Polish Dumplings, otherwise known as Pierogi

I’m sure some of you knowing that I come from Eastern Europe would expect to see something more related to my origins, rather than all these Italian pasta and Sicilian travels things ๐Ÿ˜‰ So here you are. Recently I’ve been mad busy, but predicting periods in my life like this one now, I prepared some recipes long time ago, hoping that one day I could share them. This morning I called my mom, and she told me “listen I’m kind of busy, I’m preparing the cabbage for winter!” If you remember my About, I mentioned this time of the year, when my mom and my grandma were making the sour cabbage with carrots. It was like a ritual. The whole house basicallyย needed to be reorganized for this- imagine cabbage and carrots all over the place, clay pots of respectable size, big stones and two women chopping the cabbage, yelling at my dad and telling stories from the old times. The stories part that was my grandma of course, and she was heading the whole operation! Now it sounds like the yelling one was my mom, but I think my dad was always a bit troublesome during that time- probably feeling bored out of his mind that’s all. Anyway, after talking to my mom all those memories suddenly came back, and I decided to share the recipe for Polish dumplings. My grandma taught me how to make them when I was around 12 or so. Since then I make them always the same way, so does my mom. I also thought it would be a perfect timing to post it now, because it’s getting colder and dumplings are perfect for long autumn/winter evenings. To be honest dumplings are always good, and any time I go home to see my mom, the first thing she cooks for me it’s dumplings.

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My grandma was always telling me ( so is my mom now) the dough is the key if you want to make really good dumplings. If you make pasta I’m sure you know what it means to knead the dough but the one for dumplings is different. Hereย you can check out my little tutorial on how to make pasta at home. The main difference between these two types of dough is the water- its temperature to be more precise. The one for dumplings needs to be really hot. If not, the dough will be hard and chewy and in general it is not going to be a dinner of the year. This recipe is the most traditional you can find. Simple dumplings with potato and cheese filling. Before Christmas I will show you another version, also very tasty and prepared only for that time of the year.

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Ingredients

Makes about 40 servings, preparation time- it really depends, for my mom 20 min, for the rest of us about 45, cooking time- not more than 10 min

For the dough

  1. 1 egg
  2. 500 g of flour- any type, also have another 200 g aside which you will use for kneading the dough
  3. hot water- prepare 0.5 L
  4. pinch of salt

For the potato and cheese filling

  1. 3-4 big potatoes
  2. 150/200 g of white cheese- quark
  3. 1 onion
  4. black pepper- half a teaspoon
  5. butter- 100 g
  6. 2 small onions

Method

The filling

In advance boil potatoes in a salty water until soft. Drain and rinse. Chop the onion and fry it in a small skillet until golden. In a glass bowl place potatoes, cheese and onion. Add some black pepper/if you feel like add also some salt. Combine the ingredients and leave aside.

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The Doughย 

On a work surface sift the flour and make a well in the middle. Place the egg and some salt in a well and start mixing the ingredients. Remember to have the hot water ready. Knead the dough until is soft. While you knead remember to keep adding the hot water.

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Here below you can see the dough is almost ready. Another 5 minutes or so…

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Look at this picture- here you can see how the dough should “behave” when you pull it. It’s sort of flexible.

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When the dough is ready you can start making the dumplings. There are two ways of doing that. I use the traditional way- which means I simply pull the dough- just get a small part of it and form a little ball. Like on the picture. However, if you think this method is too difficult to follow ( once you get more practice you will see that’s actually less time consuming and very easy), spread the dough with the rolling pin and use a glass to cut the circles you can see on the pictures.

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You can form these balls, start making the dumplings and then go back to making balls first and continue with filling the dumplings. Anyway once you have a few ready, spread them with the rolling pin like below

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Now it’s time to fill the dumpling. Like on the picture place a teaspoon of potato and cheese mixture on each dumpling.

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Fold each dumpling in half and pinch the ends together to seal it. Be delicate, but use some energy when you seal the edges, otherwise dumplings will open in the boiling water.

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When the dumplings are ready, boil water in a big pot, add some salt and start dropping dumplings into the hot boiling water. Cooking time shouldn’t take longer than 8-10 min in total.

