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quick potato pierogi

Alright, although I don’t know who, someone has been holding out on me because potato pierogi are so easy to make, I feel that I should have been privy to this information earlier than Friday night.

alex's jobcubes of boiled potato

Perhaps I should backtrack and give you some good explanation for eating Eastern European keep-you-padded-over-the-long-winter-months fare in the stickiest (or so I hope) part of the summer, but I don’t really have one–they just called to me. Plus, a recipe that ran in the San Francisco Chronicle last month suggested that the home cook use wonton wrappers instead of making dough. I had initially poo-pooed this idea–how inauthentic! This will not do!–until my trusted Russian friend, Olga informed me that at home her family made dumplings with wonton wrappers all the time. And I realized that using such a thin, light casing might make the difference between potato pierogis seemed to me the quintessential biting-cold winter dish and something you might eat with a light, crunchy slaw for a summer dinner.

chopping onionfried in butter

Even better, one you can make and eat in the same evening. What a concept! I mean, it’s all frightfully simple; peel potatoes, boil them for twenty minutes, chop onions and fry them thoroughly in butter (amen), mix, season and get stuffing! You’ll have way more than you need, so go ahead and line them, not touching, on a parchment-lined tray and freeze them until firm, then gather them in a freezer bag until you’re ready to eat the rest. But be sure to set some aside for immediate gratification, either topped with simple minced greens or green onions, more onions browned in butter, just butter, sour cream or vinegar. Now, you’re not supposed to use the last two together, but I cannot resist their sacrilegious pairing. Promise you won’t knock it until you try it, okay?

pirogi fillingmashy, mashy

A bit of background: Pierogi are one of those foods so immersed in diasporal history, I love reading and then blabbing about it. That said, I am also kind of a nerdlet, so you are welcome to skip this part.

In the U.S., we call them pierogi, as I have done here, but be warned that pierogi means different things to different people. The Polish agree that what we call a pierogi is actually that, but the Russian pirogi (also called pirozhki or piroshki) are actually small buns made with a yeast or short dough. What we call pierogi, the Russian would consider vareniki. Ashkenazi Jews call them kreplach, which is their Yiddish name and Lithuanians call them kolduny.

final fillingsupermarket delights

Russian, Latvian, and Ukrainian varieties, with their more bread-like quality, are more likely to contain meat. Polish, Slovak, and Czech versions tend toward more of a pasta dough and are more likely to contain potatoes or cabbage. Lithuanian pierogi are like a bridge between the two, with meat fillings but a noodle-like casing.

i prefer mine roundmounded

It would be naive to think that pierogi are not distant (or not-so-distant) cousins of the world’s other dumpling varieties, from Italian angnolotti and ravioli or Chinese dumplings. In fact, some say that pierogi were introduced to Polish cuisine about 500 years ago by Queen Bonna who was Italian. Marco Polo is said to have brought noodles to Italy after eating them in his 13th Century China travels, though many (mostly Italians, I might add) say this isn’t the case. Thusly, if you are a peacemaker, as I sometimes try to be, no matter who you are talking to, they’re probably a little bit right, even more so if they’re buying the drinks.

Na zdarovye!

i made 54finished

Quick Potato Pierogi
Adapted loosely from the San Francisco Chronicle, 6/6/07

Serves 4 to 6

1 1/2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
4 to 5 tablespoons unsalted butter + a little extra to melt and drizzle over the dumplings (Deb note: I was able to make do with just 2 T butter in a non-stick)
3 onions, finely chopped
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 to 2 packages of gyoza (pot sticker) wrappers
3 to 5 green onions, thinly sliced or 1/4 cup chopped chives or 2 tablespoons chopped parsley or additional fried onions (see note), to serve

Sour cream, melted butter or vinegar to serve

Cook the potatoes in a large pot of salted boiling water until just tender. Drain and set aside.

