Happy belated Chinese New Years which fell on February 19, 2015. The Year of the Goat. The goat represents introversion, creativity, shyness and being a perfectionist. These are all traits I highly identify with. In East Tennessee we have been bearing the full brunt of winter these past few weeks. Seeing as it was Chinese New Years and I was trapped in my house due to icy hills I made egg drop soup and these delicious dumplings.
I’ve got to start off by saying that my filling of choice for dumplings is usually ground pork, as is traditional. I had just, however, made myself a burger the night before and had leftover ground beef from the Boone Street Market and so I had a ready made filling at my disposal.
I won’t waste much time here on the filling. Basically, you should season ground meat how you like. I used sage, onion, garlic, panko bread crumbs, egg, salt and pepper in my beef mix. Sometimes I like to add lemon zest as well. And this would work with pork, venison or beef. You are gonna want to leave this filling raw. It will get thoroughly cooked when you cook the dumplings whichever method you should choose. I prefer the “potsticker” method. This is where you place the dumplings in a frying pan (I use my cast iron) with a about a quarter inch of water and cover them. Steam on low for about 6-8 minutes at which point you remove the cover, turn up the heat and cook off the water. I then add a little olive oil in the last minute of cooking to really brown up the bottoms.
This dough recipe makes a lot of dumplings. I like to make them and freeze them for later. To freeze just make the dumplings and place them on a sheet tray or plate on parchment paper. Place in your freezer until just frozen and then you can gather them up and throw them in a freezer bag. To cook your frozen dumplings apply the same method as above.
The only recipe I am really going to give you in this post is the dough and dipping sauce. Mostly because almost anything in dumpling dough and dipping sauce will be tasty. So use your imagination. Maybe you are vegan and would love sweet potato and caramelized onion filling. Maybe sauteed mushrooms and pureed sunchokes would float your boat, or goat cheese, broccoli and roasted garlic. Get creative.
3/4 cup warm water
2 cups all purpose flour
Combine water and flour well. Turn out to a floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes or until smooth. Wrap in plastic and set aside. You want to let the dough relax for at least 1/2 hour. This gives you plenty of time to make the filling and the sauce
Spicy Dipping Sauce
1/4 cup tamari
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 -2 tablespoons honey
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. chilli oil
Combine tamari, honey and lemon juice and slowly whisk in oils to emulsify. Added bonus is minced chives or wild onion greens (all over the ground right now in TN!)
Now comes the fun part! First of all you want to take that dough in 3rds. Take one out and leave the other two wrapped up while you work. Roll the dough out into a long tube with your hands. You will want to cut about 1 inch pieces off. You will then roll them out into little circles, pretty thin. Place the circle in your hand at your fingertips and press about a tablespoon of filling into it.
Then you will fold it over. The best way that I can describe it is that you start crimping one side and then just pressing it against the other side.
Once your skillet is full, you are ready to cook. Serve warm immediately with dipping sauce.
Happy New Years!