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Once cooked, drain dumplings and add some butter and fried onions. Season accordingly. Serve hot. If you have some leftovers fry them in a skillet until golden and crispy- this can be delicious lunch, especially with sour cream or thick Greek yoghurt. I hope you are going to like my favorite dumplings ๐Ÿ™‚

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43 thoughts on “Polish Dumplings, otherwise known as Pierogi

  1. Marta, these look amazing! I LOVE pierogis, but have never tried to make them myself. I love how doughy and succulent they are, bursting with potatoes and herbs. I had to look up what quark was, though. I think it is what we call cottage cheese or cheese curds? I do enjoy making dumplings, and I think this is a particularly fun recipe to try with some friends around the table to help me roll and fold the dumplings. ๐Ÿ™‚ One of my favorite dinner parties involved my girlfriends folding dumplings while I cooked other things. I admire how organized you are to prepare posts in advance. I can’t seem to do that. Also, I have major envy when I stop by your blog because your photography is stunning!

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    • Thank you Ngan ๐Ÿ™‚ yep, quark is a cottage cheese- you could probably even try ricotta, but I think the taste would be a bit different. You know that only last Thursday I had like 459 views on this recipe! I’ve never seen my stats like this high! I think it’s a perfect idea to have friends over and make these dumplings. I did that with sushi some time ago ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m glad you like the pictures. In the end I take them for everyone- it’s always a pleasure!

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    • It’s true, back home we all love pierogi and it’s a must when I visit my mom. It looks like this recipe is very popular- just looked at my stats! I hope you get a chance to make them at home. Thank you very much for visiting ๐Ÿ™‚

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  2. I have never had a homemade pierogi and your post will ping in my mind until I make them, I’m sure. Just lovely, Marta. This looks such perfect autumn/winter comfort food. And I love that it is so lovely and savoury too. Pinning etc. This needs to be shared!

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  3. I just had to check back because last night (how strange is this??)I was watching a rerun of the show Diner’s Drive-Ins and Dives and the featured the restaurant I’ve had pierogi at! If anyone isn’t familiar with the show, Guy Fieri is the host and he goes all over the US seeking out out of the way Mom and Pop places that are unique. I did a search and found the video. When I had the dumplings there they were boiled and then sauteed in butter and onion, not deep fried as the video shows. Odd they used cream cheese.

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/videos/potato-and-cheese-pierogi-0182804.html

    Anyway, they showed the cook making pierogi – and I could right away see the difference in the way he made them. First in a huge mixer, then he rolled out the rather dense dough and stamped them out. This was similar to the recipe I had such difficulty with years ago with very mixed results.The dough wasn’t soft and yielding like yours…my final pierogi when I made them were tough and I had a hard time pulling that heavier dough around the soft filling.

    So anyway, thanks again for posting and I can’t wait to give these a go some winter day!

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    • haha I remember my first pierogi dough was hard and I couldn’t close the edges of the dumplings- that’s why the water needs to be very hot. With some practice you will be also use it for other purpose- different fillings, you can use fruits instead- try strawberries, blueberries- it’s yummy! My mom makes it even with cherries and we love it! You can fry them, but it’s better to wait until the next day- they get a bit hard so it’s easier to fry them and get this effect of crunchy crust- delicious ๐Ÿ™‚

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  4. Thank you for sharing!! I had these dumplings while visiting family in Vienna and a Polish neighbor brought it over….the flavor and taste is still in my mouth all these years later….we make turnovers stuffed with potatoes and dumplings stuffed with leeks…this was like a combo of my two favorite dishes, thank you for recipe I cant wait to try ๐Ÿ™‚

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  5. Such a ‘yummy in my tummy’ dish Marta!! ๐Ÿ˜ It doesn’t look too difficult or better said : you make it look too easy!! ๐Ÿ˜ I felt so nostalgic and homesick when you were describing the ‘ritual’ back in the days! Reminded me a lot of my own family! I ll try it for sure, why not with my mom when I go back for Christmas! ๐Ÿ™

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  6. These look great – I love the version with kapusta ๐Ÿ˜‰ Am waiting patiently here for your version.
    Have you seen my Maultaschen? Although they are so similar in principle, the dough is completely different.

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    • My mom loves that kapusta version too! I like them when fried a little bit, they get crunchy and it’s so yummy. My Christmas version is very typical for my country haha I will check your recipe for sure!

