I have no idea what’s come over me. It’s a well-known fact that Jon is the master chef in this family, but for the past few weekends, I’ve been inspired roll up my sleeves and get to work in the kitchen. This weekend’s project: Dumplings.
I am a fan of the blog Five and Spice- Fitting Real Food Into Real Life- and this week she posted “Broccoli Ginger Dumplings.” She made it look so easy. Her post gave me confidence, which led me to hunt down a few more dumpling recipes, finally settling on five to try. I made it through three before I reached complete exhaustion. I will tackle the other two tomorrow. The recipes are not difficult, nor is the process, but they are time consuming. If you don’t love spending time in the kitchen, these are not the recipes for you. Luckily, I was able to watch the NCAA tournament on my lap top while I cooked.
This was the first time I tried to prepare several recipes simultaneously and I was glad Jon was nearby to help me through several near meltdowns… “How the heck do you grate ginger?” “Would this be considered a medium-sized garlic clove?” “When do I add the soy sauce?” I was going a million different directions at once, but in the end, the dumplings turned out better than I could have imagined. Yay for another kitchen success!
Hint: I made the inside ingredients for all three dumplings first before moving on to the filling, wrapping and frying stages. This allowed me to incorporate an assembly line technique to prepare the dumplings.
Five and Spice’s Broccoli Ginger Dumplings
*I made a few minor adjustments to her posted recipe.
- 1/2 white onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons grated ginger
- 4 cups broccoli, stems removed and florets cut into pieces
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- wonton wrappers
Steam the broccoli until bright green and cooked through. Let cool and then chop well. In a large saucepan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat, add the onion and cook for about 3 minutes, until softened. Stir in the garlic and 2 tablespoons ginger, cover and cook for about 5 minutes until soft. Stir in the heavy cream, turn the heat down, and cook for a couple minutes until thickened. Stir in the broccoli.
Transfer the broccoli mixture to a food processor and puree until mostly smooth. Stir in the ricotta. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 12 ounces fresh asparagus, trimmed, quartered crosswise
- 1 8-ounce can whole water chestnuts, drained
- 3 green onions, quartered
- 1 teaspoon oriental sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
Finely mince ginger and garlic in food processor. Add asparagus and the remaining ingredients; using on/off turns, process until asparagus is finely chopped but not pureed.
Chicken & Celery Dumplings
- 1 1/2 medium celery ribs, leaves reserved
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/4 pound chicken breast, chopped
- 3 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
- 20 wonton wrappers
Cut celery into 2-inch pieces. With food processor running, drop in celery and garlic and finely chop. Stop motor and add chicken, 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce, sesame oil, and 1/8 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Pulse until just combined.
Now that you have all 3 fillings prepared, it’s time to assemble.
Lay out 12 wonton wrappers at a time. Put a teaspoon of the filling on one side of each square. Be careful not to overfill. If you do, your dumplings won’t seal. Disperse filling on all 12 wrappers before starting to fold them. When ready to fold, keep a bowl of warm water next to you to use for moistening your fingers. Use a wet finger to moisten the perimeter of each wonton square, then fold one side over onto the other and seal to make a triangle. It’s okay to be liberal with the water. Then, fold in the arms of the triangle and press them together with a little water. Set aside. Once you have assembled the first set, continue with another set of 12 and so on until you have used all your filling.
I folded my Jade Dumplings differently so I could tell them a part. Fold one side onto the other and seal to make a triangle. Fold top down and press lightly. Fold in the arms and press them together with a little water.
To fry the dumplings, heat a pan to medium-high, add enough oil to coat the bottom. Put in one layer of dumplings, and cook a couple of minutes until dark golden. Flip and cook the dumplings on the other side for another minute or two until golden. (It helps if you have tongs.) Continue, adding more oil if needed, until all the dumplings are cooked.
The Dipping Sauce
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
Whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, maple syrup, and ginger.
I made a lot of dumplings today. So many, in fact, that we have tons leftover (unfried) tucked safely in the freezer for another day. Once I got on a roll, I was able to produce over 4 dozen dumplings. I think they will make a great game day snack tomorrow.
*Jon’s note: Use a little Sriracha on the Chicken & Celery Dumplings!