David's Recipe for Kreplach
Chicken soup with kreplach is the queen of the soups among Eastern European Jews. In restaurants, kreplach are also served without soup as an appetizer, topped with fried onions.
Soup Ingredient or Appetizer, Jewish
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 lb ground meat
- 1 onion, minced
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 5 cups flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Approx. 1-1/2 cups lukewarm water, depending on the flour and the weather
- Additional flour for flouring your hands, the rolling pin, and the rolling surface
- 1 cup water for gluing the dough
- 3 qts boiling water
- Brown the onions very lightly. Add the ground meat and the pepper and continue to brown the mixture. Set aside.
- Mix the flour and the salt. Add the water and knead, with floured hands to prevent sticking, until you get a stiff dough.
- Flour the rolling pin and the cloth or other surface you roll on, and then roll the dough from the center outwards until you get a large rectangle of flour about 1/8" thick. If you have had no practice with filled dumplings of this sort, you might want to roll the dough a little thicker to keep it from tearing.
- With a sharp knife, cut the dough into squares about 4" on a side. The 4 irregular edges will be re-rolled to form a few new squares later, and used as patches to repair tears.
- Arrange the pan with the meat mixture, the water for gluing, a spoon, and some plates for receiving the finished kreplach conveniently around the rolled dough. Sit down comfortably in front of the array of dough squares.
- Place a teaspoon of meat mixture in the middle of a square. With your finger or a small brush, spread some water along the four edges of the square. With floured hands, fold one corner to meet the corner diagonally opposite, and press the 4 wet edges firmly together. You now have a triangle. Again using water as glue, press the two 45 degree angles together. You now have a strange shape something like an envelope with a triangular tail. This is the traditional shape for kreplach.
- Do this until you have 6-10 kreplach ready. They should be cooked in small batches. Boil them in the water for 10 minutes. While they are boiling, prepare the next batch. When you have made kreplach from all of the prepared squares, roll a few more squares from the irregular edges left over from the first large rectangle. Continue re-cutting and re-rolling until you have used up all of the dough.
- Drain each batch immediately after removing from the water. The kreplach can be served immediately, kept in the refrigerator a few days, or frozen.