Recipe: Dumplings

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Dumplings are so incredibly delicious and also fairly easy to make! Over the last couple months at Casa de Dyer Ho we’ve been experimenting with cooking all sorts of new dishes based on Mexican and Chinese cooking, and most recently we’ve been making our own dumplings. Jay has come up with a recipe that we’re both thrilled with, and I’m going to share them with you! These are lovingly called Jay’s Surprise Hot and Numby Gunpowder Sacks.

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The filling is fairly simple, arrange all the above ingredients, chop up your cabbage and saute it with a minced clove of garlic, then combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. While this is our favorite recipe, you can supplement and experiment! Use shallots, add in fermented broad bean paste, or throw in one of the huge variety of chiles from around the world. The trick to these dumplings is the balance between the peppers and the ma la — the “hot and numby” sensation. Once you’ve got everything mixed in a bowl, heat up some oil in a pan and plop in a spoonful of the mix. Cook it well and taste — here’s your chance to fix it. Once you’re happy with the filling’s taste, put the bowl in the fridge so the flavors can meld for at least 20 minutes.

The slurry: about 1tbs corn starch in water.

The wrappers: find yourself some nice, thin, round dumpling wrappers. Some people insist on rolling their own dough but they’re just crazy overachievers.

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Set yourself up with a little bowl of the slurry (stir it thoroughly, this is your glue) and your wrappers. There should be a lot of them in the package (about 70) and they’re TINY, so keep this in mind as you work. Hold a wrapper in the palm of your hand, put in a small spoonful of your mixture, and then dip your finger in the slurry and wet the edges (about 1/3 inch from the edge) all around the wrapper. And then, you tuck in the edges and twist. The first few will probably turn out ugly and messy, buy after a few you should start to get the hang of it, as long as you fight the temptation to put in too much filling.

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Make about 20 of these little guys, marvel as they get cuter and cuter, and then load them up in your steamer. I prefer a bamboo double-decker steamer. Arrange your little dumplings in the steamer so that they each have their own breathing room, bring your water to a boil in a pan, and set your steamer in the pan to cook. About 10 minutes should do the trick. A little longer, and they will probably get juicier. Remove lid from your steamer, and dumplings should be noticeably cooked, the wrappers will look somewhat transparent. Put your dumplings on a plate and allow to cool off a little so you don’t burn yourself. Eat hot! Use a dipping sauce of your desire.

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They go quickly, and you should have enough mixture for several batches of dumplings. Enjoy!

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More recipes we enjoy:

Steamed Shrimp Dumplings – We just made these last night, same basic method as above, but with shrimps!

Ma Po Tofu – So good! The Woks of Life is full of great recipes.

Sichuan Peppercorn Chicken – If you want to play with your sichuan peppercorns some more, this dish is a classic.

Concept Kitchen – And if you want to dream about a futuristic cooking prep table, here you go.


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