Wednesday, August 15, 2012

From Russia, with Pelmeni

Apparently we're in the international vibe this week. 

This past Sunday, I discovered this grocery store. And it warmed the very cockles of my heart. 

On the sign out front, it says - and I quote - "We are a European-style open air market." Glorious day! And they even had Eastern European products. Like perogies. And Haloumi. And they had frozen croissants. And ridiculously low priced produce. And 11 types of mustard. And, and, and.... I'm going back this week. I'm addicted.

Quick story: When I was in high school, my dad finally let me go with him on a mission trip to Siberia. He'd been going for years, and always claimed I was too young to go. I knew I wasn't, but he finally figured that out when I was a sophomore. So we went to Sibera, Tomsk to be more exact, and I had a ton of fun hanging out with orphans (which put me on the trajectory I'm on now). I also ate my weight in pelmeni.  Mmmmmm.

I think of pelmeni as a more savory ravioli. It's still a filling wrapped in pasta, but the filling of pelmeni is strictly meat and onions. A lot of meat and onions. None of this fluffy cheese business. That's just silly. 

Here's what I found at The Milk Pail:

Quick instructions - boil them until they float. Continue to cook for 3-5 minutes, until the pasta is poofed out a little. 

Here's what they look like on the inside. See? No cheese. 

In another pan, make the butter sauce (this is the Megsiemay-ized way of saucing them. Typically, in Siberia, there's just a bit of butter/oil plopped on top).

Melt the butter. 

Add in a few sage leaves as it starts to brown.

Toss in the pelmeni, coating them in the sauce and letting them brown for a minute or so.

Try not to eat them all before you get them on the plates.....

Serve with an arugula salad topped with figs and gorgonzola crumbles.

Listen to the hubby shout: "Spiceba!*"

Frozen Pelmeni Cooking Instructions
Frozen pelmeni (I perfer the Siberian flavor of beef and pork, though I think Ukrainians prefer chicken? There were several different flavors available in the freezer case.)
3 tbsp salted butter
3-4 sage leaves

Boil water in a large pot. Count out 10 pelmeni or so a person (if that's to be the bulk of your meal). Boil pelmeni until they float, and then 3-5 minutes longer, until the pasta puffs out (that's what it says on the package). 

In a large skillet, melt the butter. Once it begins to brown, toss in the sage and cook for 1-2 minutes. Throw the cooked pelmeni in and brown them for a few minutes, coating them in the sauce. 

Serve with baby arugula, figs, and blue cheese salad. Enjoy!

*Spiceba means "Thank you" in Russian. You can now watch the James Bond movies and see how polite the bad guys actually. are. They always mind their Ps and Qs!


  1. Megan, try to make pelmeni by yourself:) Siberian pelmeni taste great with cranberry sauce.

    1. Masha - send me your recipe! I'd love to try. And the cranberry sauce sounds like a fabulous idea. It's going right on the grocery list!

  2. Megan, I love pelmeni, too. One time I had it with beef broth and wild mushrooms. Delicious! I didn't know that you could buy it frozen. Will try to find it and use your sauce recipe and Masha's cranberry sauce. Heaven!

    1. There are actually several different brands you can find here in the states! Try the Russian General Store on Hilcroft, just south of Braeswood. I know they have frozen pelmeni.

      Good luck! And if only Masha would send a recipe, then perhaps we won't need the frozen stuff after all!

  3. Susan, You can also get them at the Phoenicia market on Westheimer, just west of Kirkwood. If you haven't been there yet, you need to check that place out. (pita bread from heaven!) I think they also have a smaller store somewhere downtown.