Nothing says home cooking IN Chinatown better than these dumplings of joy.
I will say this once and forever mean it- Chinese food has my heart. <3 And how lucky AM I to live in the center of it all, on the border of Chinatown in Downtown NYC?! I am surrounded by the greatest of all time Chinese restaurants (ps. if you are in town, check out HK Wonton Garden or 456 Shanghai Cuisine. You will be oh-so-happy you did), and one million and one dumpling dim sum spots. Plus, the hidden organic fruit market gems, AND the fresh veggie stands on every corner. Constantly surrounded by food? What more could a girl ask for?!
Anyhow, as dumplings are one of my all time favorite finger foods, why not take a chance and try to make it at home? Because I have no Chinese background, and I couldn't tell you the first thing about original authentic Chinese cuisine, I thought I'd start my "chinese cooking at home" with a basic dumpling. So simple, but so right. Packed with basically every flavorful veggie out there, and served with super spicy chili sauce.
One of the other perks of living down on Mott street, is that any ingredient I am searching for in the Chinese dishes I experiment (that are nowhere to be found in Whole Foods), can basically be found at any grocery store within a 5 foot radius (not technically, but seriously so close). And I was lucky enough to find a large selections of fresh won ton/dumpling wrappers, made locally, so I don't have to totally butcher that part of the recipe (but give it a shot if you are brave enough, and please share how it came out :) )
Thank you to Woks Of life for sharing this DELICIOUS spin on Veggie dumplings. They are SO flavorful, and seriously up there with all the many dumplings I've had at a restaurant near by, or ordered in. Now, try these for yourself!!
ENJOY! xx S.
I N G R E D I E N T S:
- 1 package of Dumpling wrappers
- 1/2 a head of Cabbage, shredded fine (about 1 cup)
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 8oz. package of Shiitake Mushrooms, chopped
- 2 Carrots, shredded fine
- 2 stalks of Green onions
- 1 inch knob of Ginger, finely grated/diced
- Sesame oil- for flavoring and cooking!
- 2-3 Tbs of soy sauce
- 1 tsp of organic cane Sugar
- Garlic powder & Red Pepper flakes to taste
- Sambal Oelek for serving- or any spicy dipping sauce you might prefer!
PREPARE: Take the cabbage & carrots, and add to the food processor. Chop/pulse until grated- or until you get to the fine consistency you would find in your 'take-out' dumplings! Set aside. Then, chop finely the ginger, onion, green onions, and mushrooms (all separate) and set aside.
START COOKIN': Over medium heat in a large skillet, add a little sesame oil and when hot, add the ginger. Saute for about a minute, and then add the chopped onion and a dash of garlic powder. Cook until translucent, for about another minute or two. Throw in the mushrooms, and cook down until all the liquid begins to evaporate. This should only be about 3-4 minutes, and it's going to start to smell REALLY good (UGH, yum). Lastly, add the carrot and cabbage mixture, and cook down for another 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
MIX IT UP: In a large bowl, take the stir fried dumpling filling, and toss in the green onions, Red pepper flakes (depending on how spicy ya want it!), 1-2 tablespoons of sesame oil, soy sauce, and sugar- if you have on hand, you can also add a tiny splash of rice vinegar to give it that extra kick. Mix well and add some salt to taste, and if it seems slightly dry, add another splash of sesame oil. You want it to stick together nicely so it doesn't fall apart when you're wrapping the dumplings!
FOLD THE DUMPLINGS: Now, this part can get a litttttle bit tricky. I suggest youtube-ing it if you have never done it before ( I did and it helped A LOT). All you really need to do is add a small amount of filling to the wrapper, dip your finger in water, and wet the edges. Then, fold the edges over, and the water will act as glue- take a fork or use your fingers to pinch down the edges so they stick together and form a perfect little shell. **NOTE: When you are done folding a dumpling and set aside, make sure to cover any already folded dumplings with a damp cloth or paper towel to prevent them from drying up.
START FRYIN: In the same large skillet, over medium high heat, add a small amount of sesame oil (or olive oil) to fry these dumplings you have worked so hard on. Just make sure it's only about a tablespoon (two AT MOST) - enough to get them to fry at the bottom but NOT soaked in oil. When hot, add a few dumplings to the pan and fry to 2-4 minutes, until the bottoms get slightly golden. Pour a thin layer of water in the pan (about 1/4 cup), reduce heat to medium low, and cover. Let steam until all the water is evaporated. When all the water is gone, remove cover, increase heat again to medium high and fry until completely golden, crispy, and cooked to perfection! Serve and enjoy with hot oil, soy sauce- or even delicious by themselves! They are THAT good. Promise.