Saturday, February 27, 2010
Dumplings, gyozas, potstickers... please tell me the difference.
I really love dumplings, but I admit being very picky.
I like them crispy, and on all sides.
I don't like mystery crunchy-chewy bits. This is why I rarely buy them in dumpling shops or frozen.
Even though I have been exposed to all types of food in Chinatown from the age of 3 or 4, I am still not able to 'get over' some textures. I love jellyfish and gooey desserts, but I don't like tripe and cartilage. A good friend of my parents was from Hong Kong and he got a kick out of ordering the oddest things, and watching us eat it, and then telling us what it was. (My parents followed him to Toronto once for a culinary escape and to this day, are still positive that they ate dog. But Ron would not say. And they could not ask.)
Preparing your own dumplings at home lets you cook them as you prefer and, big bonus, you know what is in them! Plus, these are treats that freeze well, and they don't take that much time to make.
Once your dumplings are shaped and ready to go, you may cook them a few ways:
*Add enough oil to cover almost all the bottom of a pan, heat on medium-high. I like a mix of canola and sesame oil. Cook on all sides until crispy.
*If you wish for a bit less frying... have 1/2 cup to 1 cup water near pan and ensure that you have a lid that fits. Add 2-3 Tbsp oil to a hot pan and heat. Add dumplings and ensure that bottoms are golden. Stand back and add water to pan, then quickly putting the lid on to steam. Once the water has almost all evaporated, they should be cooked through.
You can prepare the dumpling mixture in a food processor if you wish, but I prefer having some 'larger chunks' for bursts of flavour. Don't be shy to put as much stuffing as you can in the dumpling wrapper - the outside puffs up as it cooks.
As for the dough, I buy it already made. Preparing the dough from scratch is a project for another day!
makes about 60
1 lb pork, lean
2 green onions, light and dark green parts, chopped finely
5 water chestnuts, finely chopped
1 inch ginger, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp sambal
2 Tbsp soy sauce
Chopped coriander to taste