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– February 11, 2018
I am Russian American and already a fan of the pelmeni available in the bulk freezer bin of my local “international” store, so I was a little wary when I heard of this Trader Joe’s American imitation. But this is Trader Joe’s of the reliable gyoza we’re talking, so I decided to give their pelmeni a try.
At first I ignored package directions and cooked a serving of pelmeni in some diluted chicken broth with scallions added, the way I would the frozen pelmeni I usually buy. My mother will frequently eat pelmeni with a pat of butter in their cooking water as soup, because in both her and my experience, the pelmeni magically make the water flavorful. Maybe we just think this because of the influence of Soviet cuisine, but even now, it works for me. The soup magic did not occur with the Trader Joe’s pelmeni, so I added more seasoning and ate them anyways, a little disappointed. The dill, chicken, and mushrooms were noticable.
Later, I decided to follow directions like a good American, and briefly boiled, then fried, the pelmeni (I did add caramelized onions). They were crispy and tasty as promised, but the flavors I had noticed when eating the pelmeni boiled faded even more– now I could sense chicken and dill, but not mushrooms (perhaps this was in competition with the onion garnish?). I served them and enjoyed them with sour cream, at the same time a little confused as to why sour cream was an ingredient in the frozen pelmeni in the first place–texture? I could not make out its taste in the unadorned product.
Though I admire the tiny size of these pelmeni, which are about half of what I am accustomed to, I would enjoy their flavors better separated out. Perhaps I would have chicken pelmeni sauteed with mushrooms and served sprinkled with dill, a scoop of sour cream on the side. The creators of the Trader Joe’s pelmeni (whatever country they are in–it is not listed on the package) seemed to foresee this arrangement and stuff it all into a tiny bundle. These pelmeni are not only miniature but minimalist. Although they might be just the thing for a new taster too busy to add the dill and sour cream separately, I prefer the real frozen deal when it comes to Russian food, so I will stick to Trader Joe’s gyoza!
– January 15, 2019
These are amazing! I hope Trader Joe’s doesn’t stop carrying them. I am Ukrainian American, I simply boiled these, (the microwave LOL) and added a gob of butter. In fact two types of butter. One was Plugra, (The tastiest butter on earth with an O so light touch of buttermilk flavor but higher percentage of butter fat so it’s delicious) I also had a little bit of Trader Joe’s truffle “butter” which I had it a nice flavor. But not necessary. What I like about these is the light flavor of the fresh dill, I did not read the ingredients before hand, and was surprised by this delightful herb-y touch. We have a big farmers market ( Buford Highway farmers market/Atlanta) with a Russian section here and they sell all kinds of freshly made and frozen Russian/Ukrainian food. Now. For my “special” microwave technique: put a serving ( 1/2 a bag for a meal for 1) in a large bowl and cover with water (give it a stir so it doesn’t clump and to one frozen mass) Cover the bowl with a saucer/plate. Microwave on high for 3 – 4 minutes, check and make sure it’s cooking well, I microwaved for one more minute. ( to make sure the chicken was cooked in case it’s not pre-cooked you don’t want it raw 🙂 DRAIN The rest of the water, are used an extra saucer on the lip of the bowl, be careful, everything is hot. Serve with several slices of the profoundly delicious blueberry butter and a sprinkle of crunchy sea salt, like Maldon. Heavenly good, does tender and not too thick, and well cooked, just like I like it. You don’t want al dente pasta/dough when eating dumplings smothered in butter. Notes: most of the water will be absorbed into the dough which is boiling/steaming/nuking. my bowl was probably 32 to 48 ounces, A bowl shape that Narrows at the bottom/base so you don’t have to use as much water and there’s room for the water to boil (mine boiled over because the water becomes starchy ) could I have boiled on the stove top? Of course… But I had a meal in four minutes that was quite tasty. I have not yet prepared it any other way. I just discovered the pelmeni dumplings traders.
– January 15, 2019
Full of typos, sorry. NOT *blueberry butter, siri! PLUGRA butter. The *dough is tender, not too thick….. Because it was too hot to handle when I took it out of the microwave,I just USED A fresh saucer/plate to help drain the bowl; leave a small gap at the lip of the bowl ( so the pelmeni don’t fall out) and drain the bowl right into the sink. Minimal dishes/clean up.
To expound: “cover with water” I just barely covered all the dumplings with about 1-2 cm. Extra water. It may work with more, but the starchy water (most of which I drained) was actually a kinda tasty -kinda brothy especially with the flavor of the Plugra and the Trader Joe’s truffle butter
– October 27, 2019
Too small. Lacking flavor. Buy them if you have no stores catering to Russian-speaking people nearby. Otherwise, other stores are the better option. Tasty pelmeni are being produced in the USA. But Trader Joe’s is not selling them.
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