Kreplach are one of the earliest dishes of Jewish Ashkenazi (East-European) cuisine, similar to the Italian Ravioli & Tortellini, Chinese Wonton & Jiaozi or Mongolian Buuz, the name is said to have originated from the French “crêpe” (suggesting its origins in France), “lach” means “little” in Yiddish (small crêpe), and their fillings come in many varieties (most notably the meaty ones).
You can also use Kreplach as a side dish (without a soup), covered with sauce or simply by themselves. In this way, they are similar to the Chinese Baozi, Nepalese Momo, Turkish Mantu or Russian Kolduny.
Their biggest disadvantage is that no matter how much you will make - there will never be enough.
Here is a recipe of my own to these great dumplings:
Preparing time: 3 to 4 hours
Yield: 20 pieces
• 0.5 kg of chicken wings (vegetarian option: 0.5 kg mixed mushrooms)
• 2 tbs of duck fat or sunflower oil
• 0.5 kg onion, chopped
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 tsp Salt
• 1 tsp ground pepper
• 2 egg yolks
• 0.5 kg of white flour
• 0.5 tsp salt
• 3 eggs
• 1 tbs sunflower oil
• 1 tbs natural vinegar
• 50-100 ml water
• 2 mixed egg yolks
• 3 tbs salt
First we’ll start with the filling - make sure the chicken wings are clean, put them in a pot filled with water, bring to boil, then take them out and dry with paper towel.
Warm the oil in a sturdy iron pot, saute the onion till golden, add the garlic for one minute. Add the chicken wings, cover the pot and saute for 10-15 min, don’t burn the onion (if you are using the Vegetarian option, add the mushrooms instead and saute for 5-10 minutes without cover until soft and all the liquids have evaporated).
Turn the chicken wings over for another 10-15 minutes. Add water if it’s too dry, the end result should be a very thick sauce. Take off the heat and let cool (at least an hour).
While the filling is being cooked & cooled, you can start working on the dough: mix the flour with the salt, then in a separate bowl mix the 3 eggs, oil, vinegar and 50 ml of the water, add the wet mixture to the dry one and knead for 3-5 minutes or until the dough is soft and flexible (if it’s too dry => add water, too wet => add flour). Put in the fridge for an hour to stabilize (this step can be done 1-2 days beforehand and left in the fridge to rest).
While the dough is resting, you can continue to work on the filling: separate the meat from skin and bones (save them to make stock), put it in a bowl with the onion mixture, add salt & ground pepper, mix well, place on a cutting board and chop well. Add the egg yolks, mix well and put in the fridge until the dough is ready to receive the filling.
Take out the dough from the fridge, cut to 4 separate parts (in case you don’t have a big rolling space), roll each one to a very thin layer. Using a glass cup - form rounds in the dough, smear the edges of every round with the egg yolk mixture, put a tsp of the chicken mixture in the middle of the round and fold to half circle (put flour on your hands while doing this), close the edges and don’t trap any air bubbles inside, now take the 2 base edges of this half circle and connect them (making a ring-shape dumpling).
While making the dumplings, heat up a big pot (5 liter) of water and 3 tbs salt and bring to boil. When all is ready, gently put the Kreplach in the water (like pasta), make sure they don’t stick to each other and after they start floating on the surface, count 4-5 minutes and use perforated ladle to spoon them out.
If you serve them without sauce, add a bit of oil - so they wont stick. If you are using them in a soup or with a sauce - skip the oil (unless you are saving them for later, in that case - use the oil).
Be’te’avon! (Bon Appetite in Hebrew)
by: Amit Rabin