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Chinese Dumplings and Potstickers

Chinese Dumplings and Potstickers

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This is the second challenge for the Daring Cooks.  If you are not familiar with The Daring Cooks we are a spin-off of the Daring Bakers and we are challenging ourselves once a month with a dinner recipe.  I was very excited when I saw that Jen of Use Real Butter was hosting as her site is brilliant, from the gorgeous food photos to her witty stories of adventure and food.  I was pleased to see she picked Chinese Dumplings as I have been dying to try my hand at homemade dumplings.  Every time, I see a recipe for them, I think about it and then decide it will be too difficult.  Pleasantly surprised as this challenge proved that I was wrong.  This recipe for Chinese Dumplings and Potstickers is not only very easy to make but the dumplings are so good!!

 

Chinese Dumplings and Potstickers

Lenny and I saved this recipe for a Sunday night dinner as this is the evening we usually plan something that is more special.  It is a nice way to end the week and begin a new one.   The recipe is very straightforward and the entire process was so easy that we had dumpling ready to steam within two hours from mixing the dough, kneading, letting it rest, cutting, rolling, and folding dumplings.  

We decided to make the pork filling as we both are pork lovers.  We did substitute the bamboo shoots with water chestnuts, as we love texture and wanted more “crunch”.  As well I added some green garlic I had picked up at the Farmer’s Market.  I did make the mistake of putting everything into the food processor and giving it a whirl.  I felt the meat did not have enough texture.  Next time I would mince everything by hand, and then mix together.

Lenny really got into it with helping, by pleating and wrapping our fillings.  He was definitely much better at it then I was.  In fact, his dumplings were beautiful and so professional looking.  I ended up being the roller of the dough.  We poured a couple of glasses of wine, turned on some music and rolled and wrapped.  It was a very fun evening, and would make for a great dinner party too.  

I filled a bamboo steamer with Napa cabbage leaves, and let them steam away, which takes about 15 minutes.  You can also fry them if you prefer a crunchy dumpling, we just love steamed.  

Verdict?  We LOVED this recipe.  It is simple, fairly quick, very tasty and easy enough to make a big batch and freeze for another time.  Yes, we may have tucked away a few for quick lunches.

Thank you, Jen, for picking the perfect challenge and for pushing us out of our comfort zones!  Please be sure to check out the other Daring Cooker’s dumplings as they are really tasty.  

Chinese Dumplings and Potstickers

pork filling:
1 lb (450g) ground pork
4 large napa cabbage leaves, minced
3 stalks green onions, minced
1/2 cup water chestnuts, minced
1 green garlic, minced
7 shitake mushrooms, minced
1/4 (55g) cup ginger root, minced
3 tbsp (40g) soy sauce
2 tbsp (28g) sesame oil
2 tbsp (16g) cornstarch

OR

shrimp filling:
1/2 lb (225g) raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, and coarsely chopped
1/2 lb (225g) ground pork
3 stalks green onions, minced
1/4 cup (55g) ginger root, minced
1 cup (142g) water chestnuts, minced
1 tsp (5g) salt
3 tbsp (40g) sesame oil
2 tbsp (16g) cornstarch

dough: you will want to double this recipe for the amount of filling listed above .  A single batch of dough will yield about 40 dumplings depending on size.
2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (113g) hot water
flour for work surface

dipping sauce:
2 parts soy sauce
1 part vinegar (red wine or black)
a few drops of sesame oil
chili garlic paste (optional)
minced ginger (optional)
minced garlic (optional)
minced green onion (optional)
sugar (optional)

Combine all filling ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly (I mix by clean hand). Cover and refrigerate until ready to use (up to a day, but preferably within an hour or two).

Make the dough, Method 1: Place the flour in the work bowl of a food processor with the dough blade. Run the processor and pour the warm water in until incorporated. Pour the contents into a sturdy bowl or onto a work surface and knead until uniform and smooth. The dough should be firm and silky to the touch and not sticky.[Note: it’s better to have a moist dough and have to incorporate more flour than to have a dry and pilling dough and have to incorporate more water).

Both dough methods: Knead the dough about twenty strokes then cover with a damp towel for 15 minutes. Take the dough and form a flattened dome. Cut into strips about 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide. Shape the strips into rounded long cylinders. On a floured surface, cut the strips into 3/4 inch pieces. Press palm down on each piece to form a flat circle (you can shape the corners in with your fingers). With a rolling pin, roll out a circular wrapper from each flat disc. Take care not to roll out too thin or the dumplings will break during cooking – about 1/16th inch. Leave the centers slightly thicker than the edges. Place a tablespoon of filling in the center of each wrapper and fold the dough in half, pleating the edges along one side (see images in post for how to fold pleats). Keep all unused dough under damp cloth.

To boil: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add dumplings to pot. Boil the dumplings until they float.

To steam: Place dumplings on a single layer of napa cabbage leaves or on a well-greased surface in a steamer basket with lid. Steam covered for about 6 minutes.

To pan fry (potstickers): Place dumplings in a frying pan with 2-3 tbsp of vegetable oil. Heat on high and fry for a few minutes until bottoms are golden. Add 1/2 cup water and cover. Cook until the water has boiled away and then uncover and reduce heat to medium or medium-low. Let the dumplings cook for another 2 minutes then remove from heat and serve.

To freeze: Assemble dumplings on a baking sheet so they are not touching. It helps to rub the base of the dumpling in a little flour before setting on the baking sheet for ease of release. Freeze for 20-30 minutes until dumplings are no longer soft. Place in Ziploc bag and freeze for up to a couple of months. Prepare per the above instructions, but allow extra time to ensure the filling is thoroughly cooked.

To serve: Serve dumplings or potstickers hot with your choice of dipping sauce combinations.

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Barracuda

Tuesday 16th of June 2009

These dumplings look great! They beat store-bought hands down. We even ate a frozen batch on Sunday and they tasted worlds better than packaged frozen fare. Congrats on beautiful dumplings!

Megan{Feasting on Art}

Tuesday 16th of June 2009

Your pleating is so so good!! I am really impressed.

Audax Artifex

Sunday 14th of June 2009

PERFECT pleating and just love the slide show what a lot of work you did on this challenge. Beautiful colour on the dumplings. Cheers

Susan at Sticky,Gooey,Creamy,Chewy

Sunday 14th of June 2009

Oooh! Your dumplings turned out perfectly! They're so beautiful! I agree that once you've had homemade, you'll never go for the frozen stuff again! I need to make these again soon.

Rosa

Sunday 14th of June 2009

Very well done! They look fabulous! Better than at the restaurant...

Cheers,

Rosa