This Ukrainian varenyky recipe has a traditional potato filling. (This dough recipe is adapted from Mamushka by Olia Hercules [Weldon Owen, 2015])
For the Dough
- 1 egg (see note below for a vegan version)
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- About 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
For the Filling
- 2 pounds russet potatoes (4 medium or 6 small), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- Fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 medium yellow onions, diced
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Unsalted butter, for serving
- Sour cream, for serving
- Start the dough. Combine 1 egg, 2/3 cup water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl, and whisk to incorporate the egg into the water. Add 1 cup flour, mix lightly to incorporate, then add 1 1/4 cups more flour. Combine into a shaggy dough.
- Knead the dough. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead with the heels of your palms – giving the dough a quarter turn every now and then – for about 5 minutes, incorporating the remaining 1/4 cup flour as needed. The dough is done when it’s smooth, elastic, and no longer sticks to your hands. Place the dough back in the bowl, cover loosely with a kitchen towel, and rest for 30 to 60 minutes at room temp.
- Meanwhile, start the filling. Place the potatoes in a pot with 1 teaspoon salt and enough water to cover by about 2 inches. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer with the lid ajar until the potatoes can be pierced easily with a fork, 12 to 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until they’re dark brown and a bit crispy, about 15 minutes. Set the skillet aside.
- Finish the filling. Drain the potatoes and return to the pot. Mash until smooth. Stir in about a third of the fried onions with their oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cool the mixture to room temp.
- Roll out the dough. Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Working with 1 piece at a time (keeping the remaining dough covered with the towel), roll the dough between your palms into a 1-inch-thick log. On a floured surface, cut the log into 8 to 10 1-inch pieces. Using a rolling pin dusted with flour, roll out each piece into an approximately 3-inch circle; if the dough is sticking to the surface or rolling pin, dust it with more flour.
- Form the varenyky. Working with 1 circle of dough at a time, place a heaping teaspoon of the filling into the center. Gather the dough into a half-moon shape around the filling and pinch the top closed, then pinch both edges closed. Place the shaped varenik on a well-floured baking sheet or cutting board, and continue filling the rest. Make sure the varenyky are not touching – otherwise, they’ll stick together.
- Boil the varenyky. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it generously. Boil the varenyky in batches – 6 to 10 at a time, depending on the size of your pot. Cook them for 2 to 3 minutes – they are done when they’ve floated to the surface, the water has returned to a simmer, and they’ve simmered for about 1 minute. Do not overcook, as the filling may escape the dough.
- Using a small mesh strainer or slotted spoon, fish the varenyky out and place in a large bowl. Immediately add a small pat of butter (or drizzle of oil) and gently toss to prevent the varenyky from sticking together. Continue cooking the remaining varenyky. At the end, add all the remaining fried onions to the bowl and toss to coat.
- Serve immediately, alongside sour cream.
For a vegan version, use 1 tablespoon oil instead of the egg. Serve with vegan sour cream or vegan Greek-style yogurt.
- Serving Size: 10 varenyky
- Calories: 450
- Fiber: 7.1 g
- Protein: 11.5 g
Keywords: ukrainian, varenyky, dumplings, potatoes, dough