Melt the butter in a large heavy frying pan and cook the onions until they soften then lightly brown, darkly browned in spots.

Mash the potatoes in a bowl then mix in the onions and their cooking butter. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Using a round cookie or biscuit cutter the width of the smaller side of the dumpling wrapper, cut 10 to 12 wrappers at a time into circles, discarding the extra. Working on at a time, brush the edge of the round wrapper with water and place a spoonful of filling in the center. Fold dumpling in half, pressing the edges together to thoroughly seal.

Place each dumpling on a parchment or waxed paper lined baking sheet and repeat until all filling has been used.

Chill in the refrigerator if you are making them ahead of time. If you wish to freeze the dumplings for later use, make sure they are not touching, then freeze them until solid and later gather them into a freezer bag. This ensures that you will avoid having one mega-pierogi clump when you are ready to cook them.

To cook the pierogi: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the dumplings one at a time, until the surface of the pan is covered with dumplings. Do not overcrowd; you’ll have to work in batches. When they are done, about 2-3 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon.

Transfer to bowls and serve sprinkled with green onions, parsley or chives, drizzled with a little melted butter or vinegar or topped with a deb of sour cream.

Alternatively, you can pan-brown the pierogi. Heat some oil in a heavy frying pan and add dumplings in a single layer. When they are golden and in spots, browned, turn and brown other side. Add enough water to reach about 1/4-1/2 inch in depth. Cover and cook 3-4 minutes; remove lid and check for doneness. When pierogi are tender but not mushy to the tooth, and the liquid is evaporated, they are ready.

Note: To make fried onions, saute 2 to 3 thinly sliced onions, in butter in a heavy frying pan until they are limp and lightly browned; add several tablespoons water and cook until the onions are soft and silky, the liquid mostly evaporated. Season with salt and pepper.

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97 comments on quick potato pierogi

  1. Nicole

    Yum, perogis are one of my all-time favorite foods.

    The history was very helpful; I’ve often wondered why people mix up the perogi and peroshki so often, but now I know.

    Also, perogi= toddler-friendly food. Just FYI.

  2. Oh, Deb. Normally I revere you for you ability to make my mouth water but my Ukranian heritage postively screams at the thought of making varnyky with wanton wrappers. I just…can’t. I’m sorry. Homemade dough is so, so much better. We also add a package or two of well-drained farmer’s cheese to our mashed potato/onion mixture. It makes the filling creamy and delicious and SO low-cal. (Okay, maybe not that last part.) The cheese is a Polish touch from my neighbor’s Babcia (grandma) who came to visit from Poland last fall.

    I’m glad you’re enjoying your piergoies the way that you’ve made them! Ah America, land of diversity.

  3. Ahh…hands on work. Love. It. And I love your photos…..SO thorough!

    Wonton wrappers would be OK in my culinary world. I did a scratch empanada dough once and although it was OK, it was more time consuming than I normally want to deal with in the kitchen. Pierogis….hmmm. Crisp cabbage salad….hmmm. (insert whirring sounds here to simulate cerebral functions)

  4. I absolutely adore pirogi. When I lived in California I could buy some in the local market that were nearly as good as the homemade version my friends used to make.

    I’m going to have to take this recipe for a spin in the very near future!

  5. Pierogi are a huge favorite in our house, though I have never attempted the real thing since I buy them from a great Polish market near us. Cheating with wonton wrappers makes the prospect less daunting. I may just have to try them. They sound wonderful.

  6. Santadad

    This is getting better and better. I still think you should have held out for $2 million. The road to a man’s heart via stomach is worth at least that much!

  7. There’s an irony present here! I really want to make these tonight, but I live in Japan. And honestly, I’m not sure I’m going to be able to find the wrappers at my local grocers. Of course I HOPE LIKE HECK I can, but now I’m paranoid I won’t be able to find them!

    How’s that for a kick in the pierogi-lovin’ face?

