The first time I ever tried Russian Pelmeni was in Melbourne, with a homeless guy named Uncle Unknown.
You might be wondering how and why? And boy is it a story. My partner and I decided to and get breakfast at a place called Lentil As Anything, for all my Melbournites reading this you know what’s up. For those that don’t, it’s a pay as feel non for profit organisation serving vegetarian/vegan food around Melbourne and Sydney. Whilst we were there we started talking to this gentleman who sat across from us. He told us stories about his life especially about how he was in Berlin when the wall came down. After sitting there for hours getting lost in his words we decided to invite him out to dinner.
We told him we’d meet him at Borsch Vodka Tears ( a Russian Restaurant on Chapel St in Melbourne) later that afternoon at 5 pm. We sat there eagerly waiting for him to show up and after half an hour we decided to leave and that’s when I saw him hobbling down the street with all his bags, there were at least 5 massive bags I don’t know how this guy did this every day. We then spent the night taking shots (lots) of flavoured vodka, eating Russian Pelmeni and Borsch with Black Bread, listening to the stories of a man who couldn’t remember his name. To this day it was one of the best nights of my life.
That night I also fell in love with Russian Pelmeni.
Making Russian Pelmeni can look like a daunting task so grab a friend, put on some of your favourite tunes and get to work or you can buy this pelmeni mould. The reward for an hour give or take, of work is massive, you can stock up your freezer full of Russian Pelmeni for the next 6 month. The next time you need a hit, you’ll be 5 minutes away from bite-sized deliciousness (unless you eat them all in one sitting, guiltyy :/).
There’s a lot of debate on what Russian Pelmeni should be served with. There are those that swear by mayo, mustard only fans, sour cream devotees and those who enjoy simply with butter. Whatever you choose, I won’t judge!
Chopsticks might also be a big no-no in Russia buuuuut I’m eating these in Vietnam so they seemed fitting #rebel
- 3 cups flour
- pinch of salt
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3/4 cups cold water
- 500 grams pork mince
- 1 onion, diced
- 5 cloves of garlic, diced
- 2 tbsp chopped dill
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- fresh dill
- white vinegar
Place the flour in a mound on your workspace, sprinkle over the salt and make a well in the centre. Crack the egg inside and use a fork to break up the egg and begin to bring the flour into the egg.
Add olive oil and the cold water a little a time, bringing and kneading everything together as you go. When a dough starts to form knead for 10 minutes or until soft and elastic. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
For the filling add the pork, onion, garlic, dill and seasoning into a bowl. Mix it all together.
Once the dough has rested roll out until 4x larger and cut out your wrappers using a glass or cookie cutter.
To shape the dumplings add a teaspoon of filling in the centre, fold the dough in half to make a half moon shape, pinch the edges together to seal. Grab the two corners and pull them towards each other, pinch together to seal. Repeat until you run out of filling and dough.
Bring a pot of water to boil, drop Pelmeni into rapidly boiling water and cook for 5 minutes.
To serve sprinkle with some freshly chopped dill and white vinegar.
Watch the video for Russian Pelmeni here: