Russian pelmeni recipe

by Lelik on July 29, 2009

in Meat


You must be heard from your Russian friends that cooking traditional Russian pelmeni is more pain than a satisfaction.  But that’s not true. Russian pelmeni recipe involves only 2 steps: making the dough and making the filling. Well, assembling pelmeni is also a big step, but very interesting. Do not believe if anyone says that molding pelmeni is a pretty tedious business! It’s all about to having fun! Time-honored tradition of making pelmeni gathers all family members around the table and makes the process cooperative and interesting often accompanied by hours of songs and stories. Pelmeni can be bought pre-made in the freezer section of any Russian supermarket. They are a hearty meal that cooks quickly and easily, but most Russians still prefer the tradition of making them by hand, and Russian housewives consider it a question of honor to do so. Moreover the taste of home-made pelmeni is absolutely different. Anyway pelmeni are tasty and a true taste of Russia.



Now you have a chance to take a liking to pelmeni just following my Russian pelmeni recipe.

Russian pelmeni recipe:

Step one. Dough

To make dough we need

210 ml cold water

1 egg

1 teaspoon salt

400 gram flour

I always make dough in a bread maker, it does a great job of making dough, it’s very simple and doesn’t take more than a 20 minutes. Bread maker makes the exact consistence of dough we need to cook a good pelmeni. Very elastic, soft but not too sticky. If you don’t have bread maker sift the flour into a table. Make a dimple in the top and crack the egg into that. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Adding the cold water gradually, knead the dough vigorously 15-20 minutes.



dough in section

dough in section

Step two. Filling.

0.5 lb beef ground

0.5 lb pork ground

1 middle onion

Salt, pepper, spices by taste

Pelmeni filling consists of ground beef and pork mixed with ground or grated onion, salt and pepper. I prefer to add 1 chopped clove of garlic. Combine all ingredients and filling is ready.

making filling

making filling

filling is ready

filling is ready

Assembling pelmeni.

My favorite part! Cut the dough into 2 pieces, one piece cover with something (kitchen towel, bowl) or wrap in a plastic bag otherwise the dough will dry up.  Roll the dough into a long “snake” one inch in diameter. Cut the dough at one-inch intervals and roll the pieces out into circles using floured rolling pin 1/16 to 1/32 of an inch thick. Place a teaspoon of the meat filling in the center and fold the dough over, pinching edges firmly to completely seal each pelmen into a small packet. There should be no holes in the dough to preserve the flavor and consistency of the meat inside. Than pinch 2 sides of pelmen to get the final shape. I hope it would be much easier to follow step by step photo Russian pelmeni recipe than read this one!

making a snake

making a snake

dough snake

dough snake

cut the snake

cut the snake

snake pieces

snake pieces

before rolling

before rolling





put a teaspoon filling

put a teaspoon filling

filling pelmeni

filling pelmeni

pinching edges

pinching edges

pelmeni final shape

pelmeni final shape

all guys are ready

all guys are ready


If dough circles are still available and the filling comes to an end I also boil the circles without filling. They are too good with a sour cream to through them out.

The final step is boiling.

Boil a generous amount of water with 1-2 tsp. salt. Drop enough pelmeni into the boiling water. They are ready to eat when they floating to the top for 3-4 minutes and stay there. Take pelmeni out using skimmer.  Add 1-2 teaspoon butter. Serve with a sour cream. If you did everything right each pelmen should look as shown in the picture, without holes and with a drop of delicious broth inside. Yummy!

boiling pelmeni

boiling pelmeni

hot and ready

hot and ready

boiled pelmeni

boiled pelmeni

From this amount of ingredients there should be 30-40 pelmeni, 3-4 servings.  But traditionally we make 100-150 pelmeni and keep them frozen over time so if you plan to store your pelmeni, freeze them uncooked.

