October 2, 2014

Pan-fried finger dumplings

Serving plate of pan-fried finger dumplings.

October is here! This kicks off the start of my favorite two months of the year (October and November) - Halloween, Thanksgiving, apples, pumpkins, winter squash, grapes, cool weather, colored leaves, wedding anniversary - yay! 

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October also means that we have at least one German "Oktoberfest" dinner, including some delicious fall beers. Last fall my husband and I went to a German restaurant for our anniversary dinner and I chose finger dumplings as one of my side dishes. They looked pretty much like what I made here and reminded me of a large Spaetzle. I looked in my German cookbook to see if there was a finger dumpling (or similar) recipe. I didn't find one, so I adapted the Spaetzle recipe. If you have any interest in German cooking, I highly recommend The German Cookbook. It's not fancy, but it's full of traditional German fare and is a great book.

This recipe will make two hearty servings. Serve these finger dumplings with German sausages such as a bratwurst, applesauce, and some German Sweet & Sour Red Cabbage or sauerkraut for a perfect Oktoberfest dinner (don't forget the beer). You may also like these hot and cold versions of German Potato Salad.

Plate of pan fried finger dumplings.

Pan-fried finger dumplings
1-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt, plus more for seasoning
1 large egg, well beaten
about 1/2 cup water
2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter
dried parsley, for garnish, optional

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Stir in the beaten egg then begin to slowly add the water until the dough just comes together and is still relatively firm. Bring the dough together into a ball with your hands.

Lightly flour a large cutting board. Press the dough into a flat rectangle that is about 1/4-1/2 inch thick (it need not be perfect, these are rustic). Cut the dough into strips about 2 inches in length and dust them with a small amount of flour if they are sticky.

Cutting the dumpling dough.

Drop the dough into the boiling water (do this in two batches, if needed). Stir and cook until the dumplings all float to the top. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them into a cold cast iron or other non-stick skillet. Let them dry for a few minutes, stirring around as needed. 

Add the butter to the skillet (start with 2 tablespoons) and turn on the heat to medium. Stir once the butter melts. Let the dumplings cook in the butter until golden (don't turn the heat too high as you don't want the butter to burn - you can also add a drizzle of olive oil to help). Add the extra butter, if needed, and season with salt. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired.

Finished pan fried finger dumplings on a plate.


  1. I love spaetzle, so I know I'd dig these larger-size version, too! My husband's family is all of German descent, so I love to cook German food for them - I'll have to try this with some schnitzel or sauerbraten some time!

  2. I have eaten a lot of dumplings in my life, but not ones like these pan fried finger dumplings. These sound wonderful. I will have to give them a try.

  3. This is totally new to me. I am intrigued!

  4. It looks very delicious. I love the idea of using SpƤtzle dough to make those finger dumplings.

  5. These dumplings look great! I think I've tried these once and really liked how comforting and delicious they were. But thanks to you I can try them again!

  6. Delicious and hearty. I forgot all about October Fest living here in HK. Love the German food!

  7. I'd never heard of finger dumplings--thanks for sharing this! They look like so much fun to make. Perfect for Oktoberfest!

  8. These sound really interesting, not tried them before!

  9. Oh my gosh, how cute are these! I want dumplings made like this from now on!

  10. seems delicious and comforting ones!!!

  11. I have never had fried dumplings before! looks interesting, thanks for sharing! :)

  12. October is my favorite month too! I didn't even know finger dumplings existed, but they look delicious AND you fried them. Win-win.

  13. I don't think I've ever had finger dumplings before. I'm going to have to give this recipe a try.


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