  8. Hooray for pierogis! Thank you, Deb, I never thought of using dumpling wrappers – I’ve always wrangled with the dough. I had to comment b/c I just did a similar post…I found this neat contraption that lets you make a whole batch at once – Hunky Bill’s Little Perogie Maker! I’m aware of your stance on kitchen gadgets (me too), but this thing is just so kitschy cool. One last thing – I love how you piped on your sour cream! :)

  9. Amy

    Deidre, of course you can find wanton wrappers in Japan!! Look for gyoza or shumai wrappers either in the refrig case or the freezer. You can find them round or square. I used to make homemade gyoza all the time when I lived in Japan.

  10. Your blog is incredible — the step-by-step photos so neatly arranged, the quality of the photos, and your writing. How terrific to find you! Scanning through the most recent recipes, there are several that have me salivating and wanting to try.

  11. What a great post! These look delicious and I love the wonton wrapper shortcut

    I’ve had a bag of frozen (non-homemade) Pierogis sitting in my freezer for, uh, an embarrassing 8 months? I pulled them out last week. Why, why? Maybe all this traditionally cold food reminds me of colder times!

  12. They are easy?? Thanks for letting us in on the secret! I’ll have to try it now. It is one of those intimidating foods to me, but you have made me feel like it might be achievable!

  13. I shudder to think what my Slovak and Polish grandmothers would think of me using wonton wrappers. One thing that should be noted is that the real deal are WAY doughier (is that a word) than the wrappers which are fairly thin. Thanks for the inspiration. I might have to make some saurkraut pierogies. My fave!
    Pierogies freeze so well, it is a great way to spend a day and then you have a freezer full of them! YUMMY!

  14. The name thing is confusing. Here in Estonia, “pirukad” would definitely be doughier and baked. “Pelmeenid” would be small half-moon shaped meat-filled boiled dumplings, and “vareenikud” slightly bigger half-moon shaped filled dumplings. Also, I’d happily use wonton wrappers, but then I’d simply call them dumplings, and not vareniki or pierogi, as these would be way doughier indeed.
    I love the caramelized onion & potato filling though!!

  15. elarael

    Wow…I grew up eating these thanks to my Polish mom. We called them pierogi. She hand-made the dough and the fillings were always: mashed potato with salt, pepper and butter; sauteed mushroom and onion; and sourkraut. And there were never enough, it seemed. Our whole family loved them. I wonder what she’ll think when I tell her about this great wonton idea!

  16. The first time my mom and I used the wonton wrappers on our pelmeni, we felt like we were cheating, but the taste was so good, better in fact, because the delicacy of the dough, perfectly complements the meat (or whatever you want to put inside). Eversince then, we threw out our guilt and have been enjoying the shortcut process! I’m so glad you liked it – and yes, it’s wonderfully easy!

  17. Guinda

    Especially awesome when fried or baked with sour cream and hard cheese.
    In Russia meat varieties are called pelmeni while cabbage, potato or sour cherry varieties are vareniki.
    Wanton wrappers won`t do at all, for what makes that delicious wonder is the combination of tasty filling and delicate dough.

    From Russia with love!

  18. Jessica

    I just finished a large batch of pork pelmeni before reading this post :) My boyfriend brought a pelmeni mold back from Ukraine- works wonders! Much faster, so I can produce more. They freeze well, so I always try to have a bag full in the freezer!

    I make my filling with ground pork, minced garlic, salt, pepper, dill, and parsley. I boil them, then put some butter and vinegar on them- yum!!

  19. sue

    hi deb,
    looking at food porn, never a good idea at work ;)

    i don’t know about american supermarkets, but at chinese grocery stores, you can get dumpling wrappers that are round already. they’re for jiao zi, which are northern chinese dumpings. the square wrappers are for wontons, which is more of a southern chinese thing. the round jiao zi wrappers are a bit thicker tho.