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  7. He, he Marta ๐Ÿ™‚ Lovely Polish Dumplings, love your step by step and the story with the ritual, I missed so much this very good moments of life. Nothing better than homemade cuisine, always passion of good foods. Enjoy the rest of the weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • I miss it too, I haven’t seen my mom for over a year and I think I’m a little bit home sick now. I have to go at some point this year. I’m working on my personal development this weekend Linda ๐Ÿ˜€ xx

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    • Bonnie this is so funny, I was just looking at your new post when I got your comment! I’ve never made Asian dumplings and I love them! It was about time to post this recipe I think, my grandma would be happy knowing that other people like it ๐Ÿ™‚ I have another one coming straight from my grandma’s kitchen!

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  8. Oh my goodness! I have no words. Want them NOW! Seriously, these look absolutely amazing. We have an old restaurant in our city that makes amazing dumplings like these (there’s probably more) but these look so very good! I made some home-made years ago from a book but they weren’t so hot…now with this lovely post and detailed information, there may be a re-try!

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    • Thank you so much ๐Ÿ™‚ I know that some people had them in restaurants and were disappointed, because it’s true, dumplings need to be made at home, and with some practice you can tell that whatever you tried in a restaurant is not as good as what you make at home. I hope you will get a chance to use my post and all the pictures. I tried to be as detailed as I could!

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      • I’m looking forward to trying them! And I didn’t mean to imply (although I see I did do so!) that the restaurant version was as good as yours! My apologies! Consider it a bad cut and paste as i had edited my comment, and meant to say that Pierogi done like this, with the butter and onion were amazing, and that was the way the restaurant served them…

        I’m a huge believer that most restaurant food (in spite of how good it usually looks!) with few exceptions can’t approach the taste of a meal made at home by a talented cook making recipes his/her family loves!

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      • Oh no haha I didn’t take it that way, don’t worry! I know a few places where you can have nice homemade pierogi, but I think it’s because they order it somewhere- it gets delivered ready to be served, I honestly think it’s better this way, especially if a restaurant cares about its reputation and prefers not to take the risk and produce them onsite. I know one place in France where they actually order pierogi from Poland. I’m happy you like the recipe, my grandma would be happy knowing that her recipe got the attention out there ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you!

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  9. I really want to try to make these. I LOVE dumplings of any kind. Your story about your mom is classic. To me it is so charming to have a yearly ritual such as “cabbage for winter”. Seems like traditions like this are ceasing to exist. Do you have a tradition such as this? I really enjoyed your post.

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    • Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m glad you like the recipe. Well, I used to have a little tradition with my sister when we were students- we would meet up and cook food together. When we were talking about it recently, we realized it was very traditional Polish food- mostly these dumplings, cabbage rolls or some typical Polish soup. I think it reminded us of home:-) It’s true that these cooking rituals are almost , I have maybe one or two, my sister lives close to my parents so she participates definitely more in the family tradition.

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  10. Ahhh Marta!!
    I just made dumplings!
    Now you’re going to this i’m copying you when I post it hahaha!!
    Fortunately our filling and cooking method is different ๐Ÿ˜€

    I’ve only had pierogis once, in Pittsburgh and it wasn’t very good.
    This is making me reconsider ๐Ÿ™‚
    Can I come over for the Christmas version?
    I promise, I won’t get in your way.
    I’ll be your assistant and resident comic ๐Ÿ˜€

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    • Ronit thank you for spotting this! I woke up in the middle of the night and saw your comment! I amended it right away haha I’m tired after the whole week. Anyway, I make about 40 servings from 500 g of flour- this is your starting quantity, then have aside another maybe 200g for the kneading. My mom uses 1 kg of flour, and I decreased it for a half because there is no way we could eat so much, but you can freeze them too, and cook when you need it. My mom used to do that quite often. The cooking time is a bit longer but it’s so convenient, because even deep frozen dumplings are very good- and it’s still homemade food.

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      • Thank you Marta for all the information!
        I use the freezer a lot – and definitely see how it will make things easier to make ahead and defrost as needed.
        I’m putting this on my “to try soon” list. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  11. YES! I love dumplings, never tried the Polish version but from the looks of it, my life has been lacking not having done so. All my fave ingredients in one bite. ๐Ÿ™‚ Love the family history in these dumpling too. How special your grandma showed you how to make them and to this day you still make them that way. Our family recipe was an apple pie. Mmmm! Anyways, hope you are having a great weekend. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing your lovely recipe, can’t wait to have a crack at making it.

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    • Thank you! Try it and let me know how it went. It can be a bit difficult at the beginning but with time you will see how easy it is. This is a real comfort food in my family. I guess you’re just about to start a proper summer down there. Have a nice weekend too xx

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