Russian pelmeni and how to make them

When a Russian tries to recall the name of Russian dishes, pelmeni are the first thing that comes to mind. Pelmeni (пельме́ни) is a kind of small boiled pie from unleavened dough filled with meat. The name “pelmeni” means “bread ear” because their shape resembles an auricle.

Russian pelmeni and how to make them

About Russian pelmeni

The history of pelmeni started in the Ural region and Siberia over 600 years ago. Back then, Russians mixed minced beef, mutton and chicken meat, which they then wrapped in an envelope made of unleavened dough. That thick dough was kneaded using a basis of eggs, flour and water.

Today, Russian people usually buy ready-made frozen pelmeni in the supermarket and rarely make them themselves, as it takes a lot of time. But if there is time and a will, then making pelmeni turns into an activity for the whole family. Mother puts the dish with minced meat on the table, rolls the dough finely and makes circles out of it; family members then lay the minced meat and close the corners. Nowadays, any available meat can be used for filling. Usually pelmeni are prepared for several meals at once: Some of them are boiled immediately, and the others are frozen.

Pelmeni are usually boiled in salted water, but you can also have them fried in a pan.

Do you want to try to make Russian pelmeni yourself? Below we offer you a simple recipe to do that.

How to make pelmeni


For the dough:

Flour: 3 glasses
Water: 1 glass
Egg: 1 pc.
Olive or other vegetable oil: 1 tbsp.
Salt: 0.5 tsp.

For the filling:

Minced meat: 500 g
Big onion: 1 pc.
Salt, pepper: to taste


1. Sift the flour to enrich it with air and get rid of lumps. Add in salt.

2. Warm up the water up to 40 degrees. Add an egg to the bowl with flour and start gradually adding the warm water and mixing everything together until you get a soft dough.

3. Transfer the dough onto a flour-sprinkled board, knead well so that the dough does not stick to your hands. Cover the dough with a towel. Leave for 20 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, prepare the filling: grate the onion and add it to the minced meat, mix everything together.

5. Cut a part of the dough and roll it into a sausage-like shape. Cut the “sausage” into a few parts. Roll every piece into a circle, fill it up with minced meat, fold the dough and pinch the edges making a half-circle. Then connect to corners of the half-circle and glue them together. Do the same with the rest of the dough.

6. If you want to freeze some of the pelmeni, make sure to lay them on a board so they don’t stick to each other and put them in the freezer. Later, when they are frozen, you can move them in a more appropriate container.

7. Boil water and add salt to it. If you like, you can also add black peppercorns and bay leaves. Put the first portion in the pot making sure they don’t stick to each other. Stir them carefully and leave boiling for 5-8 minutes.

8. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pelmeni into a plate. Add a slice of butter, fresh herbs – if you like – and serve hot with sour cream, sauce or vinegar.

Bon appetit! 🙂

Watch how to cook Russian pelmeni

In Russia, we say “it’s better to see once than to hear a hundred times”. Following the ancient Russian wisdom, we offer you to watch the process of preparing Russian pelmeni:

If you have any questions or suggestions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment. We love reading your feedback! 🙂

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