  20. deb

    Sue — That’s great, thank you. I think thicker would actually be better for a lot of things I make, including this, and will have to look out for them. Wonton wrappers are wonderful and light, but can be easy to tear…

  21. Hey Deb – have you laid hands on Lou Manna’s book Digital Food Photography yet? I just picked it up this weekend and intend to put it to good use for my blog. Was wondering where you got your food photo education or is it just pure knack? Any suggestions for an external flash that works in tight kitchen spaces? Gracias, mi amiga!

  22. Karen

    Thank you so much for the idea of using pot sticker wrappers. Being 100% Polish I have made perogis zillions of times with my grandma and my mom, but I hated the idea of doing it on my own becuase making the dough is a terrible process. But you just figured out what I a making for dinner. Thank you!

  23. Yvo

    Hey Deb, I consider you pretty freaking much a genius in the kitchen… but I wonder why you chose to buy the square ones if you wanted the round ones?
    Also, to everyone, there are many different kinds of these dough wrappers- generally in both round and square shapes- even in different colors (yellow vs. white) which I know means a different in taste that I can’t quite explain… and definitely in different thicknesses. You’d have to play around with what you can find to figure out the taste, the texture, the thickness…. Ah well, maybe I’m not being all that helpful right now.

  24. i haven’t made pierogis in years, probably mostly because it takes time to make the dough & i’m usually all about the fast & easy recipes. so, using wonton wrappers is perfect for me! i’m going to have to try this, like, tomorrow!

  25. YUM! I have only made them once with my mom and I must say that the dough was the toughest part and you came up with a plan to make that the easiest! Thanks!

  26. sue

    if you want, you can run to any supermarket in chinatown (like kam man on canal a bit before mott) and buy a bunch of dumpling wrappers at once. they freeze really well if you keep them well wrapped in the freezer.
    man, i’m jonesing for some wontons like whoa now…hope this helps!

  27. Eli

    Kreplach in Yiddish are usually filled with minced meat (in Eastern Europe, bovine lung was used as the meat source) and boiled and placed in soup (usually chicken soup). Typically eaten before the Yom Kippur fast. A dairy version of Kreplach is filled with cheese and baked in cream and known as “Saltenosses”

    There is another dish called “Perogen” which are filled with meat but baked instead of boiled and typically served with soup

  28. I’m with Flicka: I am Polish and we have a hand-me-down family recipe, and wanton wrappers cannot be used to make pierogi. A wanton wrapper “pierogi” is some other dish. It’s not an authenticity issue: it will have a completely different flavor, texture, and smell and you will have a completely different culinary experience with it. So if you make them, I am sure they are lovely, but wanton “pierogi” is a different dish.

  29. These look great! I love learning about the history of dishes that have shared history in many cultures…can’t get enough of it. :)

    Thanks for sharing the recipe – the wonton wrappers make these totally doable any old day. Perfect!

  30. These look fantastic.I’ve been searching fot an easy version of pierogi.Making myself the dough is too much of a hassle..Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  31. heather s

    May I suggest adding some sharp cheese to your stuffing mixture? And if you are serving them with fried onions there should be some bacon in there too. As you noted pierogi are not skinny food!

  32. Just a grammar correction… in Lithuanian, they are known as “koldunai”. They are one of the most common traditional foods, and being from Lithuania, we used to make them quite often… in enormous batches and freezing them for later use. We like to make our own dough, because all of the wonton wrappers I have bought have been thinner than what we’re accustomed to(although we use them quite often for pot-stickers, gyoza, and so on).

    Koldunai are mostly filled with plain ground pork in Lithuania… if they are boiled, then the traditional sauce is a must. Being fairly runny, it is made by combining a sizeable amount of the boiling water with a dollop of sour cream and bits of seared bacon… then peppered/salted to taste.

  33. Fun

    I’ve always wanted to make a kind of vegetarian wanton. This recipe is really, really cool. In Singapore supermarkets, we have all kinds of wrappers readily available – the round Gyoza ones, square ones AND round wanton wrappers! Lucky us.

