Thursday, September 10, 2009

In the Kitchen: Chinese Dumplings

The Art of Chinese Dumpling Making: Lesson #1
The Chinese dumpling is a perfect comfort food. Houston has many “proclaimed” best dumplings establishments. I too have made the quest to find the “Ultimate Dumpling” in Houston’s Chinatown to only find a handful places which I enjoy equally the same. When allowed the chance to have a lesson in Chinese Dumpling making I jumped on the opportunity. It was actually easier than I expected.
Filling: When selecting a filling choose what you like. Take this opportunity to add your flavor and twist to your dumplings. For this first lesson my instructor chose spiced ground pork and finely chopped jicama. My favorite spot for dumplings in Houston's Chinatown uses Cilantro and Pork. (Previous Review of X-Café)
Dumpling Wrappers: Dumpling wrappers can be found at Asian Markets. In Houston’s China town they are at every supermarket. Wrappers are usually found in the freezer section.

Begin by laying out the thawed dumpling wrappers.

Spoon the filling onto the wrappers. Allow ample space for folding.  
Brush the edges of the wrappers with warm water to help the wrapper adhere when folding.  
Fold the Wrapper Over and apply pressure to the edges.
The first few dumplings I made looked like Empanadas.
I was quickly taught the multiple edge folds which is characteristic of Chinese Dumplings.  
Next Boil the Dumplings until tender.
Quickly brown the dumplings by pan frying them.
Dumpling Sauce: Mix soy sauce, vinegar and sesame seed oil. Feel free to add sugar or chili flakes to adjust the sauce to your preference.
Dip the dumplings as you eat and enjoy!

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