Buy the way, you would like to have a proper book with Pelemi recipe as well as Russian recipes, i would recommend you to check the books below. I have all of them!

p.s. American recipes are my new passion! I invite you to share it with me. I’ve just joined Secret Recipe Forum and bought a really interesting and useful resource – Cook book collection with Restaurants recipes, it’s called America’s Secret Recipes. If you like and enjoy food like i do – you should give it a try. Really nice community to be with!

pelmeni recipe

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{ 1 trackback }
August 4, 2009 at 9:08 pm

{ 78 comments… read them below or add one }

Frank Fariello July 31, 2009 at 4:11 pm

I do like pelmeni. There was a time I went to Moscow rather often for business and never neglected to have some pelmeni when I was there!

These look beautifully prepared. Compliments to the chef!

lina-happy family August 2, 2009 at 4:47 am

Wow, I’ve just heard about pelmeni. Looks very yummy, soft and not greasy. It seems almost similar with siomay in my country, Indonesia. We used to fill siomay with chicken, fish or prawn and we steam it. Siomay is served with peanuts sauge.
.-= lina-happy family´s last blog ..Let’s Hug! =-.

August 5, 2009 at 5:43 pm

Love the step by step instructions! Do you use a dipping sauce for this?
.-= Alisa´s last blog .. =-.

englishrussian August 8, 2009 at 7:07 pm

Wow a great recipie, and I love Russian food, keep them coming.


jon-jon from songs August 15, 2009 at 8:51 am

This looks great.

There is something very similar in Indian cuisine. its called Momos.

August 18, 2009 at 3:33 pm

I love how every culture has their own form of filled dumpling. Pelmeni is one of my favorites!
.-= Jen´s last blog .. =-.

Bass Fishing Tips September 22, 2009 at 10:45 pm

I almost giving it up. My seventh try. I love the filling I am making( no need advice with that)The dough recipe was given to me by many people does not come out right( taste nasty).
.-= Bass Fishing Tips´s last blog ..Knot – Not a Problem =-.

Html Tips October 1, 2009 at 11:33 am

Oh, this looks so nice, I am going to make this tomorrow and share it with the family! I love how you show many photos of the process, makes it nice and easy to follow, thanks!

Pancake October 6, 2009 at 8:59 pm

wow this is awesome, pictures are really good, thanks a lot for step by step explanation with pictures, it is what i was looking for, i visited russia once (moscow) and I tried their pelmeni. this food is the same addictive and delicious as pancakes or russian blinzes with caviar. looking forward for other recipes, thanks
.-= Pancake´s last blog ..The origins of Pancakes =-.

Amy from FreebieJeebies October 31, 2009 at 4:30 pm

They look brilliant, almost like chinese dumplings, but with a lot more meat! Would be brilliant in a sour soup.

Roberta from ChocolateFountains November 2, 2009 at 3:31 am

My daughter and I tried making pelmeni last Christmas, but the dough turned out tough (more like a pasta than a dumpling). I think we used too much flour. We’ll give your recipe a try this year!
.-= Robertains´s last blog ..Stainless Steel Chocolate Pump – for 38508 Fountain Jar =-.

cori November 24, 2009 at 3:37 am

awesome! i made pelmeni last week with my russian boyfriend, but since his mother had always made them for him he had no idea how to actually shape them, he only knew how to eat them! so ours came out tasting great, but looking not-quite-right.

i’m making them again tonight as a surprise while he takes a nap, and the step-by-step instructions make this process so much easier! i never would have thought to roll the dough into a “snake”. it makes so much more sense than what i was doing! thanks again.

ps. alisa, my boyfriend’s family has always used a sauce made of equal parts ketchup and sour cream to dip the pelmeni! i’m not a fan of either, but it really is the PERFECT combination for them. even i loved it.

julie from buy holiday cookies November 28, 2009 at 9:09 am

I’m so glad I found this site! I spent some time in Russian about 15 years ago, and really came to love the food. I’m anxious to try some of the recipes you have here! I actually made Pelmeni for the first time in my high school Russian class – good memories :)
.-= julie @ buy holiday cookies´s last blog ..Keywordluv, Commentluv, Top Commentator and Dofollow Blog =-.

julie from buy holiday cookies November 29, 2009 at 2:25 am

Any chance you have a recipe for a good cabbage (schi) soup? I’ve been wanting to make it for awhile, but haven’t found a very Russian recipe.