  34. m

    Hey deb… got a wicked perogie filling that hits my Ukrainian food craving like a T. The funny thing is it’s a ravioli filling courtesy of batali, regardless, good:

    2 red onions peeled and quartered
    1 lb russet potato
    5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar + 4 tablespoons sherry or red wine vinegar
    2 tablespoons butter
    handful of fresh thyme, picked
    handful of parmesan, grated
    olive oil

    heat oven at 400F and in one pan, covered, roast the onions + thyme + vinegar + a couple glugs of olive oil for 40 minutes or until soft. Bake the potato until cooked through.
    Finely chop the onion. Cut potato in half and scoop out the innards. Pour all the balsmic pan juice into a pot and add the butter until melted. Mix together onion, pan+butter drippings, potato, parm, lots of salt and pepper and mash together. Use as perogie filling.

    My god, good.

  35. cathie

    Hi deb, as a Ukrainian from the Canadian prairies i have fond memories of making pyrohy, as we call them. We used to make them on Grey Cup Sunday (foot ball final – like your Super Bowl) and all the women would gather in the kitchen and make them by the hundreds, package them in bags of 12 and take them home and freeze them. It was a momentous occasion. Our filling includes bacon and cheese into the potato and onion mixture – some were made with dry cottage cheese and some with velveta-style cheddar (my favourite!). But I’m not sure about the wonton wrappers. If you ever want to try a good pierogi dough recipe let me know. Our family has the best! (one ingredient is mashed potatoes)

  36. Thanks so much for this fabulous how-to and confirmation that I can use the ready-made chinese wrappers for pierogi. I teach a “cooking around the world” pre-k enrichment class and will be preparing these mulitcultural “dumplings” with the kids. I’m planning to use a simple cheese filling with farmer’s cheese – these are 4 yr olds, after all!

  37. Flynt

    Just made these pierogies WITH the WONTON and they were light and great. I just added sour cream to the potato mixture. Anyway- I am freezing off the extras.

  38. Amy Paice

    let me tell you. My house smell amazing right now. my little rolls are simmering away. I used meatloaf mix instead of straight beef. We shall see. Keep the hits comin” I bought the wrappers i am just looking for second wind to pierogidom

  39. Bianca

    I am half Russian and I was convinced my babushka made the best piroshki ever – until I tried these! They are way less fuss than the way she traditionally makes them and much more tasty. spasiba!

  40. The Aitch

    Hi Deb – I made these last night! They were friggin hawwwwesome! I did some bad things though. First, I over filled them causing about 1/4 of them to be gushing with potato and tearing when trying to seal. I realized that less is more and filled the last 3/4 perfectly. Secondly I didn’t bother cutting the gyoza wrappers into circles. I left them square – too much effort otherwise. And lastly I tried boiling a few first and it didn’t work. Those ones opened up and let all the potato out leaving me with a soggy gyoza shell. So I switched to the fry and steam method which turned out super-terrific. They were chewy and yummy and cooked perfectly. Lastly we all preferred them with red wine vinegar sprinkled on top and extra green onion.

    All in all the dish was awesome. I served them with some fresh german sausage and 3 bean salad. My 4 year old loved them but my 2 year old just started at them. Which is okay, more for me!

    I did forget to take pics of them and put them on the smitten kitchen recipe group page, but just so you know, it’s one of my fav deb recipes right next to the shittake, asparagus risotto!

  41. Raz

    my family is polish and my grandma is from what is now the ukraine and where we come from we make this type of pierogi with the farmer’s cheese. i can’t imagine eating them without the farmer’s cheese as that’s one of the dominant tastes. every cook in my family does it this way and we call them “ruskie pierogi” which is derived from the medieval name of the region known as Red Ruthenia (Ru? Czerwona in Polish). This is basically common day southern poland/northwestern ukraine.

    pierogi are great however you make them though, they just do take time and using wontons is a good idea for a shortcut. i’ll have to try it. my favorite will still be my grandma’s blueberry pierogi and the Uszka pierogi (little ear shaped ones you make for christmas that have mushroom in them that go in red barszcz (borscht).)

    on a side note, really glad i found this blog. you do a great job. thank you.

