These stuffed dumplings are the Southern German version of ravioli. Like Spaetzle they originated in Swabia, but premade versions can be found in most grocery stores all over Germany. Vegan versions are hard to find, though. For this recipe I decided to go with a traditional filling, but with an unusual, and slightly sloppy preparation method. Usually these dumplings are cooked in hot water before they are fried or served in broth. But there’s no shame in skipping that step and frying them in oil right away.
Maultaschen with Spinach and Smoked Tofu
For the dough:
240 g (1 cup) flour
140 ml (1/2 cup plus 4 teaspoons) water
1/2 tsp salt
For the filling:
1 tablespoon oil
1 onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
300 g spinach (10 cups or 1 10 oz. package), roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon lemon juice
150 g (5.3 oz.) smoked tofu, cubed
additional oil for frying
To make the dough:
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and knead for five minutes. The dough should be firm, elastic and not sticky. Add more flour if necessary. Cover and let rest for 1 hour.
To make the filling:
Heat oil in a large pan or wok and add onion and garlic. Fry for 2-3 minutes, then add the spinach. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the spinach is reduced in size considerably. Add spices and lemon juice. Let the spinach cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to a blender and purée. Add tofu and blend well.
To make the dumplings:
Divide the dough into two equally sized pieces. Roll both into thin rectangles (approx. 38 x 22 cm or 15 x 8.7 inches). Make sure your working surface and your rolling pin are floured so that the dough doesn’t stick.
Spread the filling onto one rectangle and carefully place the second on top. Use a plastic dough scraper or something similar with a dull edge to cut the dough into four long strips, using the dough scraper to seal the edges.
Cut each strip into seven pieces, again trying to seal the edges with the scraper. This doesn’t have to be perfect, if you have some spinach sticking out, that is okay, too.
Heat a large pan with oil and place about 5 – 7 dumplings next to each other in the pan. make sure they don’t overlap. Fry until crispy, then flip and fry on the other side. Repeat with the remaining dumplings.
Serve with fried onions.