5.06.2011

Pork & Spinach Dumplings

04.26.11 

what's this? oh nothing...just amazingness lol


My mom's side of the family loves to cook together and share food. That's how we all bond, usually through my uncles AWESOME dumplings. I'd say that he's made the best that I've eaten...but then again I'm hugely bias because it's not only the taste that makes it so good, but the company with whom I eat them with. Family...can't beat that. Usually haha

Most of my family’s in Hong Kong but those of us here in Toronto, do get together from time to time. We bond over lamb, watercress, or pork dumplings. A little nostalgic, my mom and I decided to make pork & spinach dumplings. 

I don’t have a set recipe but I’ll describe what I can along the way…with the help of many many photos :D







The “pei”, or dumpling wrappers is the component that takes the longest to make. I was in charge of them so I had to get started right away. 

**PSST! you can buy the dumpling wrappers at the grocery market! I just wanted to use my pasta machine so I didn't... haha

Beat two eggs, then add enough water to make 1 cup of liquid.


In a mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of flour and a pinch of salt.
Make a well and pour in the egg mixture. Mix liquid and dry to form a ball of dough.
Let rest for 10-15 min. 
The stages of making the dough.



Meanwhile, my mom made the filling. 

In the sink, she washed a huge bunch of spinach (stalk and leaves all included). 

That then went into a pot of boiling water and a big pinch of salt. 

Shocked the spinach, and squeezed out all the water from them (you don’t want to have diluted filling..ew haha). 

Finely chop the spinach.


















This is ginger! It's a little spicy & often used in asian cuisine. :)

For flavour, she used grated ginger (about 1 ½ tsp) and to that, she added what seems to be around 3 tbsp of water. 









I feel like a zester or a microplaner would've worked better but I don't have one :(



Now in a mixing bowl, she added 1 lb of ground pork, the ginger/water, spinach, pinch of salt & sugar, and about 2¼ tsp soy sauce. Also, 1 tsp of cooking wine went into the filling. My mom mentioned something about the coarse properties of spinach?
the filling

***When mixing, only mix in one direction to ensure a smooth filling that doesn’t come apart. Drizzle in about 1 tbsp of oil as you are mixing. 


Continuing with the dough; it has now rested for about 15 min and is ready for some action. Work it in batches, keeping the rest of the dough in the mixing bowl, covered with a damp tea towel to avoid it from drying up. 
My workstation. Notice the bowl with the cloth on top, the dough's inside


With my rolling pin still at a friend’s place from when we made Portuguese egg tarts, I was “forced” to use my pasta machine, not that I complained. :D I thoroughly enjoy using it for it’s convenience and because it’s just so much fun to see the dough get thinner and thinner!
 
I rolled the balls of dough into long sheets. Unfortunately, I don’t have a circular cookie cutter so I had to improvise lol So knife and cup it is! 

Make sure to dust the wonton wrappers with flour to avoid them sticking to one another. I think I was able to make about 70 wrappers (the filling was the limiting factor) and the extra dough went towards making some flat noodles. 
I was so scared that they would stick...so i went a little overboard on the dusting of the flour haha
Noodles!


This is a mini montage of photos to show how to make a dumpling. As you can see, my mom spoons some filling into the middle and through a series of pinches and a final press, she forms a pretty dumpling. 


To eat them, you can boil or fry them.


We did both. To boil, heat up a pot of water (filled to about halfway—making sure that when you add in the dumplings, that they will not touch the bottom). When it boils, place dumpling in one by one. 
When the water reboils and the dumplings have risen and float, pour in some cold water. (for the 9 dumplings in the photo, about 1/3 cup of water was poured in). When the water finally boils for a third time, remove the dumplings. They’re now ready to be served.


You can dip them in soy sauce, red vinegar, sesame oil, a mixture and any of those and more! The possibilities are endless :D


To fry, heat about 1 tbsp of oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Place dumplings in the pan, without pilling them up. After about 3 minutes, when they don’t stick to the bottom, pour in water til about halfway up the dumplings. 
Cover, let cook/boil for another 2-3 min or until the water is fully absorbed. Let the dumplings fry a little bit longer to achieve that crispy bottom. You can turn them over using a spatula to fry the other sides as well. The dumplings should now be ready to eat.




**An odd tip my mom told me, if you feel really full after having eaten the dumplings, you can drink some of the water that you used to boil them to alleviate that bloated feeling. Weird? I think yes. Does it work? Not sure. But give it a try! ;)


3.5 out of 5 NOMs
nomnomnomnoh



4 comments:

  1. awesome post Carmen! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. also:

    'You can dip them in soya sauce, red vinegar, sesame oil, a mixture and any of those and more! The possibilities are endless :D'

    so what do you prefer?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Korean dumplings are similar...we put in some firm tofu crumbled into the filling and bean sprouts (steamed) as well

    -Christian

    ReplyDelete
  4. @dar, i like soya sauce with a bit of oil and sugar. mmmm

    @christian, i love korean dumplings!! :D haha

    ReplyDelete