  42. Rosalie

    Oh my goodness! I haven’t tried your recipe yet, but my mom and I just discovered this little trick a few weeks ago. I live in Scotland but I am from Canada and my family are Mennonite and came from Ukraine. Mom and I were in a Chinese grocery here in Scotland and came across these little wonton dumpling wrappers. Seeing as all that is in them is wheat flour and water, they pretty much fit the bill for perogi dough and they are already mixed and rolled out. So we gave them a try and they were so easy and tasty! We will definitely make them this way again and now I have a nice recipe for the filling to try. Can’t believe someone else thought of this! Thanks.

  43. I have a simple recipe for Perogi dough which was part of my perogi zipper package – handy dandy tool for cutting and sealing the perogi! (bought in Winnipeg!)
    4 c flour, 1 tsp salt, 1tsp oil and 1 1/2 c of warm water. I made some up and they are yummy.

  44. Just made these. I cut up some green onion into the boiling potatoes. I also sauteed green onion and minced garlic in oil to add to the filling. These turned out great! We mix sour cream into hot melted butter (about 1:1) for the topping.

    Paired this with a Pumpkin Soup made like Potato Leek. (Chunk a sugar pumpkin, about 1.5 lbs, into 3 qts water. Add bunch green onion or leeks cut very thin and 2T salt. Simmer about 1 hour, then mash. Create a mixture of 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1/4 tsp saigon cinnamon. Season to taste (add extra black pepper as necessary). (Optional) Before serving add 1/2 T per cup of soup.

  45. Mari

    Don’t forget to add either velvetta cheese or old cheddar cheese (to taste) which I prefer along with the fried onions. I am Ukrainian and plain potato and onion perogies are too bland for my taste and the cheese gives it that extra flavour. A bit of bacon yes but not too much as it is overpowering. A slight egg wash around the circles will help to seal the perogies also but that is optional. I will stick to my dough recipe as it is light, soft and delicious and I can make so many.

  46. cshteynberg

    Thank you so much for the inspiration! I’ve tried twice now to make pierogi/vareniki for my Moldovan husband and failed miserably–they’re always tasty, but so ugly and the dough is too thick or too think in places once I try and overstuff them with filling. I had thought of the wonton solution, but hadn’t tried it yet, so this is encouraging! By the way, he would call these pelmeni rather than vareniki. Vareniki, in my experience, is the same thing that you’ve made, but with sweet fillings–at least in Russia, I can’t speak for the Ukraine. And Pelmeni are the same things, but with savory fillings.

    Also, I make a cabbage filling: caramelize onions in butter, blanch some white cabbage in water and then saute with the onions, and some caraway seed. Season liberally with salt, pepper, and a bit of cider vinegar and cook till very tender. Yum!

  47. Inna

    Hi! I just wanted to add that the russian equivalent is actually called “Vareniki.”
    “piroshki” are exactly what you say (doughy filled with meat or potato or even cabbage) but that isn’t the equivalent to the american/polish pierogies. Vareniki are made this exact way (and can also be filled with other things) but are also boiled. I believe the name vareniki stems from the word “varet” which means to boil. (thats just a guess though.) Your recipe is exactly the way my grandmother makes them, and she also has switched to wonton wrappers since coming to the US.

  48. K

    Wow, these were incredible! Though I used hot sauce, possibly even more sacrilegious than the sour cream-vinegar pairing. (Side note, my favorite typo ever: “…topped with a *deb* of sour cream.”)

