So yesterday, my iphone crashed and because i 1) don’t understand iCloud and 2) don’t want my photos hacked like Jennifer Lawrence, I lost everything. Mostly 1. I don’t understand iCloud. My very first thought was of all the meals I’ve made and photographed with the intention of “blogging later”
Well now I can’t blog later. Very few things please me as much as blogging. You would think that would mean I would do it more, but I’m a procrastinator and there are not enough hours in a day, blah blah blah. 30% of the reason I enjoy cooking is because I later enjoy writing about the experience. Also, I obviously use this blog as my pseudo-dairy which no one reads, but it brings me lots of joy nonetheless.
I’d like to think that this experience would start a fire in me to be more on top of things, and procrastinate less, but it probably wont. I can’t lie to you or myself. It’s similar to when I say I’m going to lay off chocolate or wine- as soon as I say it I’m already thinking up loop holes in my mind of how I can cheat my own system.
I can say with almost 100% certainty that I love Asian food the most. Noodles, pho, dumplings. I dream about this stuff. My obsession really kicked into high gear when I had black truffle soup dumplings at Red Farm in NYC. These things are literally to die for. I can’t compare them to anything else I’ve eaten because that would be sacrilege. Every weekend that we’re in the city I pray Tim will read my mind and take me back there. It’s what I imagine heaven will be like.
Moving on to the pork dumplings portion of the post- no I did not make these last night, I already had the photo’s uploaded onto my blog with the intention of writing about them (oh probably 4 months ago). The last time I blogged was May 9th. That is disgusting. So i’m picking up where I left off. Dumplings are actually easy as pie to make. Although, I don’t know why that’s an expression- pie is not an easy thing to make. Pie is actually super tedious and time consuming to make. The expression should be, “easy as a microwavable meal”.
Actually, the way I made them is super easy. I would imagine soup dumplings take a lot more time and care and the nimble hands of a small angel. I just pan fried mine on the stove.
I had every intention of making steamed dumplings. I even ordered a bamboo steamer from Williams Sonoma. But the steamer was back-ordered and I was craving dumplings and there is nowhere in West Chester that makes even semi-decent dumplings. Believe me, I’ve tried everywhere. I’m almost embarrassed for these places now that I’ve tried the soup dumplings from Red Farm. And I’m embarrassed for myself for stooping so low that I’ve still sought out other places to satiate this craving. Forgive me, Red Farm.
So, in a moment of desperation I decided to make them anyway and pan fry them like the plebeian peasant that I am.
p o r k f r i e d d u m p l i n g s
dumplings have so many different aliases – gyozas, potstickers, wontons, samosas. basically anything folded into a pocket of dough. they can also be made so many different ways – pan fried, steamed, deep fried, baked. and the shapes are endless.
i went with a super basic recipe- pork and chive dumplings. for some reason the idea of making dumplings was super daunting to me. honestly the hardest part was finding the authentic chinese dumpling wrappers that I wanted. They sell them nowhere near me but everywhere in chinatown in philly.
i bought both shapes, square and round, and used the round wrappers for this recipe. i was home alone this night, obviously i got a little carried away with how many i made. still ate them all.
i n g r e d i e n t s
1lb ground pork
1 cup shredded green cabbage
3oz shitake mushrooms, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1tbs fresh ginger
2tsp sesame oil
2tsp sriracha (use less if you’re adverse to spicy)
1/4tsp white pepper
36 dumpling wrappers
2 tbs vegetable oil
soy sauce for dipping
d i r e c t i o n s
in a mixing bowl, combine ground pork, cabbage, mushrooms, garlic, green onion, hoisin sauce, ginger, sesame oil, sriracha and white pepper. i literally love sriracha.
to make the dumplings, lay your wrappers out on a working surface. i used a huge wood cutting block, lightly floured. spoon 1tbs of the pork mixture into the center of each dumpling wrapper. using your fingers, rub the edges of the wrappers with water. you can also do this with a basting brush. next, fold the dough in half to create a half moon shape (everyone knows what shape that is, right?) and pinch the edges to seal the ingredients inside.
to great a great crispy texture on the outside of your dumplings you’ll want to pan fry them. use the vegetable oil to lightly coat the bottom of your pan or skillet over medium heat. you’ll only need to fry them for about two minutes to get a golden brown crispy texture. after they’ve fried for about two minutes, next pour 1/3 cup of water into the pan and let them steam for 3-5 minutes. this is why it is so important to make sure you tightly seal your dumplings!!!! within 3-5 minutes all the water should evaporate.
serve with soy!!!
one of the things i love about dumplings, now that i know how easy they are to make, is how customizable they are. you can literally fill them with anything. again, disclaimer: they will never be half as good as Red Farm. I just want to make that very very very clear. Dumplings also keep really well – you can make a bunch and stick them in the freezer before you cook them. next i plan on making spicy sesame shrimp dumplings. AND I’M GOING TO STEAM THEM!