Tag Archive for soy sauce

Pork Dumplings

Pork Dumplings

Chinese dumpling swimming in a soyless sauce based dipping sauce.

 This is one of those meals that scores you major points as a cook. People are impressed that you can make ‘restaurant food’ and it’s really yummy without requiring any particularly exotic ingredients.

 If you like, you can buy the wonton wrappers in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores, but considering that you can make your own with just flour and boiling water, it’s worth at least trying to make your own and see if you like it. (They’ve worked perfectly every time I ever tried to make them, except for the first time I tried to make them on camera….)

 If you’re considering freaking out about the fact that I don’t use whole wheat flour for these, first, my husband liked them so much when I made them this way the first time that he didn’t want me to change them, so I decided not to start monkeying the the recipe. Second, I’m not sure white flour is quite the evil specter it’s made out to be.

White flour simply provides large amounts of energy (carbs and calories) with no nutrients.

 Some people can actually put large amounts of readily available energy to good use, and only need to be sure that their energy intake is balanced by high nutrient foods such as vegetables. Others may not be able to process such concentrated energy as easily and need to significantly limit their intake of processed foods such as white flour.

 Pay attention to how to feel after eating various foods to determine how your body functions best, but as long as you’re eating a variety of different kinds of foods prepared in a variety of ways (cooked, raw and fermented), don’t kill yourself stressing about having a perfect diet. (That would kind of defeat the purpose of having a healthy diet anyway…)

 These dumplings are completely scrumptious when made with pork, but they’re also good with ground turkey (which is much cheaper, and a bit more readily accessible), especially if you increase the seasonings a bit to compensate for a blander meat. I’m listing a range of amounts for the seasonings in the recipe below. Simply use the least amount recommended if you have real ground pork, and the largest amount if using ground turkey.

Healthiness Rating: Kinda Healthy 

Yeah, after my whole explanation of how white flour isn’t awful, I’m still only rating this kinda healthy. It’s not unhealthy, because you manage to avoid all the chemicals and additives you’d get buying ready made pork dumplings, but white flour is still a zero nutrient food. It could be part of the healthy meal, but in itself, it’s not a particularly healthy food.

Yumminess Rating: Yummy

One of my husband’s favorites, and definitely a fun dish to have in your cooking repertoire.

Pork Dumplings

Dough:

2 cups white flour

1 cup boiling water

Filling:

1 lb ground pork or ground turkey

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

1 egg

2 TBSP fresh parsley, minced

AND/OR

2 TBSP chives or green onion, finely sliced

2-4 TBSP soy sauce or soy sauce substitute

1 1/2-3 TBSP sesame oil, peanut oil or other oil

1 TBSP fresh ginger, finely grated OR 1 tsp ground ginger

Dipping Sauce:

1/2 cup soy sauce or soy sauce substitute

1 TBSP rice vinegar (try lemon juice if you don’t have rice vinegar)

1 TBSP sesame oil, peanut oil or other oil

Mix together all filling ingredients and set aside. (You may refrigerate for as long as overnight if you want to make the filling ahead of time.)

If you have a food processor, use the blade attachment, put the flour in, and turn it on. Slowly pour a stream of the boiling water into the flour, and continue mixing until the dough forms a ball. Dough should have a ‘squeezy’ elastic consistency.

If you’re not using a food processor, just put your flour and water in a bowl, mix, and then knead until the dough comes together into a ball with an elastic consistency. (Be careful not to burn yourself on the boiling water!)

Roll out the dough (half the dough at a time) to 1/16 inch or thinner, until translucent. If it sticks to the counter use a little corn starch, potato starch or flour as you roll it out.

Cut into three or four inch squares. Put about a tsp of meat filling in the center of each square. If needed, spread a little cold water around the edge of the square to help it stick together. (Sometimes mine stick better with water, and sometimes without.)

Fold the square of dough from corner to corner, into a triangle shape, and press down firmly on the edges to seal them. Take the two corners of the triangle and fold them up, squeezing them together over the center of the dumpling. Repeat for each dumpling.

Boil about a quart of water in a medium saucepan. Put about six dumplings in the boiling water and let cook for five minutes or so. You’ll see the dough become more translucent, and if you like, you can cut open the first couple to make sure the meat is cooked properly.

Cooking Pork Dumplings

The pork dumpling on the left is cooked. The one on the right is still raw.

Fish out the dumplings with a slotted spoon or other implement of choice and repeat cooking directions with another batch of dumplings.

If  you need to keep them warm as you’re cooking more, you can put them in a warm oven in a small casserole dish with a couple tablespoons of water in the bottom to keep them from drying out.

Mix together dipping sauce ingredients.

Serve dumplings warm with dipping sauce.