.-= julie @ buy holiday cookies´s last blog ..Keywordluv, Commentluv, Top Commentator and Dofollow Blog =-.

Ginny December 4, 2009 at 12:24 am

Pierogie Day is a yearly tradition, celebrated before Christmas with friends, family and collegues. Each year, as everyone sits around the kitchen table pinching pierogies, standing at the counter rolling dough and manning the many pots of dumplings, we speak of the yummy mythical meat fillings we’d only heard about as we were growing up. This year, your delicious pelminis are going to be a surprise to all my guests! Thank you for the wonderful recipe and detailed instructions for filling them! Merry Christmas!

Liza December 7, 2009 at 9:57 am

Wow, this dough is perfect. I came across your website today by accident and I was making pelmeni anyway this evening and I thought I’d just check out your dough: WOW! I did it by hand and did add 1 extra egg and probably used a little more water, but my dough was AMAZING! Was very easy to work with! )))

Jeff from Electric Fry Pan December 10, 2009 at 12:57 am

These look great, similar to pierogi, I like mine pan sauteed or fried after being boiled with some sour cream on top. Never had them with meat but should be great too! Thanks for the recipe
.-= Jeff @ Electric Fry Pan´s last blog ..About =-.

Joe from bread machine mixes December 15, 2009 at 8:57 pm

WOW! what a great recipe! I love all forms of stuffed dough/pasta. I have tried many varieties from multiple cuisines such as Asian, Italian, Greek, and German. My favorites are pot stickers, though. I have to try your recipe now!
Ill let you know how it comes out.

Hannya December 15, 2009 at 9:32 pm

I cooked this tonight after training( mma ) it is great , my wife loved it too, I made a broth with chicken stock and celery and tomato paste and cooked them in that, great as it’s 3 degrees c here in London right now !!! I had 5 with chopped dills and White vinegar and sour cream too to try it and I absolutley loved it…. Thank you very much for this great step by step I am a convert , this is now my Tuesday dinner!!!!!!

Chad December 19, 2009 at 7:04 pm

I dated a Russian girl for years and we would sit with her extended family making enough for the year in a single day. It was pretty fun (lots of vodka drank) with the end result being 500 pelmeni or so. They would freeze on trays, drop into large freezer bags and divvy up by household. Man those were good. I need to do that again and convince a family sized army of helpers to partake. They are definitely best just boiled in a good chicken broth and topped with sour cream and dill with some good pumpernickel on the side – keep it simple.

terry from rival crock pot January 2, 2010 at 6:30 am

MMMMM slap some pepper on that and it’ll be fantastic! Printed and stuck on the fridge for a later, hungrier time!
.-= terry crock pot´s last blog ..Rival Crock Pot Parts =-.

char January 3, 2010 at 4:59 am

My husbands grandfather taught their family how to make pelmeni when they were kids. It became a special rainy day tradition. Mom made the filling the night before (it’s better overnight). Dad made the dough, rolled and cut out the circles while mom and the kids sat around the table assembling them. I became an immediate fan the first time I helped make them. We have continued the tradition of making them as a family ever since. We take turns at each others homes and make a day of it. We use alot of garlic in ours and boil them in beef boullion and serve with soy sauce and pepper. If we’re lucky enough to have leftovers, we fry them the next morning in broth and oil til browned. Surprisingly they taste totally different than they did the day before. Not sure which I love the most. I will now have to try them with sour cream. We never froze them, we didn’t think they would taste right. But, now I’ll have to try that too. Thanks for the tips!

Brian from composite panel January 4, 2010 at 11:37 pm

My wife makes Pelmeni all the time. I really enjoy eating with ketsup however instead of sour cream. I’ll devour 20 pieces before coming up for air.

Meg from Chocolate Dessert Recipes January 8, 2010 at 5:11 am

I made these once because I saw a recipe on the internet. They were not that hard to do, and we really enjoyed them. Now that I came across this page, I am going to try this recipe. They look delicious.
.-= Meg Dessert Recipes´s last blog ..The History of Chocolate =-.

Dimitry Mishchuk January 13, 2010 at 9:29 am

Nice, I just had some home made pelmeni few days ago we make a ton of them and freeze them, than when your hunry just pull them out and have a great dinner.

