One night, I decided to mass produce some homemade chicken dumplings.
Here’s the recipe.
- 2 tbsp Soy sauce
- 2 tbsp Sesame oil
- 1 tsp Chili oil
- 1 Scallion (chopped)
- 1/2 Onion (chopped)
- 2 tbsp Garlic (minced)
- about 2 lbs Chicken (boneless thighs)
- Dumpling skins (also known as: wonton skin, gyoza skin, potsticker wrappers, etc. They are available in squares or circles.)
- (Optional: cabbage (napa) and mushrooms (shiitake) are just two of the many other possible ingredients to incorporate in the dumpling mixture)
- 1 tbsp Olive oil (for pan-frying the dumplings)
- In a food processor, ground up the chicken meat.
- Mix in the chopped onions, scallion, and garlic.
- Add soy sauce and sesame. The chili oil is optional, but it adds a nice kick to it.
- Process mixture until it is well blended.
Making the dumpling:
- Fill a small bowl/saucer with water. The water is used to seal the dumplings. An alternative is to use egg white instead of water. Honestly, I don’t know what’s the difference.
- There’s many forms and styles for folding the dumpling. The rule of thumb is to scoop about a teaspoonful of meat mixture onto the center of the dumpling skin. (as pictured below) It’s important not to be too greedy, or the dumplings won’t close up properly.
- Dip your finger into the water and moisten the edge of the dumpling skin all around the meat filling.
- Next, fold the dumpling skin over, making it into a semi-circle. Apply slight pressure to seal the dumpling.
- To make the dumplings look pretty, you can make small folds on the round side of the semi-circle. They will appear like a series of pleats or creases. It will look something like this:
To avoid the dumplings sticking together, I place the completed dumplings onto a cookie sheet. Also, it’s important to leave some room between each piece. Otherwise, by the time you are ready to cook them, they will be glued together.
Like I mentioned, there’s many ways of folding a dumpling. So it’s completely alright to get creative. Here, we used both squared and circular dumpling skins and folded them a variety of ways.
Let the mass production begin!
Basically it comes down to either boiling, steaming, or pan-frying the dumplings.
Boiling: Drop dumplings into a pot of boiling water. The dumplings are ready when they start to float to the surface.
Steaming: Place dumplings on top of a steaming rack. Steam until dumplings are fully cooked.
We decided to pan-fry!
Pan-frying: Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet. Once the skillet warms up, lower the heat slighting and place dumplings on to the pan. The pretty patterning (shown below) is optional. When the pan starts to sizzle, add some water into the pan. There should be enough water to cover about half the dumpling, but not too much. Cover the skillet with a lid and let it cook for about 10-15 minutes. Check to see if the dumpling is cooked. It’ll look a bit more transparent and moisten when it’s cooked. Remove the lid and let the dumplings cook a little more. They will start to turn a little brown on the bottom. Remove the dumpling from the pan and onto a plate once it reaches a nice golden brown color. This gives the dumplings a nice crispy taste when served.
- Buy dumpling dipping sauce at the store: I like this hot and spicy dumpling sauce they sell in small bottles.
- Make your own dumpling dipping sauce: You can make your own dumpling sauce by simply mixing about 3 tbsp soy sauce with 1 tbsp rice vinegar. That’s the most basic. You can get a little more extravagant by adding some minced garlic with sugar, grated ginger, and sesame oil. Additional chili oil or chopped up chili peppers can also be added to give the dipping sauce extra kick. (I love spicy foods!)
We ended up making about 60+ dumplings but only cooked about half of them. The rest was stored in the refrigerator. We cooked them the next day. Freezing the uncooked dumplings are an option. In this case, you have to package them carefully so that they don’t get stuck to each other and falling apart when you cook them.
However, in the end, freshly made dumplings are always the best and most tasty!