Homemade Dumplings

DSC_0032With the weather getting warmer, these dumplings are the perfect easy dinner when you’ve got people over. You can take your ingredients outside and make up a bunch of dumplings while you drink some wine and relax. It’s a great way to get everyone involved in cooking dinner, regardless of their level of culinary skill. They’re pretty foolproof, and if you buy the pre-made wrappers, all you have to do is pick your filling and you’re good to go. I made a vegetable filling and a shrimp filling, but you can mix it up and use whatever sounds good to you and your date.

Here are some filling ideas to get you started: (I suggest using a food processor, but if you don’t have one, you can just chop up everything as finely as you can, or shred the veggies on a box grater).

  • Vegetable: In a food processor, shred cabbage, mushrooms, carrots, scallions, and a clove of garlic. Mix with a little soy sauce, sriracha, sesame oil, whatever.
  • Shrimp: In a food processor, blitz the shrimp with some scallions and garlic to combine.
  • Quinoa: In a bowl, combine the quinoa, some tofu, minced scallions and garlic, and soy sauce until everything holds together.

Serve these dumplings with a quick pickle cucumber and a few dipping sauces, and you’ve got a perfect hands on and delicious dinner.

Note: You can usually find the dumpling wrappers pre-made in a refrigerator section of your supermarket, usually by the tofu and health foods. They come in round and square shapes, both equally good for dumplings, and if you’ve got extras, you can use them to make a lightning quick ravioli dish the next day.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package pre-made dumpling wrappers
  • 6 oz. cooked shrimp (tails removed)
  • 2 scallions (white and green parts)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1⁄4 cup vegetable oil

Directions:

  • In a food processor, blitz together the shrimp, scallions, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, and black pepper until combined but not pulverized (3 or 4 pulses). Alternatively, you can chop everything up finely and combine with a spoon.
  • On a clean dry surface, lay out a few dumpling wrappers and put roughly a heaping teaspoon of filling in the center of each one. Dip your fingers into a bowl of water and trace over the edges of one dumpling, then immediately bring the edges together to seal it. Try to press out the excess air around the filling, which might cause them dumplings to explode when you cook them. Keep going until all your dumplings are completed.
  • You can cook your dumplings several ways. If you’ve got a steamer, use that (they’ll only take a few minutes). You can bake them in an oven at 350 until softened and warmed through. Or you can pan-fry them in vegetable oil for a minute or two on each side over medium heat. Keep them in the oven set to 200 until you’ve cooked them all and are ready to eat.

Serve these dumplings with whatever dipping sauces you like:

  • Spicy Soy Sauce: Mix soy sauce with some sriracha and whisk to combine.
  • Miso Sesame Sauce: Whisk together a tablespoon of miso paste, a few drops of sesame oil, a bit of soy sauce and some rice wine vinegar.
  • Sweet Mirin Sauce: Whisk together 2 tablespoons mirin (sweet Japanese cooking wine), 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, and a little sriracha
I can't take credit for that nice manicure- that's my friend Adrienne working away.

I can’t take credit for that nice manicure- that’s my friend Adrienne working away.

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