Eastern European Kreplach

Tina Wasserman
Recipe by
Tina Wasserman

Kreplach, the Yiddish name for triangular pasta usually filled with chopped meat or cheese and served in soup, represents our fate being "sealed" for the coming year. They are often served in chicken soup on Rosh HaShanah or before sundown on the evening Yom Kippur begins. Wonton dough makes for very easy kreplach, but they will be floppy and thin. Homemade dough or purchased ravioli dough will give the kreplach a nice, sturdy thickness.

1/2 pound homemade dough (recipe below), fresh ravioli dough, or wonton skins
2 cups cooked meat, finely chopped, or lightly sautéed hamburger
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon chicken fat
Salt and pepper to taste
1 egg, slightly beaten
Oil for frying (optional)
For Homemade Dough:
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 Tablespoons ice water
2 cups bread flour
  1. Cut the dough into 2-inch squares.
  2. Combine the meat, onion, chicken fat, and seasonings in a small bowl.
  3. Beat the egg in a glass dish and add to the meat mixture. Add a little water to the dish used for the egg.
  4. Place a teaspoon of filling on each square.
  5. Brush the top edges of the dough with the egg-water wash.
  6. Fold the dough in half on the diagonal to make a triangle. Pinch the edges together to seal.
  7. Cook in boiling salted water for 10 minutes or until done. Serve in chicken soup or fry in a little oil.

To make the kreplach dough (purchased dough also works well)

  1. Place eggs in the bowl of a food processor.
  2. Add the olive oil and water. Mix by turning the processor on and off twice.
  3. Add 1 cup of flour and process for 10 seconds. Dough will be crumbly. Pinch a little bit of dough; if it stays together, it is ready to be rolled.
  4. Remove the dough and divide it in half. Place on a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes (longer if you are rolling the dough by hand).
Additional Notes
  • Pasta or pastry dough must be allowed to rest for at least 15 minutes after it is formed so that the gluten in the dough will relax and roll out easily without shrinking.
  • When slicing pot roast, shards of meat invariably fall off the slices. Although tempting to eat right then, these bits of meat make great filling for kreplach, knishes, or chremslach. Freeze them and defrost them when you're ready to make kreplach.
  • If you're purchasing pasta dough to make any filled pasta, never buy sheets of lasagna noodles. They are too thick when folded over and will be quite chewy. On the other hand, maybe that's the way your bubbe made them!
  • Salt should never be used in pasta dough, as it will toughen the dough and make it very difficult to roll out. Always add the salt to the water when cooking the filled dough.