Thursday, July 19, 2012

Dumplings, Stir Fry, and Cheesecake, Oh My!

         I love gyoza and so does L. I decided to attempt making traditional dumplings with stir fry and cheesecake bites! Dumplings are so beautiful, neatly wrapped packages with a delicious and savory filling. L even got pretty good at folding them. They definitely take a while to make, so I was hoping to make a lot and then freeze them, but L liked them so much we made all of them and he ate most of them for lunch the next day!

Wonton wrappers
1.5-2 Ib of ground pork
1 Tbs Ginger
3 Garlic cloves
2-3 Stalks of green onion
1 Cup of cabbage
1 Egg for binding
2 Tbs soy sauce
1/2 Tbs sesame oil
Pepper and chili flakes to taste

1.) Finely chop up the garlic, green onion, and cabbage and add to a big bowl. Grate about 1 Tbs of ginger into the same bowl. Add the thawed pork to the mixture, all of the sauces and spices, and one egg. With your hands, mix all of the ingredients together until all is evenly distributed and mushy. 
2.) Take out several baking sheets (I used two), a clean cutting board, and a small dipping bowl filled with water. Grab your wonton wrappers and begin filling and folding each one. Make sure to only fill about 1/2 to 2/3 of a Tbs for each wrapper. In order to fold, with your finger spread a layer of water around the edge of the filled wonton wrapper. Fold the wrapper in half and begin pinching together with your finger to form folds (it sounds hard but you'll get the hang of it!). Repeat folding until all of the gyoza filling is used up. 
3.) To cook the dumpling you have a few options. You can steam and then deep fry, just deep fry, or just steam. I steamed them and then sautéed them in oil until they were slightly crispy. In order to deep fry them, you would fill a pot 1/4 or 1/5 of the way full with oil. Heat the oil until it is hot, but not smoking (use a test wonton wrapper to check how quickly it fries). Fry each dumpling until golden brown all over. 
4.) To steam the dumplings you would either use a traditional bamboo steamer and place the dumplings inside the steamer and put the basket over a boiling pot of water, or just do it with a pot. I don't happen to have a bamboo steamer (although I wish I did), so I did the pot version. I filled a pan with water like 1/3 to 1/4 way up. I heated the pan until the water was almost boiling and then I added my gyoza in batches until they were soft. I then filled a sauté pan with a few tablespoons of vegetable oil and when it was hot, I added and cooked my gyoza unti they were golden on the sides.
5.) You can easily save any uncooked gyoza you have left by freezing them and then cooking and eating them later! I would love to try a version with seafood mixed with pork or maybe a vegetarian version

I have a great recipe for egg rolls that I really want to make soon, so keep your eyes peeled for another post!

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