Angela January 16, 2010 at 5:27 am

I never thought I’d have good pelmeni here at home, especially after trying one dough recipe that was nearly impossible to work with. This recipe, and pictures, were PERFECT! I was thrilled! Thank you so much!
Here’s hoping for the same success with blini!

Lelik January 27, 2010 at 6:22 pm

Thank you! Actually, baking blini is MUCH easier than cooking pelmeni. Wish you luck with blini!

Lelik January 27, 2010 at 6:30 pm

Thank you very much for your comment! It is a good tradition to gather all family members around the table twice – once when everybody are making filling, rolling, cutting, etc and then when all the family is eating pelmeni. I also like to fry them the next day and the taste is amazing! Especially with a fresh sour cream. And it is really good that you do not freeze them as the taste became much poor

Lelik January 27, 2010 at 6:35 pm

WOW! I’ve never ever tried to make more than 100 pelmeni but man, you can be proud of yourself! :)

blueribboncookies January 28, 2010 at 7:10 pm

hi olga – your directions and photos are beautiful! i was so pleased to find your blog. we are putting together a benefit cookbook of Russian recipes (produced locally only) in both English and Russian – may we use some of your photos and recipes? i don’t know if you can get to my e-mail via this comment? if so, would you please drop me a line? i can tell you more about the project so you can decide if you would be OK to use your photos. THANK YOU!

Jacquie February 1, 2010 at 7:32 pm

I went on an exchange back in 1996 to Russia and lived in Nizhnevartovsk in Siberia for a month. I learned how to make these wonderful little meat pastries while there. Unfortunately I never had a chance to get the recipe.

I have been looking for this recipe for 14 YEARS!!!
The problem was I never knew how to spell it either, but this weekend at a farmer’s market there was a Russian food booth.

I’m looking forward to trying your recipe to see if it’s as good as I remember.

Paul from Sony MDR 7506 February 6, 2010 at 3:23 am

Pelmeni sounds like it’s delicious.

I’ve been trying to find a Russian restaurant down in Atlanta that I can try out as I love trying foods from different regions.

Since I haven’t found a Russian restaurant near me I’ll have to give this recipe a try.
.-= Paul MDR 7506´s last blog ..Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphone =-.

Lisa from Lara Croft Costumes February 10, 2010 at 12:29 pm

I travelled to Moscow in January and one of the things that really surprised me was the quality of cuisine. I really wasnt expecting anything to be honest but was very impressed. I guess the only downside I found about Moscow is that it was SO expensive. Great city to visit though.
.-= Lisa @ Lara Croft Costumes´s last blog ..About Us =-.

Sony February 15, 2010 at 12:15 pm

I do like pelmeni. There was a time I went to Moscow rather often for business and never neglected to have some pelmeni when I was there!
These look beautifully prepared. Compliments to the chef!

from' rel='external nofollow' class='url'>Adam @ Fly Fishing Line February 20, 2010 at 2:57 pm

I have never tried Pelmeni but have been looking for new worldwide receipes to explore. This is certainly something that I will be making. I find your pictures really helpful and hope my cooking ends up looking as good as yours!
.-= Adam @ Fly Fishing Line´s last blog ..Privacy =-.

cooking March 1, 2010 at 5:41 pm

Nothing to say, outstanding blog and pics! Pelmeshki with sour cream, black bread and 100g … Tasty ;)
.-= cooking´s last blog ..Fried Brie =-.

Steph March 2, 2010 at 4:28 am

Hey just wondering if you knew roughly how many cups of flour 400 grams is.. please and thank you

John from Debt Settlement April 15, 2010 at 1:01 pm

These are delicious! Prefer pelmeni with sour cream. Already makes my mouth water:P Again top-quality manual and images. Thanks!
.-= John Settlement´s last blog ..Ethnic Hair Types & Hair Care Products =-.

