Kreplach are standard fare on Purim, when foods that conceal their filling are eaten to commemorate how the story’s heroine Queen Esther bravely concealed her identity. They are also often served at the meal that precedes Yom Kippur.
Kreplach is to Jewish cuisine what ravioli are to Italian cuisine - delicious parcels of homemade pasta stuffed with meat (or sometimes cheese or vegetables).
- 2 cups (280 g) plain (all-purpose) flour, plus more for kneading
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- ½ small onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced or pushed through a press
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp sweet paprika
- 225 g (½ lb) minced (ground) beef or chicken
- ½ cup (25 g) finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 egg
- ½ tsp kosher salt, plus more for boiling
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. To make the dough, in a food processor, combine the flour, eggs, salt, and 5 tablespoons water and pulse until the dough begins to come together in a ball. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead until soft and supple, 2–3 minutes. Place the dough in a bowl, cover the bowl with a tea towel, and let rest for 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, make the filling. In a medium frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, 6–8 minutes. Add the garlic, onion powder, and paprika and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the beef, parsley, cooled onion mixture, egg, salt, and pepper and mix well with your hands. Set aside while rolling out the dough.
4. On a lightly floured surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the dough to less than 3 mm (⅛ inch) thick. (You want it as thin as possible without tearing.) Using a 7.5 cm (3-inch) round biscuit cutter or glass, stamp out as many rounds as possible. Place a rounded teaspoon of the filling in the center of one round. Run a wet finger around the outside edges of the round, then fold in half, enclosing the filling inside and ending up with a half-moon shape. Press the edges firmly to seal. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
5. To boil the kreplach, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the kreplach and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 15–20 minutes. Drain well.
6. Alternatively, to fry the kreplach, Line a large plate with paper towels. In a large frying pan, heat 3 mm (¼ inch) vegetable oil over medium heat. Working in batches of 4 or 5, fry the kreplach until golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to the paper towels to drain.
The Jewish Cookbook by Leah Koenig (Phaidon $65, hbk). Photography by Evan Sung.