Friday, February 25, 2011
Homemade Chinese Dumplings
Our family loves dumplings! When we have Chinese food, about half of the order is fried dumplings. Dipping them in ginger soy sauce is heaven on earth!
We were inspired by Kristi at Fireworks and Fireflies to try making our own. We are a little late for Chinese New Year, but they were just as delicious today!
We made our own dough by adding 2 cups of boiling water to a well in a bowl of four cups of flour, and mixing it with a spoon. We let the mixed and then kneaded dough rest 30 minutes under a towel while we did the prep work.
There was prep work for mom (we don't have a great history with kids and knives, and with a blizzard hitting New England again, didn't want to take a trip to the ER for stitches): chopping four scallions, four cabbage leaves and about an inch of fresh ginger.
Mr. A then mixed them with one pound of ground pork, two tablespoons of cornstarch, two tablespoons of soy sauce, a teaspoon of salt, and two teaspoons of sesame oil.
After the dough had rested, we divided and shaped it into four cylinders, then cut each cylinder into 12 pieces. Each one of these little pieces were then shaped into ball shape, and flattened to about four inch sized round shapes with edges slightly thinner than the middle. We tried to keep the dough (and round shapes) covered with a dampened kitchen towel.
We discovered putting the dumplings together was quite challenging. Mom did not have the patience for it, so Missy took over (she is amazing!!!). I would put about a teaspoon of filling in the middle of the round shaped dough, then Missy folded the dumpling and sealed it with a moistened cold water. No matter how hard we tried, they did not look like the restaurant ones.
However, after pan-frying them the dumplings didn't look too bad, and tasted almost as good as the restaurant ones. Missy, Mr. A and Little Miss talk about what we need to do differently next time (like don't let the uncooked dumplings touch each other on the platter or they'll stick together and fall apart when trying to get them separated). Mom thinks it's going to take a while to forget how time consuming and messy making the dumplings were...
Out of the dozens of dumplings we made, we might have three left. So I guess they were definitely a hit :) We found the recipe here and doubled it. We made the dipping sauce from the recipe also, but ended up liking our own ginger-flavored soy sauce with chives better.
Sooo, if you have a few hours to spare, all the ingredients above, and didn't care if flour ended up covering your kitchen floor, your work surface, clothes, hair, and you were ready to tackle a mountain of dishes, I'd say try making your own dumplings. Well worth the effort :)