Christina April 25, 2010 at 6:16 am

Hi, Olga!!! :)
It’s Christina again… I keep leaving you comments, because I just can not NOT leave one! Your Pelmenis are SO beautiful!!! To die for!!! Your husband is a very lucky man… (Congratulations with the baby by the way… :) )… I don’t know where you get the patience to make all of them by hand… You know, my mom and I have been using the “pelmeni mold” forever… It save us lots of time, but it could never ever beat the hand made ones! I just love the way yours look…
But! If ever you are short on time, and you absolutely HAVE to make pelmenis, maybe you’ll be interested in the mold too? They are so easy to find… especially in Russia… Have you hear of these???
You have to lay one sheet of dough over it, then fill up all the gaps with your filling, then lay another sheet on top of that, and pass the rolling pin over the whole thing… The pelmenis just fall down on your table from underneath the mold… :) That way, you can make about 36 at a time, but like I said, nothing will ever beat the hand made pelmenis… This is just a little time saving trick for emergencies… :) :):)

Christina April 25, 2010 at 6:22 am

Forgot to mention that lots of people at work have been asking me for a good “pelmenis recipe”, so what did i do???
I printed out your whole recipe (step by step pictures included), and “distributed” it at work to all those who were interested!!!
They all loved it!!!
So thank you, and looking forward to new recipes when you get a break from your baby… :)

Sell Jewelry May 1, 2010 at 12:17 pm

Very well explained. I will prepare this on tomorrow (sunday). Thanks for your share.

Massimo Italian Restaurants Glasgow May 1, 2010 at 8:48 pm

Gosh, we don’t really have Russian restaurants in Scotland. The recipe could almost pass for being Italian. I wonder if anyone would notice at all ? Well explained recipe; wish I’d found the website sooner.

Sez from Pocahontas Costume May 3, 2010 at 1:44 am

Hey Lelik,

Thanks for the recipe. The thing that seems to trip me up on this type of recipe is making the dough…I will give it another shot though and hopefully I can make the dough well and the recipe will turn out really nice. Will let you know how I get on :-)
.-= Sez @ Pocahontas Costume´s last blog ..Contact Us =-.

Tom from Pasta Recipes May 3, 2010 at 3:46 am

That looks awesome. I’m going to try to make this this weekend, will come back and update you with my post with pictures.
.-= Tom Recipes´s last blog ..Vietnamese Pesto Pasta =-.

Lynn May 11, 2010 at 6:18 am

Looking delicious and awesome. My uncle is having a Bakery. This kind of new recipes will definitely help him to have more customers to his shop. Your step by step information is nice :)

Thanks :)
.-= Lynn´s last blog ..Rockin Roll Patterns on the Piano – Sample Lesson =-.

john from heneedsfood May 18, 2010 at 2:04 pm

I’ve been on the lookout for any type of dumpling recipe I can get, and this one fits the bill perfectly. I’ll definitely be trying these out
.-= john´s last blog ..Uighur Cuisine, Haymarket =-.

James from May 22, 2010 at 5:04 pm

THis is a great recipe! I hope you don’t mind to translate this in my blog. Will provide a backlink to yours.
.-= James´s last blog .. =-.

Dan from remax lake of the ozarks May 26, 2010 at 9:46 pm

Hey hey

You mentioned sour cream. Do you like pelmeni with American sour cream, or do you prefer the more liquid Russian kind?

I like the Russian kind in soup, and the American kind on potatoes and things like that.
.-= Dan @ remax lake of the ozarks´s last blog ..Home Buying Tips: Lake of the Ozarks =-.

James from Pocahontas Costume May 29, 2010 at 6:13 pm

This looks like a really delicious recipe which I will definitely be trying. I just hope mine turn out to look as good as yours. Thanks for the information.
.-= James @ Pocahontas Costume´s last blog ..Disclaimer =-.

Martha N. June 3, 2010 at 10:36 am

I’ve spent some time in Russia and Poland in my past and since those days I love both Russian and Polish food so much… :) ) Pelmeni dumplings are great / cheap / rather easy to make. I really love Polish pierogi dumplings for same reason; although making pierogi and pelmeni is a bit time consuming ;) That’s the only one disadvantage of the food but compared to american junk i see here – its a great delicacy !

Thank you for this highly informative blog – I had some good time here :)

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