Sunday, June 28, 2009

My Dumpling Making Experience

Place 1 tsp filling in center of Goyza skin

Bring centers together

Make 4 pleats in the side of the dumpling

Finished Dumpling

I have had some really exiting things happen to me in my life.  I've met Pavarotti, and shook his flabby sweaty hand while probably acting like a 16 year old girl meeting Brad Pitt.  He was actually kind of a jerk to me, but I didn't care, the man could do no wrong in my eyes at the time and he had just finished singing a beautiful concert in Miami where some friends of mine and I scored tickets.  I had been talking about nothing else but seeing Pavarotti for a whole week.  I stood in line for 3 plus hours for Star Wars episode one tickets with the same level of excitement I had when I was seven years old seeing the original for the first time.  How was I supposed to know my intelligence would be insulted by Jar Jar Binks the most irritating character of any movie ever made?  I still talked about nothing else but the premier of that movie for at least a week before hand.  My business partner Jeremy Hankins has told me that since he's worked for a long time as a wok chef he could teach me how to make Asian dumplings any time I wanted to learn, but when my buddy En-chi Anna Ho told me she wanted to teach me how to make her dumpling recipe, it was Pavarotti and Star Wars all over again.  I was exited about it all week, and was not disappointed for one second, because I got a double experience.  I GOT ANNA'S MOM TOO!  Sorry Jeremy, but there's nothing better than learning how to make truly authentic Northern Chinese dumplings from a woman that can only communicate with you with smiles, gestures, and a few shared words in English.  I'll never forget it.  I'm going to give you the gist of Anna and her Mom's recipe here without any embellishments on my part, but it's kinda hard to be truly accurate in my measurements by what I saw with my eyes since no measuring implements were utilized at any time during the event.  Here is my best guess.  This recipe makes wonderful chive dumplings.  We did vegetarian dumplings because a lot of her friends at her party were vegetarians, but I will include the meat option here as well.  If you want all vegetarian, just leave the meat out.  I will do this again later this week and try to upload some pictures to help you along the way.


2 cups finely chopped chives
2 cups finely chopped pork, turkey, shrimp, or whatever your carnivorous heart desires
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp white pepper
1 Tbsp minced ginger or powdered ginger
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
pinch of salt

Seriously.  This is it.  Combine all ingredients in a big bowl, mix well, and set aside to stuff.  You should be able to get at least 50 dumplings out of this recipe I think, so one package of goyza skins should do it.  Get a small bowl of water.  Put one tsp of filling in the center of the skin, and with your finger trace a thin line of water around the edge of half the skin.  Do this so that the half moon of wetted wrapper is away from you.  Fold in half and let the centers come together.  On one side of the wrapper create 4 pleats and stick them to the other side.  Dumpling should stand up by itself.  Trust me, I will upload pictures.

In a pan on medium high heat, add a thin layer of oil, arrange the dumplings around the pan in the oil, don't worry about crowding the pan.  Your dumplings might stick, Don't touch them.  Let them fry for 3 minutes.  Add half a cup of water or possibly chicken stock if you have it.  Immediately cover the pan and let the dumplings steam cook the rest of the way, approximately 7 minutes.  The liquid in the pan will release the stuck dumplings from the bottom.  


1 cup soy sauce
3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced scallions
1 tsp minced cilantro
1 Tbsp sesame oil

Whisk all ingredients in a bowl.  Dip your dumplings and enjoy!

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