Monday, December 17, 2007

Pelmeni - Russian Dumplings

I was happy to find these Pelmeni in the frozen food section of the world market. Some might call them raviolis or dumplings - they are from the same "family". Pelmeni is mostly a Russian dish that is filled with meat. I am partly of Ukrainian and Polish descent - so I have grown up with pierogies - and these seemed very similar to pierogies. Pelmeni look like cute, baby pierogies, so I had high hopes for them.

I decided to prepare them just like I prepare my pierogie supper (dump the frozen pierogies in some boiling water for about 5-10 min, until they float...then fry up some onions, add sliced low-fat kielbasa and cook for about 5 minutes, then throw in the pierogies and get them browned up. Sometimes to the onions I add some sliced up red pepper). I used to watch my grandmother make pierogies - and I have her recipe, written in her own hand - but mine were a big flop when I tried to make them myself. So now I have to depend on frozen ones.

Well while I was preparing the onions and kielbasa, I noticed that these Pemeni were meat filled (my pierogies are usually cheese/potato) - so I decided mixing them in with the kielbasa would be too much meat-dishy-ness. So, I figured I'd make up some spaghetti sauce (well as much making up as is required to dump a bottle of pre-made sauce into the cooking pot) and pour that over the top of the Pelmeni.

I tasted a Pelmeni plain and found it was more "slimy" than a pierogie - and decided to fry them in the frying pan for awhile before adding them to the sauce.

My dd, who hates spaghetti sauce, ate the Pelmeni plain and really liked them. My ds, who loves spaghetti sauce, ate his w/sauce and liked them. For me - I'll stick with pierogies. I didn't like the meat flavor (pkg. says "beef-chicken") - it was all kind of clumped together inside. Kind of reminded me of the canned ravioli for kids (surely it's just for kids - since I can't imagine adults enjoying it), that I have never cared for.

The Pelmeni package suggests serving them w/butter or sour cream (just like pierogies) or with vinegar ????? Now I love vinegar on my french fries, and I will even pour some on my fried potatoes - but on something like a dumpling - not a chance!


Fernweher said...

It's great that your trying exotic foods! I make Pelmeni and wanted to share a tip- Exotic foods might not taste good with sides you're used to.
a Pelmeni is much more like a Chinese dumpling then a ravioli or perogie. This is why it clashes with tomato sauce. My favorite ways to eat pelmeni are with rice, peas and onion.

Fernweher said...

I just started following your blog now so I can read more about food adventures :)

Ilya said...

hey! good call on the dumplings. i grew up eating these with my russian family and still love them today. vinegar does sound weird to me though my parents say it was common. i really like to boil it with some pepper or hot sauce in the water to give it a bit of a kick. then throw some shredded cheese on it while they're still hot. afterwards, sour cream or butter is the way to go. hope you give it another go. cheers!