What is a Dumpling? European Jiaozi or Empanadas? Well, I will leave it up to you how you are calling it when eating it for the first time and then explaining how good it is.
A lot of people mention they have eaten dumplings while travelling in Central Europe and when you look into a Menu while travelling you will find many variations of them. It depends really on where you go and sometimes as well which season it is.
Personally I am more a fan of classic dishes so this is why we will share the recipe for a very basic bread dumpling. Out of this recipe we will have two more variations depending on your taste and preferences.
Recipe will be good for 4-5 Dumplings
- Loaf of White Bread (ideally one day old or even older)
- 1 Large Onion (per Loaf)
- Half a Cup/Glass of Milk
- Italian Parsley
- 1 Large Egg (or 2 small ones)
- Salt & Pepper, Hint of Nutmeg if available
Special Equipment: Steam Basket/ Steamer
For my variations:
- Large Chunk of Cheese
- Spinach or Pesto
Classic (Semmelknoedel): Chop the onions and fry them until lightly golden. Add the milk to the onions until it gets a little temperature. Set aside – don’t cook the milk.
In the meantime cut the white bread into small bread chunks (1×1 cm).
Once your onion/milk mixture has lost a little bit of temperature, add the mixture to the bread chunks. Don’t soak it please. Add Parsley, Egg(s), Salt, Pepper and Nutmeg. Mix the whole thing together and set aside. You need to let the mix rest for approx. 30 mins as the mixture needs to soak into the bread. If it is too much soaked just add some more breadcrumbs until it gets into the right shape.
After 30 mins form small (dumpling) balls with around 5 cm diameter.
Bring a large pot with water to a boil. I recommend to use a steam basket to get the dumplings ready. It will take around 10 mins there.
Spinach (Spinatknoedel): Just de-frost some spinach or briefly steam some fresh spinach leaves. Add to the the basic batter. Caution though, spinach usually has a lot of water inside. Make sure the batter is not soaked after you added the spinach. add breadcrumbs if needed.
The Spinach variation is cooked the same way as the Classic version. Just heat them up in a Steam Basket or Steamer.
If hell breaks lose I would put them in a plastic bag and put into boiling water. I definitely not recommend to put them into the water directly – they will fall apart.
Cheese (Kaspressknoedel): Most liked by me is the Cheese version of the dumpling. Grate the cheese or cut into very small pieces. Add it to the batter.
Just form small dumplings as well and fry them in a pan. This version does not require boiling them before. The outside of the dumpling will get crisp and golden. The inside will still have nice and gooey cheese inside. Divine, from my perspective.
A very simple way to enjoy Dumplings is in a soup or together with heated butter, some grated Parmesan Cheese and Salad. More ideas for Menus will come up soon referring to this recipe.
Don’t forget you can freeze the dumplings once cooked!