  49. You’re all invited to the 16th annual Pierogi Festival, dubbed by those on high as the Year of the Jello Mold, that gelatinous dessert our bushas used to make, stuffed with all sorts of fun foods like marshmallows and fruit. JULY 23, 24, & 25 2010.Don’t worry,there will be plenty of pierogies.

  50. Michy

    My husband loves these! Unfortunately, I’m not a huge fan of the potato-filled ones. (Covered, of course with pools of melted butter) My favorite are stuffed with sauerkraut and sauteed onions and then topped with sour cream. Our next door neighbor in Hawaii was Ukrainian and she always had us over the day after Christmas for a huge Eastern European-style feast. Mmmm!

  51. Ann

    Made these the other night as a side dish, and it ended up being a little too much to stuff many, so I saved the rest of the stuffing and shells for today. I boiled them the first time, and found them a little messy, so I steamed them this time and they turned out much better

  52. Laura

    @Maggie Jo – My Grandma always made blueberry pirogies each summer – she took fresh blueberries and cooked them down, with sugar to taste – as it cooled and “gelled” (I don’t think she used any thickeners) – she’d spoon into the dough, the kids would fold and seal, then she’d pan fry… very yummy! This makes me miss those summers of childhood :)

  53. Omar

    So dang good. I froze some for later as I knew this recipe would be a winner! I might try some cheddar next time as those are the ones I initially fell in love with.

  54. Nicole

    Thank you for this great recipe, it truly was easy. I just threw these together tonight as a nice Sunday Supper that will provide leftovers for midweek. I served the pirogi with a little shredded Tillamook Cheddar added to the potato filling, a side of brussel sprouts and a nice cold bottle of Dogfish Head Chicory Stout. My husband thinks I’m a genius– thank you Deb!

  55. Very creative recipe idea. You’re always trying things I wouldn’t even think of. I know it would defeat the purpose, but I can’t help thinking what these would be like with bacon inside after seeing that dollop of sour cream on top.

  56. Barb

    What a great presentation of the recipe – I could never get the dough right so have been using Wonton wrappers with good success – I was boiling them too long though so was just now looking for a recipe using the wrappers and how long to cook – am going to try the steaming as I had a few break open. Thanks for this blog.

  57. Jinny

    I added vegan bacon and chili flakes into the potatoes. Heaven. I didn’t bother with cutting the wonton wrappers into circles; they look kind of funny, but good.

    Thank you for writing up such delicious recipes! Using wonton wrappers was what motivated me to make them, and I’m glad I did!

  58. Chris

    I have made the dough in the past and although delicious, very time consuming. I am going to try them using siu mai or gyoza skins. They are a bit thinner than the wonton skins. I like to add shredded cheese to the potato mixture also. I have also added cooked broccoli and/or spinach and feta with great results. Not exactly traditional but Tasty!

  59. marina

    These have always been my favorite grandma food. You should try them with cherries. Also my grandmother mixes a bit of fried and finely cut chicken skin (the skin is usually supplied from a boiled chicken) with the potatoes. It gives a nice extra flavor.

  60. I had a nearly-full package of wonton wrappers to use up, so I made these today. I added a teaspoon of truffle oil to the potatoes and onions, and wow! So good. Starch wrapped in starch. How can you go wrong?

  61. Christine

    grew up with a Ukranian great grandmom–LOVED PIEROGI…made them for years real dough and with asian wrappers—but alas the gods have cursed me–I have developed a gluten allergy–sigh

  62. made these today… i impulse bought some won ton wrappers recently and this was the perfect recipe! i filled mine with bacon potatoes and onions and they tasted AWESOME with a little garlic thrown in while browning them.. thanks for sharing your awesome recipes, as usual! this blog is one of the first i started seriously reading and I still love it! cheers! :)

  63. Wonton wrappers are a great idea. I’m definitely going to try it. I’m of Czech heritage and while homemade dough is fine it is not an easy process. To me it’s more about having a tasty filling and Babi (grandma) will forgive me about the rest. After all, she liked shortcuts too … I’ll add some cheddar, bacon, etc.

