Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Chinese Dumplings with Beef and Green Onions

I have only a few childhood memories of helping my mom cook in the kitchen. Usually she handles it all. In one of them I remember chopping Napa cabbage furiously for the dumpling filling. Then we made snakes out of the left over dumpling wrappers, which I believe were homemade. This dumpling recipe doesn't have Napa cabbage in it, but it's made the same way--homestyle.

Chinese Dumplings
About 60 dumplings

1 lb ground beef
2 inch fresh ginger, minced
4 stalks green onions, finely chopped
4 large Shiitake mushrooms, softened and finely chopped
4 oz firm tofu, finely cubed
4 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp finely ground pepper
1 tbsp corn starch
Dumpling wrappers

Dipping Sauce
6 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 stalk green onion, finely chopped
Hot sauce (Sriracha), optional

Prepare filling by putting ground beef, ginger, green onions, Shiitake mushrooms and tofu in a large bowl. Add soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and ground pepper. Mix a little, then sprinkle corn starch in the bowl. Combine until all ingredients are just incorporated. Do not over mix.

Set up a baking sheet with plastic wrap for placing dumplings and a bowl of water for sealing the wrapper.

My dumpling station
Place about one tablespoon of filling in the wrapper. If it's store-bought, one side will be less floured. That's the side to fill. Dip your finger in the water, then wet half of the dumpling wrapper along the side. Pinch in the middle, then seal both sides with your thumb and forefinger. Homestyle.

I made 45 dumplings this time. One serving is about 10 dumplings in my family. The uncooked dumplings can be frozen. Keep them on the pan while they freeze. Once they are frozen, keep in a freezer bag. It's so convenient when there are frozen dumplings in the freezer! The leftover filling is good for Chinese meatballs or Ants on Branches (future posts).

Usually we fry half to make pot stickers, and cook half in boiling water. First the boiled kind: Add dumplings to about 3 quarts of boiling water. Stir carefully to prevent dumplings from sticking to the bottom of the pot. After they float up, wait two minutes, then use a slotted spoon to spoon them out. Carefully stir with a wooden spoon or chopsticks and a little bit of dumpling water so they don't stick together in the bowl.

To make the sauce, combine soy sauce, rice vinegar and sesame oil. Sprinkle in green onions. Add hot sauce if desired.

To fry dumplings: Heat 2 tablespoon of oil over medium high heat. Place dumplings bottom side down. Fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes.

Turn dumplings so the backside is down. Fry until golden brown.

Turn dumplings frontside down. Add about 1/2 inch of water carefully to avoid splashes. Cook until all the water is gone, and wait 2 minutes until the side that is down is also golden brown.

My stove is uneven so the dumplings are all gathered on one side

Fry to perfection and serve with sweet chili sauce.

It's our favorite meal. What's your favorite homemade meal?


s said...

This looks so good!!!

Sandy a la Mode said...

i love love love making dumplings!! they are soo fun to make and yummy!!

hong-lean said...

hi sandy! thanks for taking the time to leave a comment! y'know my mom's name is also sandy. i'm going to send her your blog. i think she will enjoy it.

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