Kreplach seem like the kind of dish only your bubbe would make. Especially from scratch. And I always felt intimidated to even try it. You have to make the dough, make the filling and shape it just right. (Turns out, actually you don’t).
But last year I was lucky enough to spend time with a real, live bubbe and cookbook author (and also my friend) Ronnie Fein who shared with me her tried-and-trued method and recipe.
Turns out it’s easier than I thought: The kreplach don’t need to be perfectly shaped to be delicious, and they are definitely something you can tackle with a little planning and determination. You will need to make (or buy) some kind of filling ahead of time (Note: You can buy some pre-cooked brisket or pot roast from, say, Whole Foods or your local butcher instead of making it from scratch).
Watch our short video below. Maybe a few times. And hopefully you’ll be inspired to tackle these homemade Jewish dumplings, which, yes, are totally worth the effort.
Many thanks to Ronnie Fein for sharing her expertise and recipe with us.
For the dough:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 3 Tbsp cold water, approximately
For the meat filling:
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 medium clove garlic, finely chopped (optional)
- 3 cups chopped, cooked beef (about 12 ounces – can be either ground beef or finely chopped leftover brisket or roast)
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp paprika
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- To make the dough: Place the flour, salt and beaten eggs in a food processor. Process while gradually adding just enough water to have the dough form into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let rest for at least one hour.
- To make the filling: Heat the vegetable oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for about 2-3 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened. Place the chopped meat in a bowl. Add the softened onion (and garlic), egg, paprika and salt and pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly.
- Roll the dough, a portion at a time, on a floured surface until the dough is very thin (less than 1/8-inch). Cut dough into 2-1/2 to 3-inch squares.
- Place one heaping teaspoon of filling in the center of each square. Fold the dough over the filling to make a triangle. Pinch the dough together to seal the edges (if necessary wet two sides of the square).
- Bring a large soup pot of water to a boil. Cook the kreplach about a dozen at a time for about 15 minutes, or until they are tender.
- To serve, place the cooked kreplach in chicken soup and cook for 4-5 minutes. You may also fry the kreplach in vegetable oil.