Dominican domplines (dumplings) are a pasta-like boiled dough cooked in tomato sauce or cheese-based sauces. Very easy and fun to make.
Why we ❤️ it
I was an adult the first time I tried Domplines (Dominican-Style Dumplings). This was not part of my regional food culture. If you are totally unfamiliar with it, think of this as a local version of many similar dishes found throughout the world. Think Italian gnocchi, or Austrian spätzle.
Where did they come from?
Dominican domplines arrived at our shores with cocolos. They came from the British Caribbean to work in the sugar industry and settled mostly in and around San Pedro de Macorís.
Dumplings, for most people, are pockets of dough filled with meats, vegetables, or cheese, then fried, steamed or boiled. Of the filled variety, the jiaozi (the best-known Chinese dumplings) are the most famous ones, with Italian tortellini and ravioli possibly following (or vice-versa). Nearly every country seems to have one or many dumpling varieties that are traditional in their cuisine.
In Latin America, Puertorrican domplines consist of fried, puffy dough; in Chile pancutra are slices of dough added to vegetable soup.
In the Caribbean British isles, dumplings are very similar to ours, and to our Bollitos de Maíz, another type of dumpling popular in the Dominican Republic. In Barbadian cuisine, dumplings are slightly sweetened, and served in soup, while in Jamaica they can also be fried.
As we can see, dumplings are nearly universal, with countless versions and combinations of ingredients and preparations.
Domplings con carne molida, and domplings con bacalao
In this recipe, I give you the simplest sauce you can serve these domplines with: a creamy cheese sauce. However, there are many other ways to make domplines if you're willing to adapt some of our other recipes.
Domplines de batata
Domplings con batata.
This fantastic version of domplines with batata has the gentle sweetness of batata and a less-chewy bite than regular domplines. It's actually my favorite.
Domplines con salsa de queso
Domplings con salsa de queso.
This is the version you'll find in the recipe below, with a very simple, quick-to-make, but very tasty and smooth cheese sauce.
Domplines con bacalao
Domplings con bacalao.
Follow our recipe for bacalao con papa, and add the boiled domplines instead of papas. A very popular classic.
Domplines con carne molida
Domplings con carne molida.
Domplines con sardinas
Not much of a recipe is needed. Once boiled, serve domplines next to canned sardines in tomato sauce. If you find the spicy version of these sardines (pica-pica), so much better.
Domplines con salami
Another very simple one. Once boiled, serve domplines covered with our sauce-rich salami guisado.
Check out this carne molida recipe, add some milk and domplines once ready, lightly heat, and serve with abundant parmesan.
Domplines con pollo guisado
You can't go wrong with this one. Serve our wonderful, fall-off-the-bone pollo guisado over a bed of freshly boiled domplines.
About this recipe
Dominican Domplines are made with wheat flour and are usually cooked in a sauce-rich dish. It's a very humble dish, filling, and packing a lot of carbohydrates It's the kind of dish that will keep you going when the budget is short. Some people, though, eat this because for them it's a comfort, familiar food.
For this recipe, I have made them with a cheese sauce inspired by the one in which it is sometimes traditionally served. But you can see the many ways to serve it on the list above.
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[Recipe + Video] Domplines (Dominican-Style Dumplings)
- 1½ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoon butter (salted), room-temperature
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, (plus ¼ cup to use as needed)
To boil the domplines
- 1 tablespoon salt
For the cheddar sauce
- 1 cup sharp cheddar, cut into cubes
- ½ red bell pepper, diced
- 1½ cup milk (whole or skim)
- 1 teaspoon salt, or more, to taste
- ½ teaspoon pepper (freshly-cracked, or ground), or more, to taste
- 1 tablespoon minced parsley, (optional)
How to make domplines
- In a large bowl, dissolve the salt in 6 tablespoons of water at room temperature Add in 1 cup of flour and butter. Mix in with a spatula, the dough may be shaggy, so add extra flour by the tablespoon as needed to be able to knead itKnead until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- There are several traditional shapes for dumplings. To make the finger-like domplines, cut small pieces of the dough and roll them (about 3" [7.5 cm] in length and ½" [1.3 cm] in diameter). Set them aside. To make the flattened domplines make them into balls and flatten them.Size and shape are a matter of choice.
How to boil domplines
- Heat 1½ qt [1.5 liter] of water with the salt over medium-high heat. Once it breaks the boil. lower the dumplings carefully into the water one by one so they don't stick.Once they start to float, cook for 5 minutes, stirring often to prevent them from sticking (taste for doneness by splitting one and checking there's no raw flour in the middle).Remove from the water with a slotted spoon. Serve per suggestions above the recipe, or with the sauce below.
How to make the cheese sauce
- Blend all the ingredients (cheese, bell pepper, milk, salt, pepper) in the food processor or blender.Heat over medium-low heat in a saucepan, stirring until all the cheese has melted. Add the domplines and stir. If the sauce is a bit too thick, add some of the water the domplines boiled in. If it is too thin, just reduce to your desired consistency (it'll thicken when you remove it from the heat).Remove from the heat, and sprinkle with parsley before serving.
Tips and Notes
Nutritional information is calculated automatically based on ingredients listed. Please consult your doctor if you need precise nutrition information.
Published Sep 7, 2015, revised