    Try a pierogo casserole sometime using lasagna noodles and layering with your favorite pierogi filling and a white sauce !

  64. Susan

    I came to you for a knish recipe and you danced all around the name, even used the filling (except this has butter) but no knish? What good are you? ;)

    1. deb

      Susan — If I could FIND a knish recipe I found bearable, I would love to share! I’ve been hunting for years. Plus, then I could make them as I prefer — mini, or at least half-size so you can eat one without needing a nap.

  65. Susan

    I know..I’ve looked all over the net and they all look the same or too similar! I figure I can jazz up the filling, it’s the dough that looks so blah to me. I did see one made mini, but there was that same dough again. Would a ruglach dough work, do you suppose? It might make it flakier but it would break the dairy rulem wouldn’t it? I’ve not had a lot of experience with knishes, like maybe twice (and I loved it both times), but I recall the crust being flaky and pie-dough-ish-tender and couldn’t imagine that crust having had 5-10 minutes of kneading. Yikes..there goes tender!

    1. deb

      I agree. It might just be something we have to go off-the-grid to make the way we’d like. There’s no rule that they have to be paerve (not milk or meat) but I think they’re usually made that way so people can eat them whenever they want. Rugelach might be almost too tender and rich. The knish we’ve had might seem flaky because it’s a pretty floury dough and I think if brushed with egg, could have a lightweight flaky thing going on. But it wouldn’t be puffed like a pie dough or rugelach unless it has tiny pieces of fat worked in. I think if I could have an Ideal Knish, it would be easier for me to reverse engineer them. I don’t live far from Yonah Schimmels, but they’re not my favorite. I’ve had far better at Knish Knosh in Queens, but am almost never there.

  66. FE

    I seriously need the recipe for Ukranian pidihay(sp) which is pierogi smothered in a sauce made from carmelized(I Think) onions and sour cream It was served at my second (Scottish/Ukranian) wedding feast

  67. Tom and Jim Brewer

    I hate to say it…..I used grandma’s dough and messed it up…..had people coming over &…..ughhhhh! I cheated. I went to the Asian store and got the round pot sticker wraps….Not as good as grandma’s but better than any pierogi I have ever made!

  68. Andrea

    The dough i use is super easy. Take one cup of the hot water used to boil the potatoes and quickly stir in three cups of flour and a little salt. Kneed for a very short time and add flour so it is not to sticky. Roll paper thin and cut into circles before the dough cools. The dough should be moist enough to sick to itself but you can wet the edges as needed. Enjoy.

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  70. MK

    Polish typical “pierogi” contains smashed potaoes, carmelized onion, curd cheese, marjoram, salt and pepper. Forcemeat is wrapped by special dough similar to pasta.
    After boiling “pierogi” are served with carmelized onion, creme fraiche or sour buttermilk. Sometimes, the next day I fry “pierogi”in a frying pan. It is one of the best dish for me and my family.

    Best regards from Poland!

  71. Making these is much quicker than it appears, but the bonus of making your own is that you can go nuts and get creative with what goes inside. Great comfort food for this time of year!

  72. These are awesome… I make these at the same time as I make Chinese spinach and pork dumplings for my husband. Being able to get round wonton wrappers makes it even faster for me too!

  73. Ariela

    Hi Deb,
    I have been holding on to a pack of won ton wrappers for just purpose. Now that I’m finally setting out to do it, I wonder: do you have any thoughts about what could be done with the cut-off corners of the wrappers?

  74. deb

    Hi Ariela — I don’t think I’ve ever given them much thought! I suppose they might work like pasta… Or maybe you could fry them and make a crispy garnish?

  75. April

    My kitchen tool roster is bleak and I don’t have a proper pantry so I’m grateful to see gyoza wrappers in this recipe instead of making the dough from scratch. That I can do!