So last night Seth and I were watching “New Girl” and we were on that episode in season three when Coach is trying to convince Nick to start working out. For the first five minutes of the episode, it shows Nick eating dumplings from a Chinese restaurant down the street, and Coach keeps asking him “Do you want to be a do-er or a dumplinger??”. We were laying there watching this episode and craving dumplings so hard that we almost drove out to buy some and eat them in the parking lot. And it was eleven o’clock at night.
We wanted them SO BAD I can’t even explain it to you.
Hence today’s recipe…
PS…if you don’t watch New Girl…highly recommended.
So I decided to take a shot at making home made dumplings to satiate our craving. And let me tell you…making dumplings by hand is not an easy task! This definitely isn’t a 30 minute meal, but it is totally worth it. These dumplings are SO amazing.
The filling is moist and absolutely packed with flavor. The dumplings are tender from being steamed, but also have a crunch from the pan-fried-bottom. And the sauce…it has a base of soy sauce flavor with some kick from Sriracha, some sweetness from the honey, and it ends with a delicious and mild peanut flavor from the peanut butter.
So yes, they might be a little time consuming to make, but they will definitely be a crowd pleaser!
Throughout my dumpling journey, I learned many things to NOT do, and many tips to make this process easier for you. This is the first time I have ever made dumplings, so I definitely had to learn as I went. So you should definitely read my tips so you don’t run into some of the predicaments I faced ;).
Dumpling Crisis #1: The amount of filling. I started with too much and had to scrap several wonton skins. I was using the basic square wonton skins, and 1 teaspoon of filling ended up being the perfect amount. Make sure its not a super heaping teaspoon, or it will be more difficult to squish it all in there.
Dumpling Crisis #2: Running out of water in the pot while the dumplings are steaming. I have this pot with a “steamer attachment” (don’t know if that’s what they call it), and it just sits on top of another pot, almost like a double boiler with holes. Similar to this:
Well, on about batch four, the pot underneath ran out of water, so it was just radiating dry heat onto the steamer pot, and dumplings got scorched to the steamer. Yes. It was not a fun 5 minutes as I was hunched over the sink scraping with all my strength to remove the scorched dumplings from the steamer. But good news! That won’t happen to you! Just lift up the steamer every few batches and make sure you still have several inches of water.
Dumpling Crisis #3: Dumplings sticking to the steamer. This wasn’t a big problem, because they weren’t sticking bad. Just a little. Enough to rip little holes in their delicate skin (totally still usable when that happens, by the way). This crisis has a SUPER easy fix. Just drizzle a little vegetable oil into the steamer and brush it around with a pastry brush. You already need to use a pastry brush for the egg wash, so you don’t even have to wash any extra dishes (yay!).
And that’s it! Those were my three crises.
And look! We got through it together, the dumplings and I.
I do have one other tip about how to put these little guys together. So I realized this trick about half way through, and it made the stuffing process far more fool-proof and easy. I am going to try and explain this the best way I can…So after you put your filling in the middle of the wonton skin, pull one corner down to the other corner to make a little triangle. Then, using your fingers, press one side of the triangle down to form a seal. At this point, you should still have one open edge. At this point, if you pick the dumpling up and hold it in your hands with the open edge facing up, you can seal it more easily. I feel like you have more control this way, and if the stuffing starts to pop out (which happens often) you can just push it right down with your finger. It is easier than pressing all sides together while it is laying on the counter…does that makes sense? If it doesn’t, let me know in the comments and I can post pictures.
Then again…you might do it this way and hate it! Find your own dumpling assembly style :). I am making it seem far more difficult than it is…It really isn’t that bad – it’s kind of fun!
Yum, Yum, YUM.
Here is the recipe:
- For the dumplings:
- ½ pound ground pork
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 green onions
- ½ of a 5 oz can of water chestnuts
- 1½ tablespoons soy sauce
- ½ tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon hoisin sauce
- ¼ teaspoon fish sauce
- ⅛ teaspoon fresh grated ginger
- 1 egg + 1 tablespoon water
- Wonton skins (you will need at least 20)
- For the sauce:
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- ½ tablespoon sesame oil
- ¼ teaspoon Sriracha
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 tsp peanut butter
- ¼ teaspoon rice vinegar
- Finely chop your garlic, scallions and water chestnuts.
- The more finely you chop everything, the less of a chance there is that it will break through the wonton skin during assembly
- Grate your ginger
- In a large bowl, combine the pork, garlic, green onions, water chestnuts, soy sauce, sesame oil, hoisin sauce, fish sauce, and ginger
- Mix together with your hands until everything is completely combined
- To assemble, make an egg wash by whisking together 1 egg and 1 tablespoon of water in a small bowl
- Lay out your wonton skins and place 1 teaspoon of filling in the center of each one
- Using a pastry brush, brush a layer of egg wash along all four edges of the wonton skin
- Pull one corner down to the other corner, forming a triangle and, using your fingers, press down along the edges, sealing the dumpling completely
- Prepare your steamer and drizzle a little vegetable oil onto it -- brush it across the steamer evenly with a pastry brush. Re-do this step every 4-5 batches so the dumplings won't stick
- Steam your dumplings, covered, in batches for 4 minutes each batch (I was only able to steam mine 4 at a time, so that's what the cooking time calls for)
- Set each batch of dumplings aside until they are all completed
- Once all your dumplings are steamed, heat a large saute pan over medium/medium-high heat with a little vegetable oil
- When your pan is hot, fry your dumplings in batches. It happens VERY fast, so watch the bottom of the dumplings carefully. It took around ten seconds per batch for me with a hot pan. Take them off when the bottoms of the dumplings are golden brown
- Place the dumplings in an even layer across a few sheets of paper towels after they have been fried so any excess oil can drain off.
- For the sauce, add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until it is completely combined and smooth (I used the smallest cup on a magic bullet)
**Note: If you don’t want to take the extra step and “pan fry” the dumplings, you definitely don’t have too. They are absolutely delicious either way!**
If you make this or any of my other recipes, make sure you Instagram it and hashtag #thegarlicdiaries!