03 September 2010

Dinner at Last!

I've always been a sucker for anything bread related. Doesn't matter what it is, grind it up, roll it out and bake it and I'll probably eat it! I've eaten dumplings many times but I'd never once thought of making my own. "It would be too hard", I reasoned. Oh pish-posh! How hard can it be? Actually, it's not hard at all.

Note: I have a sneaky little habit of looking up recipes and changing them as I go along. This recipe is no exception and the recipe here is my modified version. The original recipe can be found at Chinese Food DIY.

2 1/2 cups flour, sifted (or, if you're like me and don't have a sifter, run a whisk through it a few times to break up any clumps)
1 lb ground pork (Not a pork fan? Try some ground beef! The site also recommended mutton.)
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
6 1/2 tbsp scallions, chopped
1/2 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp oyster sauce
1/8 tsp five-spice powder

1. Mix the flour with enough water to make a dough (approximately 3 1/2 ounces of water and yes I DID break out the scale to weight the water in ounces). Knead until smooth and let it stand for about 30 minutes. The dough will be sticky so you might want to flour up your hands.

While the dough is resting, mix up your filling. Mix the pork, scallions, five spice powder, soy sauce, salt and oyster sauce in a bowl until it makes a paste (word of caution: go easy on the salt! Soy sauce is REALLY salty and, if after they're cooked and you need more flavor, do like we did and dip the dumplings in more soy sauce.)

Divide the dough into 3 portions and roll into logs.

Cut each log into about 10 pieces (no need to be exact). Roll each piece into a ball and flatten with the palm of your hand until they are approximately 2 inch circles.

Take a spoonful of the meat mixture and place it in the center of each wrapper. A tablespoon will work just fine for this. Take the dough and fold it over or around the meat, pressing the edges firmly together. If it oozes out, scrape off the excess until the dough will close neatly. I made half moon shaped dumplings. You can also gather the edges up at the top and make little purses.

**If you end up with more meat mixture than dough, don't worry: just freeze it and make up some more dough later. I have a nice, fat little zip lock bag of spiced pork and onions in my freezer right now!)
Bring 8 cups of water to a boil over high heat and add half the dumplings carefully, don't splash! Stir them gently with a ladle and let the water return to a boil. Add enough cold water to stop the boiling, then bring it back to a boil. When the water boils again, add more cold water and bring to a boil a third time (this takes a lot less time than you're thinking). The dumplings will be done when they float to the surface.

Remove the dumplings and drain well. I put mine on a paper towel. Don't want those dumplings soggy! Make sure the water is boiling again and add the rest of the dumplings. Repeat the 3-boil process once more until all dumplings are cooked.

Serve with soy sauce and chop sticks and a side of green tea. Oh! And be very, very careful. These suckers are HOT inside!

Cheers, or rather, gan bei!

**Try it, like it, hate it? Let me know! Have a great weekend and a Happy Labor Day to all my fellow Americans. I'm off to the Decatur Book Festival!


Jennifer Shirk said...

Oh my gosh, my mom and I were just talking about making dumplings with meat. I made them with the premade wonton wrappers with shrimp a while ago but we wanted to do pork.
I will definitely try this!!

Mary Aalgaard said...

Looks great! Enjoy the book festival.

Jennifer said...

That looks so good. I doubt I could ever convince any of my family to try it anytime soon, but I'm definitely gonna' keep that for when I go back to school. I know my roommate will try it with me. ;D

Tabitha Bird said...

Oooh they do look yum! Thanks for sharing.

Brian Miller said...

nice. those look good...may see if T wants to try this...

Jody Hedlund said...

Hi Jen! Just swinging by to say hi and thanks for stopping by my blog! You're right! It's been so long that I haven't seen your new hangout here! Looks great! And it looks like you're having a blast!

Sandra said...

I've either got to go get something to eat or stop looking at food blogs! This is painful because your dumplings look sooooo good! I had chicken and dumplings last week and they were tasty.

Tiana Smith said...

So, I always thought it would be really hard too, but that doesn't look bad :) Now I just need to convince my hubby that Chinese food won't kill him ...

Kittie Howard said...

Jen, this looks great! Love dumplings, but hadn't thought to make them until today. Interesting how they have to boil up three times. And, Jody's right, your new hangout is great. You're on a roll, girl! Yaaay!

Helen Ginger said...

This sounds simple enough that even I might be able to make them! Thanks for the recipe and for the pictures to go with it. Yay! I'm copying this down.


Erin Kuhns said...

You know, when I first read this, I thought: yummy! But I avoid wheat, so it's out the window for me. However, now I'm feeling like it's worth trying it out with gluten-free flour. Seriously, they just look sooo yummy!!

If I give it a try, I'll let you know the results!