Saturday, August 14, 2010

Daring Cooks With a Pierogi Challenge

The August 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by LizG of Bits n’ Bites and Anula of Anula’s Kitchen . They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make pierogi from scratch and an optional challenge to provide one filling that best represents their locale.

When I first read the challenge the first thought came to mind was "What is a Pierogi?". After some reading, I found out that Pierogi started in Eastern Europe in the late 1800's and have been served as a side dish ever since. The Polish (who may be the originators), call them pierogis, translated into English means "small pies" Pierogi is a small pocket of dough made of flour, egg, salt and water, and is usually stuffed with a variety of combined ingredients. These ingredients could be a combination of potato and cheese, potato and onion, or sauerkraut and mushrooms, then boiled, steamed, fried or baked.

It was lucky that we were allowed to reinvent the pierogi to our local versions. I decided to interpret the original recipe to the Chinese dumpling. Would you be surprised if I told you that the word "Chinese Dumpling" would throw out 43 different versions from the internet? Well it does! Chinese dumplings can comprise of a sweet or a savoury filing. It can be pan-fried, deep-fried, boiled, steamed and sometimes even baked. I came across this particular recipe from a very old food and travel magazine. It is really, really easy and the filing is somewhat unusual.

DC 1

Pan-Fried Chives Dumpling
Serves 2 - 3


100g plain flour
50ml water
200g chives, finely diced
3 Tbsp of spicy dried shrimp sambal (recipe as below)
1 beaten egg, fried and finely diced
1/4 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
Salt to taste
1/8 tsp white pepper


1) Mix the flour and water together until it formsa dough. Knead the dough and leave aside for 15 to 20 minutes.

2) In a bowl, mix the chives, spicy shrimp sambal, egg, sesame oil, vegetable oil, salt and pepper.

3) Cut the dough into 6 equal pieces. Roll each piece out thinly into a 4" circle.

4) In each piece, add sufficient filing, then fold in half. Press the edges together to seal the dumpling. Then pleat the edges to shape into a puff.

5) In a non-stick pan, add about 2 Tbsp vegetable oil. Pan-fry until dumplings on both sides until golden brown. Remove from pan and serve immediately with a chilli dipping sauce.

Spicy Dried Shrimp Sambal (Sambal Udang Kering)
Recipe from "The Kuali"


250g dried prawns, soaked and pounded finely
2 Tbsp tamarind pulp combined with 100ml water (squeeze, then strain the tamarind juice)
4 stalks lemongrass, smashed
Oil for frying

Spice Ingredients (to grind until fine)

4 candlenuts (buah keras)
2cm piece fresh turmeric
2cm square piece shrimp paste (belacan)
8 fresh red chillies
5-6 dried chillies, soaked and seeded
80g garlic
150g shallots


4-4 1/2 Tbsp sugar or to taste
3/4 - 1 tsp salt or to taste


1) Heat a little oil in a wok and fry lemongrass until fragrant. Reduce the heat to low and add blended spice ingredients. Fry until fragrant.

2) Add dried prawns and continue to fry for a while. Mix in tamarind juice and fry over a low heat until mixture is almost dry. (Keep stirring while frying to prevent it from sticking to the base of the wok). Adjust seasoning to taste. Dish out and leave to cool completely.

DC 2

DC 3


chef_d said...

Oh wow! Spicy sambal sounds so interesting and delicious. I would have to try the filling next time--very nicely done!

Angie's Recipes said...

These dumplings look so pretty! Perfectly done.

MaryMoh said...

Wow...they look so neat and pretty and delicious. I would love to dip in balsamic vinegar...mmm

cuppy said...

Oh, spicy yummy goodness! Those look amazing!

busygran said...

Spicy and yummy! Different from the usual dumplings.

pigpigscorner said...

I like the spicy sambal in this! Well done!

Ju (The Little Teochew) said...

Mmmm! I like the addition of spicy sambal! So cute, your Pierogi look like mini curry puffs. :)

Lisa said... creative..I especially LOVE the shrimp sambal and chives in the dough. Love the whole asian take and they are absolutely beautiful! I fried mine in too much butter and ended up with a Tasty mess, though!

Big Boys Oven said...

These dumplings lookd amazing fantastic, I must make some soon! :)

Koci said...

These look really yummy! I love the curled edges on the dough.

Anula said...

Great looking pierogi and what a nice idea for fillings.
Thank you for taking part this month.

Cheers. Anula.

Kitchen Corner said...

I like this dumplings with the crispy skin. Very tempting!

petite nyonya said...

these dumplings look amazing! i am so lazy to try to do them but would LOVE to gobble them up! well done!

Anonymous said...

Lovely pierogi! Very nicely done!

Jess @ Bakericious said...

Jo, the dumpling are so nicely done and spicy sambal, I love it, you are so creative!

Cooking Gallery said...

I love Chinese dumplings, I have never tried the original pierogi, but I think I would still prefer the Chinese version because of the more familiar filling.

Marisa said...

Those look seriously divine! Love that you put an Asian spin of these - I still need to master all the various Chinese dumplings, tried once but was a bit of a disaster...

Pei-Lin@Dodol and Mochi said...

Now that I know what's a pierogi! Thank you! I myself love jiaozi and gyoza a lot!

Yea, I guess it's common to see potatoes and sauerkraut-like preserves in Eastern European dishes. But I love your Chinese interpretation of this dish! Truly East-meets-West!

Just so you know, my pleating skills suck, big-time! LOL!

Julie M. said...

Yea, your pierogis leave mine in the dust. Those are perfect! I really love your filling choices as well. Nice job and congrats on a successful challenge!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Your piergios looked very nicely done and delicious! Looks like a nice snack or a few of them is a meal on it's own. ;) Thanks for sharing this.

Sophie said...

Your dumplings look just so appetizing & special too!!

I so much love your apart filling!!

Maya said...

Yum, I miss home made perogies that the ladies would sell at the local farmers market in Manitoba. That sambal sounds like a winner Jo!

El said...

Your pierogis look perfect. They're delicious!

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