twist. Russian borders China, and flavors can cross-pollinate closer to China. No one likes tough and dry meat filling inside the Pelmeni. The Napa cabbage adds texture and juiciness and the sesame oil adds some flavour and depth, ensuring the meat mixture isn't tough and dry. These flavors aren't traditional Russian Pelmeni flavors. Turkey is a lean and healthy meat, probably a good idea based on the amount of sour cream I will eat with this meal. For a traditional Pelmeni filling, check out my handmade Pelmeni recipe and use that as a filling if you like instead.
So now you know how to make Siberian Ravioli Pelmeni using a Mold (Пельмени). The kids love eating pelmeni is with Heinz Ketchup and soy sauce, but traditionally served with sour cream. So good. I recommend trying them both ways and seeing what you like best. Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
Pelmeni using a Mold
- 2 lbs /1kg of lean ground turkey
- 1 medium onion grated
- 2 small chilli peppers finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 cups of Napa cabbage finely shredded
- ½ cup garlic chives - finely chopped optional
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 4 cups of plain flour plus more for dusting
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup lukewarm salty water 1 tsp of salt
- Pelmeni mold пельменница
- Place the flour on a countertop in a mound and create a well in the centre.
- Crack the eggs and add half of the salty water and mix using your hands, until the dough is moist and shaggy. Dust your work area with flour to prevent sticking to surface.
- Continue to add the water in small amounts while kneading, until the dough forms a sticky ball.
- Mix and knead the dough for a few minutes until it is quite tight.
- Turn a bowl over the dough upside down (like a lid) and let the dough rest for 15 minutes.
- Knead the dough again quickly, now it's ready to use. Always keep the dough under the upside down bowl to prevent it from drying out.
- In a bowl, using your hands, mix the ground turkey, onion peppers, sesame oil, Napa cabbage, garlic chives and salt and pepper until thoroughly combined.
- Cut off a piece of dough, and roll out with a rolling, into a size bigger than the round pelmeni mould. The thickness of the dough should be approx 2mm thick. Keep the remaining dough under the upside down bowl.
- Drape the dough over the lightly floured mould.
- Use your hands to make small meat balls and fill each hole with the meat mixture. Take care not to be messy with your meat mixture, and keep the meat in the designated hole. Otherwise the dough layer will not bind together, and come unstuck in the cooking process.
- Make another round piece of dough and cover the mixture in the mould.
- Lightly flour the top of the rolled dough, and use a heavy rolling-pin to roll the pelmeni until they bind together and each piece is separate.
- Flip the mould over and shake to get the individual pelmeni out of the mould.
- Repeat until the dough and meat mixture are all used up.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Drop 25-30 pelmeni into the boiling water. Gently stir, to prevent the Pelmeni from sticking together.
- Simmer until the meat and dough is cooked approx 6-8 minutes
- Remove with a slotted spoon and serve with sour cream and dill.