Making Pelmeni with Jonathan of RSJ Philadelphia (9 January 2021)

After Shabbat ended on Saturday evening, Jonathan of RSJ Philadelphia hosted a Zoom cooking class. I was excited about learning something new and was happy to see that six others were in attendence.

Pelmeni are Russian dumplings that are similar to Piergis. This was Jonathan’s first time making them too, but his grandmother used to make them. I enjoyed hearing his beautiful memories – of how mixing, kneading, and rolling the dough brought them closer together. It reminded me of when I used to help Nan make spaghetti (same process).

I made my Pelmeni gluten free of course. As I was mixing the dough and meat, listening to Jonathan and the others laugh, I began to laugh. Not only did I remember Nan through Jonathan’s memories of his grandmother, I was making new memories with one friend and new people. Such a beautiful hour!

I decided to cook them the next day and have them for dinner. I boiled the dumplings in chicken broth. I let them cook for 20 minutes and topped it with fennel.

Mom and dad had a few of the dumplings. They thought they were very good, but the dough was a bit too thick. The dough kept sticking to the rolling pin and mom said next time I make them, she will help me roll the dough.

Not perfect, but delicious, and I can’t wait to make them again. Here is the recipe:


2 lb ground meat (chicken, turkey and mixing in ground beef)

1 large onion grated

1/2 tbsp salt to taste

1 tsp pepper to taste


3 cup flour (depending on brand, you may need to add more)

2/3 cup luke warm water

3 eggs

1 tsp salt

I used beef and veal for the mixture. I also used King Arthur’s Measure for Measure GF all purpose flour.


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Creator of the Happiness Box Project Initiative, a project where you write your happiness or gratitude each day, then open the box in the New Year. The Initiative is to teach joy and gratitude, to pass it on to others.

One thought on “Making Pelmeni with Jonathan of RSJ Philadelphia (9 January 2021)”

  1. Hi, Jessica Marie!

    It does my heart good to read how you enjoyed that Zoom cooking class with Jonathan and other new friends and learned to make Russian dumplings which you prepared the next day and served to your folks. The dish looks de-lish. I’m going to share this recipe with Mrs. Shady. Only a few days ago she served a doughy ham potpie dinner and I think she’d enjoy making those dumplings. I’m all verklempt knowing that fond memories of Nan came up during your Zoom session.

    Enjoy the rest of your week, dear friend JM!


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