Hanukkah is upon us, which means it’s time to start thinking about all the ways we can fry potatoes. And although it’s not your average latke, this dish is inspired by how we like to celebrate the holiday season best: with crispy-fried carbs, Chinese food, and all of the movies.
Kreplach are traditional Jewish dumplings most often filled with meat or potatoes, and either served in broth (primarily chicken soup) or fried. Their long history converges with Ukrainian vareniki, Russian pelmeni, Polish pierogi, Italian tortellini, and Chinese wontons—so they’ll no doubt look familiar.
Our version is packed with plenty of Hanukkah-appropriate potatoes and has a bit of a New York twist: Think rich sour cream, delicate chives, fragrant dill, a hit of lemon, and, yes, a generous amount of lox. We’ve wrapped everything up in a soft rye-infused dough, then pan-fried the dumplings for crunch and covered them in spicy chili oil in homage to our favorite holiday takeout tradition.
A few notes:
- No pasta machine? No problem. Due to its higher water content, this dough is softer than a traditional pasta dough, so it’s great for making (and rolling!) by hand. See here for my preferred method on making dough using the well method.
- If you’re more of a boiled dumpling person, these are just as delicious straight from the pot and into your mouth.
- And if you’re looking for a good chili oil to try, we love Holy Tshili (it’s infused with everything bagel seasoning so it couldn’t be more perfect here) and Fly By Jing.
—Meryl & Jake
—Meryl Feinstein, Pasta Social Club
- Prep time 2 hours 30 minutes
- Cook time 15 minutes
- Serves 4
- For the dough:
(2½ cups) ‘00’ soft wheat or all-purpose flour
(¼ cup) rye flour (optional; or use the same weight in ‘00’ or all-purpose flour)
egg (about 2 whole eggs and 1 egg yolk), beaten
(4 tablespoons) water
(1½ tablespoons) full-fat sour cream
- For the filling and to finish:
(about 2 medium) russet or other floury potatoes, peeled and cut into large pieces
(½ cup) full-fat sour cream, plus more for serving
(½ cup) smoked salmon, chopped
(¼ cup) minced fresh chives, plus more for serving
(½ cup, loosely packed) fresh dill fronds, plus more for serving
freshly grated lemon zest, or to taste
kosher salt, or to taste
freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
(¼ cup) neutral oil, for pan frying
chili oil of choice, for dipping (see Author Notes)
Prepare the potatoes
Add the potatoes to a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Season with a generous sprinkling of kosher salt.
Bring the potatoes to a boil and cook until tender and easily pierced with a knife, 15 to 20 minutes. While the potatoes cook, make the dough.
Make the dough
Add the flour(s), eggs, water, and sour cream to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse until the liquid is evenly distributed and beads of dough form and start to come together. Alternatively, make the dough by hand according to the well method (see Author Notes for link to tutorial on how).
Transfer the mixture to a flat, ideally wooden surface and knead for 5 to 10 minutes until smooth and firm.
Wrap the dough tightly in plastic and allow it to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. While the dough rests, finish the filling.
Finish the filling
Drain the potatoes and transfer them to a paper-towel lined baking sheet to cool completely. It’s important that the potatoes are as dry as possible.
Add the sour cream, smoked salmon, and herbs to a food processor. Pulse until well-combined (alternatively, finely mince the salmon and herbs and stir into the sour cream). Season to taste with salt, pepper, and a generous grating of lemon zest.
When the potatoes are cool, return them to the pot. Mash them until very smooth with a fork or potato masher, then stir in the sour cream mixture. Adjust seasoning to taste.
Transfer the filling to a bowl or piping bag and refrigerate until ready to use.
Make the kreplach
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and keep it nearby.
Cut off a quarter of the dough and re-wrap the remainder immediately.
If you have a pasta machine: Flatten the dough with the heel of your hand until it’s about ¼-inch thick. Set your machine to its thickest setting and roll the dough through once—it will be tapered at the ends. Fold the ends into the center like an envelope so the width of the pasta sheet is similar in width to the pasta roller. Line up the widths and roll the dough through the thickest setting once more so the result is an even rectangle.
Continue rolling the dough through the machine once on each progressive setting until it’s a semi-thin sheet, about setting 5 or 6 on a Marcato Atlas 150 manual roller or KitchenAid attachment. If the dough is at all sticky going through the machine, dust it with a light layer of ‘00’ or all-purpose flour on both sides.
If you’re rolling by hand: Roll the portion of dough with a rolling pin into a semi-thin rectangle or oval—this dough is softer than a traditional pasta dough, so it should be easier to handle. While you’re aiming for about 1-2 millimeters thick, don’t stress and do the best you can!
Using a 2½-inch cookie cutter or sturdy-rimmed glass, cut out as many circles from the dough as you can. (You can ball up any dough scraps and re-wrap them in plastic to rehydrate, then re-roll them once more after all of the fresh dough has been used.)
Next, spoon or pipe about a teaspoon of filling in the center of each circle, leaving about ½ inch of space between the dollop and the circle’s edge. Piling the filling vertically and leaving a generous amount of space around it will ensure the kreplach will be well-filled and able to seal properly.
If the dough feels dry, add a small amount of water around half of each circle with your finger or mist the pieces with a spray bottle.
To shape the kreplach, bring two adjacent sides of the circle together—like an upside-down V—over the filling and press to seal. Then bring the remaining part of the circle to meet in the center and seal the remaining edges firmly to create a triangle, pressing out as much air as possible in the process.
Set the finished kreplach aside on the parchment-lined baking tray and repeat the process with the remaining dough.
Storage note: To freeze the kreplach for future use, pop the baking tray in the freezer for about 30 minutes until the pasta is mostly solid, then transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container. These keep best for 1 to 2 weeks, and well up to a month or two. Cook straight from frozen.
Finish the dish
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt it well and add the kreplach. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, tasting for doneness.
Drain the kreplach and divide onto plates. Serve immediately, topped with more fresh herbs, flaky salt, a dollop of seasoned sour cream, and your favorite chili oil. You can also thin out some sour cream with water and season it with salt and pepper so it’s easy to drizzle.
For pan frying: Heat a large non-stick skillet over high heat and generously coat the bottom with oil. Once shimmering, shake off any water from the boiled kreplach and carefully transfer them to the hot oil. Fry, undisturbed, for 3 to 5 minutes until the bottoms are crisp and golden. Transfer the dumplings to a paper-towel lined plate before serving with the aforementioned accompaniments.