02 June 2009

Chinese Dumplings

If it's wrapped, sandwiched, rolled up, or stuffed into an edible material, I will eat it. I will happily munch on burritos, egg rolls, dosas, stuffed peppers, tortellini, crêpes, rice balls, Vietnamese spring rolls, pierogies, chimichangas, blintzes, sushi rolls, tacos, stuffed deep-dish pizza, enchiladas, ravioli, and miniature quiches. My friend Justine likes to make Burrito Bowls, which is all the fillings without the tortilla; well, Justine, it may be healthier—a lot healthier—but you are Missing the Whole Point.

The point is that it's like eating a nicely wrapped present. That's the point.

I was bowled over with joyousness when Vegetarian Times magazine had a whole section featuring home-cooked take out food. I had just cottoned onto the astonishing deliciosity of vegetarian dim sum in New York City and San Francisco and was eager to build myself a three-week stash of this goodness. Kay was visiting me at the time so I enslaved her and together we produced Eggplant shu mai and Chinese dumplings (with snow peas and mustard greens). Kay now says she hated them, but I think she's just remembering all the hard work they required because she sure wolfed them down, same as George and I did.

How to Cook Chinese Dumplings

You can find your own recipe; the tricky part is cooking them properly. I prefer to use gyoza skins (pictured above) but won ton skins are okay. When filling them, moisten the edges with water or egg yolk, and bring the edges together in whatever shape you want, making sure that there's a flat surface somewhere on the dumpling so you can cook them easily in the frypan. Then freeze the dumplings on a flat surface. When they're good and frozen, you can seal them in freezer ziplocks for a long time if you like.

Take out the least sticky fry pan you have and cover the surface of the pan with a mixture of oil and mostly water. Heat it up but good. Add the dumplings, so the fry pan is not too crowded. Cover the fry pan with some sort of lid or foil. Occasionally push the dumplings around so they don't stick to the bottom. After they're cooked all the way through and the water is cooked off, continuously move the dumplings around the fry pan until the bottoms are nicely crisped up. Serve immediately with the dipping sauce of your choice.

No comments:

Goofy Gourmet, The - Blogged Cultu UR Technologie Directory Site Meter