Living in Houston, there’s a great variety of different cultural eateries on every corner. We live almost across the street from this AMAZING dumpling place (http://www.b4-u-eat.com/houston/restaurants/%20reviews/rsv0646.asp
), and their dumplings and green onion pancakes are to die for! Normally I wouldn’t even bother attempt to make my own when I can walk across the street, but a co-worker of mine brings dumplings to a lot of our lab pot lucks and before she moved, I decided I should learn some basics from her. The basic filling recipe, purse-making and cooking method ideas came from her. She recommended I start by finding fresh pre-rolled dumpling dough at my nearest Asian supermarket.
I checked at a couple of my local non-Asian supermarkets (not wanting to drive over to the Asian part of Houston) and figured it would be less-lazy of me to make my own, so after a quick google-search for Chinese dumpling recipes, I think I found something that would work (http://userealbutter.com/2007/10/04/chinese-dumplings-and-potstickers-recipe/
). *Note: this links to another blog that has a great description of the entire process. However, being someone who finds it hard to follow recipes, I had to add my own touches. Michael has been craving fresh-peach pies from House of Pies (amazing diner in Houston, and the one near our place was where the first portable computer was sketched http://en.wikipedia.org/%20wiki/Compaq
). Chinese dumplings don’t typically go with peach pie, but Michael’s from Georgia, where they like their pork BBQ and peaches, so I thought I’d attempt an Asian pork BBQ dumpling to go along with the peach pie that I picked up from the restaurant. Let the fun begin!
Asian Pork BBQ Dumpling filling:
1 fresh peach, finely minced
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 T sugar
1 lb. ground pork
4 green onions (greens and whites), finely minced
½ package of mushrooms
¼ cup ginger, finely minced
1 t ground white pepper
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 cups of flour
½ cup warm water
Pinch of salt (because all dough needs a little salt)
Freshly minced ginger
Freshly minced jalapeno
To prepare the filling:
Combine first four ingredients, let sit in bowl while mincing the other ingredients. After all ingredients are prepped, mix in large bowl and refrigerate until dough is ready.
To prepare the dough:
In bread machine (because I can), add ingredients and set to “Dough” setting.
To make the dumplings:
Pinch off about a 1-inch round ball of dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll into a circle. Place in the palm of your non-dominant hand. Add 1 Tbsp of filling to center of palm and fold into purse. Okay, so check out Jennifer Yu’s blog (http://userealbutter.com/2007/10/04/chinese-dumplings-and-potstickers-recipe/) for pictures and instructions. I mostly followed them J Just make sure you get a good seal on them, otherwise you’re in for soup!
To cook the dumplings:
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the dumplings. Gently stir so they don’t stick. Once they start to boil, add 1 cup of cold water. Once they start to boil, add another cup of cold water. Once they start to boil, remove from boiling water. I wanted mine to have a pan-fried bottom, so I transferred them to a warm, buttered sauté pan until they were golden brown on the bottom.
One of the best things about the Dumpling King is the Do-It-Yourself dipping sauce. So, each eater can combine the 5 ingredients into their own concoction.
Okay, so everything was delicious! I couldn’t get the dough just right, and pastry was a little thicker than ideal, and I only ended up making ~12 dumplings (that were pretty large). But the important thing is that none of the pouches burst open! The remaining filling I made into little meatballs, which I served over bow-tie pasta (limited resources in my pantry that week) with a quick sauce of ginger, soy sauce, carrots and the rest of the mushrooms. I also made some green onion pancakes (regular pancake mix, followed directions, added remaining green onions). Not too bad. Desert was the regular peach pie from House of Pies. It wasn’t quite fresh peach season, so had to settle on that. It was still good. I’ve since had the fresh peach pie and it really is delicious.