Kreplach and regions, etc. #general

David Cherson

Well my maternal grandmother lived with us and Zaslav was her original
home town. After she married she moved to Proskurov. I have fond
memories of her kreplach which she would make once in a while. Since
my dad owned a kosher meat market we had many meat meals. If my
mother had enough left over brisket then that would be grinded for the
filling for the kreplach. I've never associated kreplach with
specific regions, rather it was just one of those Jewish foods that
were a "take-off" of the gentile treif versions. In that part of
Russia (now Ukraine) they have vereniki, while we had kreplach and
verenekas (with blueberry filling).

David Cherson

Sharona Zaret

Hi Courtney,
I have an old recipe that my Bubbe made for us which she said was one from her Mother (early 1800's)  but not sure it would be one you are looking for. I think also David that it wasn't talked about much where the recipe originated as you state as it was "only that it tasted marvelous!"  : )  Bubbe had Western European in her background as well but she pointed out that the ones from Russia resembled the Russian pelmeni. In Western Europe these little dumplings were filled with meat during the early days but the Slavic part of Europe filled them with Farmer Cheese or Ricotta cheese only. From what I understand there was a meat shortage in Western Europe during those early years so then they were filled with fruit which were called "Varenikes".

Serves Four                                                                                                     Meat Filling
2 cups plain all purpose flour                                                                   1 large or 2 small onions chopped small or finely according to your own preference                                                                                                                                              remembering you only have so much room per square.
salt (use your best judgment according to Bubbe)                                    about 14 oz of pot roast meat or can also use minced ground meat
2 eggs                                                                                                        6-8 tablespoons of chicken fat or vegetable oil
chicken fat or vegetable oil optional                                                           ground black pepper and salt
Whole chives plus some chopped chives for garnish                                2-3 chopped garlic cloves
                                                                                                                    mashed potatoes optional
1. To make the meat filling: Mince or finely chop or even grind the meat. Fry the onions in the chicken fat or vegetable oil for about 5- 9 or 10 minutes. Add the minced meat to the onions/garlic and add the salt and pepper. Bubbe would pour salt in her hand and throw it in and say that was THAT then would throw some over her shoulder.  LOL! Be sure to stir. If adding mashed potatoes mix in the meat filling a scant amount of mashed potatoes using your judgment as to how many servings you plan to serve. This recipe is for four servings so pay attention to how much you would use if making more servings. I would say if you like them starchier use more potatoes if you like meatier use less potatoes. (Bubbe's recipe again)
2. Put the flour, then eggs and a pinch of salt in a bowl and mix. Gradually add 1-2 tablespoons of water until the dough sticks together or looks like it will hold shape. Continue to mix until it forms a non-sticky ball. If you need a little more flour that is okay but don't overdo. Place in a covered bowl and leave for 30 minutes. 
3.. After 30 minutes break off a piece of dough about the size of a walnut and roll out (as thinly as you can without tearing the dough) on a lightly floured surface. Then cut the dough into 3 inch squares. Some make semi squares but my Bubbe made squares saying it was to honor the 3 patriarchs. Take a square at the time and dampen the edge of the square then put a spoonful of the filling in the center of the square but be careful not to overfill . Fold the edges of the dough to form a triangular shape then press the edges together. 
4. Add a little flour to a bowl and dust the squares in the flour then put on a non stick baking sheet. Let them rest for 30 minutes. (Bubbe's recipe)
5. Meanwhile boil a pan of salted water then gently put the squares in the boiling water for about 5 minutes just until tender. Drain. Garnish with chives. 
6. If you prefer you can fry the dumplings until brown in a little chicken fat or vegetable oil in a frying pan. Then garnish with the chives. 

High Holy days the kreplach are traditionally served in Chicken Soup; other holidays (depending on which) have dried fruit filled ones for Purim then cheese filled for Shavuot.
You might already have one similar but this one is an old one coming from my Bubbe. Well wishes on finding the recipe you are searching for. Will look out to see if anyone responds as if they were so good I would like that recipe also.  : ) 

Sharona Zaret via Linda_Z 


Interesting.  My family came from what is now Belarus.  Kreplach were always filled with veggies, particularly potatoes. Since no one passed down a recipe to me, I just bought them at the deli in CT when I lived there. Now I wish I had one.
Barbara Sloan
Conway, SC

Aline Petzold

Interesting discussion. My  family is from Stefanesti in northeastern Romania (now Moldova). My mother and grandmother always made varenishkes filled with potatoes and fried onions and I have carried on that tradition.  My aunt from Czernowitz made plum filled dumplings. 
Best regards,
Aline Petzold St. Paul MN

Bruce Drake

You might enjoy this week's Yizkor book excerpt on the JewishGen Facebook page which is all about food, and written in such detail that the descriptions often amount to recipes:

Bruce Drake
Silver Spring MD