| A Tasty Twist |

Kreplach — Not Your Bubby’s Way

Photography by Menachem Goodman

The Backstory

It’s a two-day process. First, she finds the best meat. Then she cooks it low and slow and grinds it. The next step is to render chicken skin to create schmaltz. And lastly, she fries tons of onions. That’s when it’s finally go time. A team of 10 or more people start making the dough, rolling it out, placing the filling, and closing them up. Meanwhile, another person stands over a few pots of boiling water, cooking them and tossing them into the schmaltz. When they’re all done, they’re frozen, divided among many bags, and stored in the freezer for Erev Yom Kippur and Purim.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how my grandmother makes her famous kreplach. I’m proud to say I’m the only one she trusts with making the dough and rolling it out.

This ordeal takes place at the end of the summer. We don’t make a hundred kreplach; it’s more like a thousand. The recipe we use was my great-grandmother’s, and from what I hear, she was an amazing cook. I’ve tried many kreplach, but none are as good as my Bobbi’s.

I love to cook and eat Asian food. I’m not sure if it’s the unique flavors or the high-heat cooking method, but you can always find some Asian-inspired ingredients in my pantry.

Breaking boundaries is what I believe in. So when I saw that a restaurant in NYC makes “matzah ball dumplings,” I was all for trying to recreate it. Taking Jewish comfort foods like matzah balls and chicken soup and marrying them with Asian dumplings was an obvious decision for me. I got to work right away, and the results were everything you can imagine and more. This Purim, break with tradition, and instead of making classic kreplach, make these instead.

To close off this article, I want to apologize to my grandmother. I know I promised that I’ll always make your kreplach recipe, but once you try these, you’ll forgive me. And to all of you old-time Jews, I’m not trying to recreate a classic; I’m team chicken soup with matzah balls all day. But sometimes, when you can’t choose, you must merge the two and create magic.

The Process

When developing this recipe, my goal was for it to scream chicken soup with matzah balls but still have that Asian dumpling feel. It took a lot of brainstorming to create it because I’ve never seen a recipe for something like this. I ended up going with blending a carrot and celery and adding it to the chicken mixture. For the Asian flavor, I threw in some garlic and ginger, and it didn’t disappoint.

I can’t make perfect-looking dumplings to save my life. After lots of trial and error, I went with the classic kreplach shape because at the end of the day, that’s what they are. But if you know how to shape the perfect dumpling, you can try that as well.


This recipe makes a lot of dumplings. I was thinking of scaling down a bit, but if you’re making them for a meal, you’ll need a lot. Plus, they freeze well, so you only have to do the work once and you’ll have them for other times too.

If you don’t like ginger, feel free to leave it out. You can also add some fresh herbs to the mixture if you’d like. I think that would be delicious.

What Else Can I Use This For?

Um. Not much, really. But if you want, you can use some of the extra chicken mixture to make some patties. Broil them on low for a few minutes on each side. I did that for a quick lunch, and it was delicious.

Let me know if you try this recipe. I know it’s unique, but this modern Jewish take on dumplings (kreplach) will blow your mind.

Matzah Ball Soup Kreplach


  • 1 packet matzah ball mix
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 6 cloves fresh garlic
  • ½-inch (1¼-cm) knob fresh ginger
  • 1 lb (450 g) ground chicken
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • ¼–½ tsp white pepper
  • 3 12-oz (340 g) pkgs square wonton wraps
  • 1½ cups boiling chicken stock for every 30–40 kreplach
  • thinly sliced scallions
  • French fried onions
  • fresh herbs

Cook matzah ball mix according to package directions, using the oil and eggs. Set aside to cool.

In a food processor fitted with the S-blade, blend the carrot, celery, garlic, and ginger. Keep pushing down the sides and blend until it’s almost a paste. Place the mixture into a large bowl and add the chicken, salt, soy sauce, and white pepper.

Using your hands, mix everything together until fully combined. Add the cooled matzah balls and mix again, leaving small chunks. Place the mixture in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, set up a workstation by laying out all the wonton squares. Remove the chicken mixture from the fridge and scoop about 2 tsp of filling onto each square. Using a pastry brush, wet the edges of the wrapper with water.

Using both hands, fold over the wrapper corner to corner, like a triangle, and pinch it well to make sure it’s fully sealed. Then take both corners again (the long way) and pinch them together to create the classic kreplach shape. Set the kreplach on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling.

Place 30–40 kreplach, flat side down, in a large, low skillet over high heat. Add the boiling chicken stock just to cover. Cook on high for 5 minutes, then lower heat, cover slightly, and cook for another 12 minutes.

Remove from heat and serve as is or in a bowl of chicken soup. Garnish with desired toppings.

To store:

These kreplach are best cooked fresh but can be prepared in advance and frozen. Once they’re all shaped, pop the baking sheet into the freezer. When they’re completely frozen, portion the kreplach into ziplock bags according to how many you need at a time. Remove a few hours before serving and allow to defrost, then cook following the cooking instructions above.

Chef’s Tip:

You can also cook the kreplach in a big pot of chicken stock all at once, but they may lose their shape and won’t have the same texture.


(Originally featured in Family Table, Issue 882)

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