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Cooking frozen pelmeni

Midlife Mar 8, 2010 12:48 PM

The Chowhound team moved this post from the Los Angeles board.

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OK. I happened to have an appointment near Russian Gourmet this morning and am now in possession of 1.5lbs of frozen beef and pork pelmeni (had to start somewhere and chose the frozen item they appear to make themselves). They seemed to be out of a few things, and most smaller portions, probably due to those of you above.

A bit o f Googling says to boil or steam the pelmeni and serve either with butter, sour cream, or in soup.

Experts.........please............... what's the best way to enjoy these little things???

  1. s
    SmartCookie Mar 8, 2010 01:23 PM

    I have actually made them "Italian style" with a very light tomato/cream sauce. Since the dough is so thin on them, make sure any sauce you use is light. I've also sauted wild mushrooms with shallots and thyme and added chicken stock to make a light sauce; delicious!

    1. l
      LisaPA Mar 8, 2010 04:03 PM

      They seem to be very similar to pierogi, so I would serve them the same way. Steam or boil them, drain if necessary so they aren't sitting in a puddle of water on the plate, and serve with a dollop of sour cream. They'd be good with a side of beet or cucumber salad.

      1. m
        meinNYC Mar 8, 2010 05:12 PM

        Boil water, salt the water, drop in the pilemeni, cook for 7 minutes at a boil. Drain. Toss with onions sauted in olive oil. Or if you're very traditional eat them Siblerian style in chicken broth.

        1. e
          elainelena Mar 8, 2010 08:28 PM

          You boil them in salted water in which you also put a dried bay leaf. Boil for a few mins, till they float. Drain them, put them in a bowl, mix with butter, put a dollop of sour cream on top. If you have them left over, (why i would not know) but anyway, fry them in butter till golden brown and crispy. Nyam nyam! (nice you got them on International Women's Day which is a big holiday in Russia) Another must is a shot of vodka with them. (preferably Russian Standart)

          1 Reply
          1. re: elainelena
            Cheese Boy Mar 8, 2010 09:20 PM

            Can't wait to try the dried bay leaf thing. Sounds both interesting and yummy.

          2. BobB Mar 9, 2010 06:57 AM

            elainelena - my Russian wife does the same as you, and she intentionally always makes twice as many as we're going to eat at one meal, specifically so we can have that golden brown crispy version at a second meal. I actually prefer them that way, but for some reason, according to her, the first batch must always be eaten simply boiled. In both cases they are served with smetana* and fresh minced chives.

            * We live among a huge Russian emigre community so we have access to real smetana (Russian-style sour cream). If we don't have a chance to get to the Russian store she mixes supermarket sour cream and Greek yogurt, she says the combination approximates smetana.

            1 Reply
            1. re: BobB
              i
              igorm Mar 9, 2010 11:55 AM

              Boil the salted water and turn down to a simmer or the pelmeni will tend to fall apart. You can eat them as suggested already or with smetana and soy sauce mixed, My father used to like them with uksus(vinegar). Leftovers fried in butter are a delicasy. Na Zdarovje!

            2. Midlife Mar 10, 2010 11:31 PM

              Tried the frozen pelmeni tonight. Boiled in salted water; served with mixture of sour cream and some Greek yogurt (as suggested for a sub). The filling was tasty but light on flavor, and the 'dough' was decidedly bland to my taste.

              The fried in butter method sounds like it would have more flavor, and I'll try that, but is there something I missed in seasoning of the boiled pelmeni?

              5 Replies
              1. re: Midlife
                BobB Mar 11, 2010 07:36 AM

                There is a good deal of variation in the quality and flavoring of the pelmeni themselves. Our local Russian markets sell several brands in multiple flavors - my favorites are the pork or veal & pork ones. They also come in two basic shapes - some are round & flat like Italian ravioli, while others are folded over dumplings, more like fortune cookies or potstickers in shape. To my taste the latter are preferable as they seem to hold more filling and are also less likely to fall apart when cooking.

                But regardless, pelmeni are not a strongly flavored delicacy, more a sort of Russian comfort food. They may just not be to your taste.

                1. re: BobB
                  Cheese Boy Mar 11, 2010 10:31 PM

                  Yes. Some are vareniki and some are pelmeni. Both very good.

                  1. re: Cheese Boy
                    BobB Mar 12, 2010 07:18 AM

                    Your name just got me thinking - has anyone ever tried making mac & cheese using pelmeni instead of plain pasta? My mouth is watering at the thought - I might have to actually try this!

                    1. re: Cheese Boy
                      justanotherpenguin Mar 15, 2010 08:05 AM

                      vareniki are generally made with cheese or fruit stuffing, pelmeni are always made with a meat stuffing.

                  2. re: Midlife
                    justanotherpenguin Mar 15, 2010 08:08 AM

                    i grew up in a russian/ukrainian household. pelmeni were always a staple. our mom always boiled them in a broth with boullion (usually chicken), then served with sour cream and soy sauce on the side. we always had them "wet" - with the broth, though i know others who do not care for the broth. i always have them in the freezer.

                  3. ChristinaMason Mar 10, 2010 11:46 PM

                    My favorite way to have them boiled in salted water with bay leaves, then strained and dotted with slivers of cold butter, sprinkled with white pepper and salt, and drizzled with white vinegar. A dollop of sour cream on the side, and they're perfect. I had them this way in a Russian restaurant in Berlin.

                    Pelmeni are also wonderful floating in borscht. You might like this recipe: http://www.washingtonian.com/blogarti...

                    1. Midlife Mar 13, 2010 08:57 AM

                      Thanks for all the cooking and serving suggestions folks. My wife finally got to try some last night and was underwhelmed. I actually tried them in a Marinara sauce, like a ravioli dish, a couple days ago. Not bad.

                      Overall conclusion: I'd buy them again to have around, but hope the store has pierogi next time I'm there. Pierogi are probably very much the same, but at least I can identify with them from my childhood.

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