Saturday, July 23, 2011

Pan fried dumplings

It's hard not to love a dumpling, but I am biased as I would say that they are one of my favourite foods.  I would feel like an imposter if I was not able to cook dumplings, since I've dubbed myself  'Dumpling Girl', so this post is going to be about whipping up some easy no fuss home style pan fried dumplings that are also known to the Americans as pot stickers and have a similar texture to gyoza.

Please heed this warning, I have my family's terrible habit of cooking enough to feed an army, as this recipe easily yields about 75 dumplings.  When I decide to make these, it's either because we have heaps of people over or Cheesecake Boy and I will be eating these for a few days on end, like last weekend.  If you decide to make the full mixture and get sick of dumplings you can always turn the mince filling into a stir fry with tofu or whatever tickles your fancy as there are so many things you can use this mince mixture for.  This is definitely not a strict recipe as when I cook savoury dishes I work on instinct, but when it comes to sweets I follow the recipe to the tee.  Here comes some dumplings...

500g of pork mince
500g of beef mince
4 medium leaves of a Chinese cabbage, finely chopped to bits
3 stalks of shallots, finely chopped
3 medium cloves of garlic, finely chopped
30g of ginger, finely chopped
30g of hydrated black fungus
5-6 medium to large rehydrated shitake mushrooms
2 tablespoons of light soy sauce
1 teaspoon of sesame oil
Salt and white pepper to season
1 egg 
3 packets of 30 round gow gee wrappers
Oil for frying
3/4 rice bowl of water for cooking

To serve
Red or black vinegar
Strips of ginger for vinegar (optional)

Method for the dumpling filling
  1. Rinse 5-6 dried shitake mushrooms and then place in a cold bowl of water the night before or at least 5 hours before making mixture to rehydrate the mushrooms.
  2. Place half a handful of dehydrated black fungus in a bowl of cold water for a maximum of 30 minutes prior to preparing filling, a bit of this goes a long way.
  3. Get a large mixing bowl for putting your prepared ingredients in and set aside.
  4. Once the shitake mushrooms are nice and plump, wring out the excess water, chop off the mushroom stalk and discard the stalk only. 
  5. Finely chop up the rest of the mushrooms and place in your mixing bowl. 
  6. Repeat step 3 for the black fungus and place it in the same mixing bowl as the chopped shitake mushrooms.
  7. With the shallots discard the top quarter and finely chop the rest of the shallots and transfer to your bowl.
  8. Peel the garlic and the ginger and finely chop both, then add to the rest of the finely chopped mixture.
  9. Finely chop the four leaves of Chinese cabbage and add it to the mixture.
  10. Now add both the beef and pork mince into your mixing bowl.
  11. Crack your egg and add it to the filling.
  12. Measure and add soy sauce and sesame oil.
  13. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.
  14. Finally with your hands, thoroughly combine all the ingredients together.

    Method for wrapping dumplings
    1. Fill a small bowl with some cold water and set aside.
    2. Take one gow gee wrapper and depending on how big the wrapper is place a flat tablespoon of filling into the centre of your wrapper.
    3. Dip your index finger into bowl of water and wet the edge of the gow gee wrapper.
    4. Now seal the gow gee wrapper, by holding the wrapper in half over the filling so that it resembles semicircle. Make sure both edges match up and then firmly press the edges together.
    5. Now with your newly formed semicircle, take the edges and pleat them so that the dumplings resemble the photo above. Sorry not the best example, but you get the picture.
    6. Repeat this process for each dumpling.

      Method for cooking  

      Make sure you have a pan with a lid before you start, I use a 30cm saute pan that comes with a lid.  My pan can fit a whole packet of 30 dumplings, so if your pan fits less dumplings you will need to change the amount of water you pour in during the cooking process.  I have also found that for different stoves (in my case have used both gas and electric) you may also have to adjust your temperature, so know your stove well for best results.
      1. Heat up your pan on the maximum temperature.
      2. Once the pan is hot add enough oil to cover the base of your pan. 
      3. When the oil is quite hot, add your dumplings carefully, but quickly.
      4. I find that it is good to move your dumplings around the base to make sure that it is not sticking to the pan and at the same time to check that there is enough oil to crisp up the bottom of each dumpling.
      5. Once the bottom of the dumplings are looking nice and golden but not overly, get your bowl of water and lid ready.
      6. Now quickly pour the cold water into the pan with one hand and immediately after place your lid over the pan.  Otherwise, the oil and water will pop everywhere and you could get burnt.
      7. Turn the temperature down to about 3/4 on your thermostat.
      8. Leave the lid on and let the dumplings cook for 7 minutes.  This time seems to work well with my pan.
      9. After 7 minutes check to see if the water has evaporated and that the dumplings are cooked through.
      10. When ready remove from pan.

      To serve

      Finally, serve with the sauce of your choice and enjoy them while they are hot and crispy on the bottom.  We usually use red but you can use black vinegar as well, and when I am not lazy I add some strips of ginger to the vinegar.

      Cooking away, Dumpling Girl.


      chopinandmysaucepan said...

      Yes!! A recipe from Dumpling Girl at last!

      I love these dumplings and 75 would not be a problem for me and Mysaucepan having it over a few days. We don't mind eat our fave foods over days too :)

      I cook with instinct for savoury stuff too and looks like you felt a little lazy with the dipping sauce :) Thanks for the recipe.

      spiderman said...

      Dumpling Girl, i took one look at the very last picture and my mouth was dripping with saliva. Thanks a lot.

      Dumpling Girl said...

      Lol, chopinand. Thanks for the encouragement, just hard to post my own savoury dishes as I just kind of go with the flow. Hope Mysaucepan and you enjoy :)

      Hello spiderman, hehee, hopefully that means you will make some soon, or if you're lucky your Mary Jane might whip some up for you :D

      Jen said...

      Your dumplings look so neat. I've never made a small batch of dumplings so your recipe seems perfectly normal to me! :)

      jack said...

      A very apt recipe! Those dumplings look yummy and perfect for this cold weather, you do justice to your name Dumpling Girl :)

      Dumpling Girl said...

      Thanks Jen, I try to make them neat. Otherwise, my family picks on me as their ones look pro. Lol I was aiming for a small batch, but estimation is not my strong point :)

      Hey jack, thank you so much. Good to know that you still think the name befits me.

      Anonymous said...

      I love dumplings! My mum makes me all the time and freezes them so we have plenty to have every morning for breaky for at least a week!! haha great job :)

      Tina@foodboozeshoes said...

      Loving your pleats! I love dumplings just as much, though the quantity I can consume scares me a little... The spitting oil-water part is a bit scary too.
      I always cook for an army too (eve if it's just 2 of us) - nothing wrong with leftovers!

      Dumpling Girl said...

      Hi minibites, thanks. Lol, your mum's so sweet to give you dumplings for breaky.

      Hello Tina, thank you. Good to know your a fellow devoted dumpling lover. You're right, left overs are great. means less cooking for the next few days :)

      Vivian - vxdollface said...

      yum! i like mine crispy pan fried as well :D sometimes i sit next to mum and help her fold them but mine turn out kinda ugly :)

      Dumpling Girl said...

      Hi Vivian, lol, I am sure yours are not ugly. Cheesecake Boy helps me wrap them sometimes too :)

      spiderman said...

      Dumpling Girl, that's a great idea...i shall now subtly pass her a link to this page! haha

      Dumpling Girl said...

      Hey spiderman, lol let me know if you got lucky and if they turned out okay for you. Good luck :)