Pierogies, Polish dumplings typically filled with creamy potatoes, can be boiled, baked or steamed, but pan-frying makes the pasta exterior crispy so it contrasts well with the creamy filling. The potato filling is often accompanied with other ingredients, such as cheese, onions or traditional sauerkraut. There are virtually unlimited ways to serve pan-fried pierogies, whether topped with grilled onions and mushrooms, or served with sour cream or marinara dipping sauce on the side. The pierogi-making process is similar to making ravioli or Chinese dumplings, but you can save time by purchasing frozen pierogies in your grocer's freezer.
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Remove frozen pierogies from their packaging and place them in a bowl with hot water for about 3 minutes, or until defrosted. The pasta exterior should soften and plump up a bit. Drain the water and blot the pierogies with paper towels to dry the surface. A brief soak in hot water mimics homemade pierogies, which are boiled in water and blotted dry before frying, baking or steaming.
Line the bottom of a skillet with a cooking oil that has a high smoking point, such as olive oil or coconut oil, both of which are considered healthy fats. You shouldn't need more than 3 or 4 tablespoons of oil, depending on the skillet size, as the oil shouldn't be deeper than the thickness of the pasta lip around the pierogies.
Preheat the oil over medium-high heat. The oil is ready for cooking when a drop of water sizzles and evaporates quickly.
Place the pierogies in the pan in a single layer with a small space in between each piece. If the pierogies have a flat side, set them in the pan with the flat side down.
Fry the pierogies for about 4 minutes on the first side or until golden brown and crisp. Flip the pierogies and fry the second side for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until crisp.
Drain the pierogies on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil. Serve immediately.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- Fine Cooking: How to Make Pierogi from Scratch
- America's Test Kitchen: Blogger Spotlight: Homemade Pierogi
- Cook's Illustrated: Polish Dumplings (Pierogi)
- Fine Cooking: Potato-Cheese Pierogi (Pierogi Ruskie)
- Naleway Foods LTD. Cooking Instructions
- Cheemo Pierogies: General Cooking Instructions
- Pittsburgh Magazine: Pierogi 2.0