Dumplings may not be the fanciest food, but they are one of the most versatile and delicious foods you just have to try at least once.
The Humble Dumpling
According to Wikipedia the definition of a dumpling is cooked ball of dough. That doesn’t sound very appetizing but considering that dumplings are found all across the globe from Europe to Africa-to the Middle East-to North America to Latin America and to Asia – each with their own unique flair, there’s gotta be something to them.
Franz Mulser, chef at the Gostner Mountain Hut (Gostner Schwaige Seiser Alm) in Alpe di Siusi, Italy convinced me that the rest of the world was right as he showed me how to make dumplings – both savoury and sweet.
This recipe is for the savoury dumplings. You can impress dinner guests with their long name Chanterelles dumplings with Tyrolean ham and wild herbs on a flower salad. Fortunately, it’s much easier to make than it sounds.
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Ingredients for Making Dumplings:
- 200g mushrooms (can also substitute mushrooms for cheese or spinach)
- 100g onion (cut into small cubes)
- 240g hard white bread (cut into small cubes)
- 40g butter
- 4 eggs
- 50g milk (can substitute with water)
- 100g Tyrolean ham (or another type of ham) cut into small pieces
- Tbs flour
- A handful of wild herbs (we used parsley, fennel, watercress, mustard leaf)
- Salad greens (we used flower petals picked from Alpe di Siusi)
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How to Make Dumplings:
Brown the butter then put the onions, bacon, mushrooms, a pinch of salt and the bread cubes into the pan. Cook on medium heat until browned but not burnt.
Add herbs a minute or two before it’s finished cooking and then transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
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Add milk, flour and eggs to the mixture. Stir and leave for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, boil a large pot of water.
Wet hands and form the mixture into balls. Squeeze it first, then roll it. You don’t want any holes.
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Boil the dumplings for ~10 minutes
Serve with salad greens
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(Optional, but highly recommended) Enjoy your dumplings in the stunning setting of Alpe di Siusi while being serenaded. Revitalize afterwards with a coffee from Italy’s first Coffee Sommelier or relax in a Hay bath which is an unusual and interesting experience.
Related Reading: Alpe di Siusi (Seiser Alm): A Photojourney
Take a Cooking Class with Chef Franz
Franz offers cooking lessons at Gostner Mountain Hut, where I took mine. The lessons are offered in German or Italian, but you’re welcome to bring a translator. The cost is €35-50/person. A minimum of 5 people are required and the lesson lasts 3-5 hours.
Related Reading: Hut Hiking in Germany: What It’s Really Like
Where to Stay
Alternatively, you could just go to the Gostner Mountain Hut and enjoy Franz’s dumplings without all the work. I know I’ll be back. The Gostner Mountain Hut is known for its food which rustic and local but simply delicious. Many of their visitors return just for the food, I know I definitely will.
Gostner Mountain Hut can be reached along footpath no. 3 from Compaccio/Compatsch (~30 minutes) or 60 minutes from Compatsch Joch walking in the direction of Saltria.
With all the amazing ways to make dumplings, what’s your favourite?
Thank you to Alpe di Siusi Tourism and Gostner Mountain Hut for their hospitality. As always, all opinions remain my own.