Monday, July 20, 2009

kreplach vs dim sum

I started making kreplach when I was 4! The first attempt ended in me almost dying when I fell off a broken chair and grabbed the pot of boiling water on my way down. The Polish neighbor who was assisting me, grabbed a towel and pulled all the skin off my burned leg and I ended up going through several skin graft operations and treatments as I could no longer walk. But I didn't lose my love of kreplach. My aunt Fanny was a real kreplach maker but hers wern't very tasty unlike my aunt Dora's who was a great Roumanian cook. She taught me to use the best cheese I could find. One day we were driving in Winnipeg Lake beach where she had a summerhome. She pointed out a cow in a backyard and we stopped to buy some cheese from the cow's owner. The cheese was still warm. It made probably the best cheese kreplach I've ever tasted. After that it was a very long time until I could really make a decent kreplach. I think my dear sister Bev still can't do it. But then she's been wasting all these years working as a doctor.

In the following recipe I write how I roll out the dough. It wasn't like that before I saw how they do it in Kowloon. The traditional POlish or Jewish way of perogie or kreplach making is to take at least half the dough and roll it out into a big rectangle with a regular big rolling pin. The dough is rolled out to be quite thin. Then a glass or cup is used to make circles throughout the rectangle. The glass has to be coated on the bottom with some flour so it won't stick to the dough. The major problem is that a lot of the dough is left after all the circles are made and this dough is used again. The next time the dough is much tougher and drier so it's a difficult job. It also takes longer and the dough just isn't the same on this new batch.

In Kowloon I was waiting outside a dimsum restaurant and in the window there were some Chinese chefs making the dough for dim sum. They took pinches of dough and rolled each one out separately for one dim sum and they used a small rolling pin. I couldn't find it in Hongkong but I did actually find it in Israel. I explained this method to a Ukrainian friend who also makes kreplach and she switched to my way also.

1 comment:

tanti said...

wow.. have to be careful next time in the kitchen ;-)