Dumplings!!!!!

I LOVE dumplings!!  Yum, yum, yum!! Yum, yum! Yum.

My friend Victoria agreed to teach me how to make dumplings before she moved all the way to California!  I was so excited!!  As with most delicious recipes taught by mothers to daughters (and then passed on to friends) the exact quantities are nebulous.  Victoria eye-balled the ingredients and I did my best to guestimate how much of each went into the mix.

1. Chop one bunch of green onions into small rounds.

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2. Add one pound ground pork.

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3. Pour in approximately 1/8 to 1/4 cup of rice vinegar.  You can always add more later.

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4. Add 2 tbsp sesame oil. Again, you can add more later.

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5. Add 3 tbsp of soy sauce. You can also add more later.  The idea is that the “wetness” of the mixture will dictate how much of the fluids you will need to add.

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6.  And GARLIC!!  According to Victoria “use more than you would think.”  We started with about 4 cloves.  You can mince it, or we used a garlic press.

7. Use your hands to mix all the ingredients together.  The mixture should be moist but not wet.  If there’s too much fluid, it’ll make it harder to form the dumplings.

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To make the dumplings, you need to purchase dumplings wrappers.  We have an awesome Asian grocery store in town and were able to find two different kinds of wrappers.  I think we ended up liking the ones in the clear wrapper best because they were a little thinner.  The most important thing is to make sure that there aren’t any dry edges.  That makes the forming of the dumplings nearly impossible.

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To form the dumplings, first moisten the edge of the wrapper with just a dab of water:IMG_3772

Then place about a teaspoon of the mix in the center of the disk:IMG_3773

And fold it in half:
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Then pinch the disc closed.  You’re essentially pinching the front of the disc down to make it fit along the back.  You start from the center and work your way out to the ends:

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The finished product:

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Can you tell which one is my first attempt? The one on the right is way too wet (they’ll stick if they’re too wet), and too many folds means it might come apart when we cook it.  The good news is I did get better as we went!

A plate full of dumplings!  The recipe makes about 4 dozen dumplings.  YES!!!

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There are two ways to cook the dumplings:

  1.  Fried and then simmered in chicken stock.
  2. Boiled in water (or stock)

1. To fry the dumplings, set the temperature to medium high.  Pour about 2 tbsp of oil in a large frying pan.  Place the dumplings into the frying pan.

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This step is done when the bottom is lightly browned:

IMG_3791Once they’re browned, add the chicken stock.  You want to pour in enough to cover the dumplings about half way:

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Turn up the temperature to high and bring the dumplings to a boil:

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Once they’re boiling, turn the heat down to a simmer.  Simmer until cooked through, about 7-10 minutes.  You’ll be able to tell because the dumpling wrapper will soften all the way through.  Don’t over cook or they’ll fall apart.  Don’t under cook or the pork will still be raw.

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Finished product!  YUM!!!

IMG_38032. To boil them, simply place them in boiling water (or stock):

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Boil until cooked through:

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And done!

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To serve these, make a sauce of equal parts sesame oil, rice vinegar and soy sauce and crushed garlic:

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Delicious!

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Not only are these a delicious dish, but they also freeze extremely well!  To freeze them, place them in a single layer in a large zip lock bag.

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They’ll take a little longer to cook from frozen, but they’re still a super quick meal!  I’ll make them with noodles and/or Korean steamed eggs (ttukbaegi gyeranjjim):

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I successfully made a second batch of dumplings on my own once we’d eaten all the ones Victoria and I made.  It’s very simple!  The time consuming process of making all the dumplings is mitigated by the fact that you can freeze them and have them ready for future use.  I’m so glad to know how to make these now!

Yum! Yum!

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