These easy egg dumplings (Eiernockerl) are a beloved traditional Austrian dish. Ready in 20 minutes and you’ll only need 4 ingredients.
What are egg dumplings?
Egg dumplings are similar to Italian gnocchi and consist of 2 parts, the dumplings and the eggs.
The dumplings are made of an easy pasta dough, which is quickly stirred together in a bowl (no mess!). Don’t picture regular pasta dough that is rolled out, but a rather soft batter, similar to thick pancake batter.
The batter is spooned into simmering saltwater, and allowed to cook for 1-2 minutes. Once removed from the cooking water, the dumplings will look similar to Italian gnocchi. A little more rustic and not as uniform though, which I love.
The cooked dumplings will then be pan-fried in butter for a minute or two, while cracking several eggs over them and stirring vigorously. The cooked eggs will coat the dumplings in an absolutely delicious way.
Egg dumplings in Austria
I do not know any Austrian, who doesn’t like egg dumplings. The dish is one of the most popular vegetarian meals of the Viennese cuisine. Egg dumplings are both made at home and offered in restaurants.
It’s really easy to make them at home since they are prepared in a whim, and usually all required ingredients are at home anyways: flour, milk, eggs, and butter. Often times, egg dumplings are one of the rare vegetarian items on food menus of traditional Austrian restaurants, called Gasthaus oder Wirtshaus.
The same kind of dumplings (minus the egg-coating) is traditionally served as a side dish to Austrian beef goulash. So if there are leftover-dumplings from making goulash, these are often transformed into egg-dumplings to use up the leftovers. Big plus: Since they are already cooked, the dish is ready within 5 minutes!
So how to make dumplings?
We are starting with the batter. Whisk eggs, milk, and salt with a hand whisk or fork.
Add half of the flour and stir well.
Add the rest of the flour and stir/beat the batter using a cooking spoon. The batter should be lump-free and rather stiff. Add more milk or flour if necessary.
Bring a large pot filled with salted water to a boil. Dip a small spoon (dessert spoon) into the gentle boiling water first, to keep the batter from sticking to the spoon.
Using this spoon, drop a small amount of batter into the simmering water. Dipping the spoon into the hot water will remove the batter from the spoon.
Drop in the dumplings one by one, until the batter is used up. Proceed quickly to prevent the first dumplings in the cooking water from overcooking and getting too soft.
Tip: If you proceed rather slowly, you can cook the drop dumplings in two (or more) batches and remove the batches from the water with a slotted spoon. I would also advice to work in batches if you are doubling the recipe.
When all dumplings are in the pot, give them a stir to keep them from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Simmer for 1-2 minutes after you dropped the last dumpling into the water (the dumplings should float), then drain through a colander.
For the egg coating: Heat butter in a large pan, add the drained dumplings for 1 minute, stirring.
Crack eggs in a small bowl, add salt, whisk with a fork, and pour over the dumplings.
Over low heat, stir until eggs are cooked and are coating the dumplings.
Sprinkle with black pepper and chive, and serve with a green side salad.
Video Egg Dumplings Austria