What You Need
- 4 eggs [1 raw, 3 scrambled]
- 3/4 lb ground beef, tofu, or vegetarian ground beef substitute. (Momo recommends Morning Star ground beef substitute.)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tsp ginger paste
- 2 tsp garlic paste
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbl minced leek (the white part of the leek only) You can also do 1 tbl leek and 1 tbl green onion. That’s what we do. You can also substitute the leek entirely for green onion. (Though leek should be readily available at your supermarket.)
- 1 cup finely shredded nappa cabbage (this can be called “Chinese cabbage” but usually always has “nappa” in it and is found at your local supermarket.)
- dumpling wrappers!! These are potentially a little bit harder to track down. Every “average” supermarket we’ve been to carries them, it’s just a question of where. Sometimes they’re in the vegetarian section, or the Asian section, or near the sushi display if there is one- basically they probably have it, you’ll just have to look. If you can’t find dumpling wrappers, wanton wrappers work just as well. Just make sure to fry them instead of boiling them.
1. Prepare your leek and cabbage and scramble your eggs first! Use only the white part of the leek and make sure they’re minced well. Remember that these little pieces are going into a dumpling, so make them small.
2. Place the pork and water into a bowl and mix with chopsticks. (Around 50 strokes.)
3. Add the raw egg and mix again. (Another 20-30 strokes.)
4. Add soy sauce, garlic, ginger, salt and leek and stir.
5. Add scrambled eggs and cabbage and stir.
6. Now you’re ready to wrap them! Go ahead and sit down, and place a small bowl of water and plate beside you, your mixture, and your dumpling wrappers. You’ll probably also want to grab a regular-to-small sized spoon. Place the dumpling wrapper (round) in the palm of your left hand. Dip your right hand fingers into the bowl of water and wet the outside edge of the dumpling wrapper. Next take your spoon and a dollop size of your mix and put it in the middle of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper in half, sealing the edges shut tightly by pressing them between your fingers. You can also use a plastic dumpling wrapper thingie (pictured below) if you have one. We made this dish several times without one so NO EXCUSES.
There are three ways to cook dumplings. You can fry them, boil them, or steam them. I’ve tried both boiling and frying with this. Boiling is my favorite, as fried dumplings tend to be a bit heavier, but most Americans like them fried best, so if you’re only going to try one the first time- make sure it’s one you think you’ll like! (There’s no reason why you can’t do a little of both.)
Put a medium to large size pot on the stove 2/3 full of water and bring to a boil. Place up to 20 dumplings at a time and let them return to a boil. Once boiling let sit for 5 minutes. Remove into strainer over the sink or another bowl and let drain. They are ready to serve with or without sauce. Be careful, they’re hot!
Add oil to your pan and cook over med/high heat for 2-3 minutes until golden. Flip these constantly. Ready to serve with or without sauce.
The sauce is easy and flexible, if you decide to use any at all. You can use plain soy sauce, or you can add soy sauce and garlic, spicy Asian sauce, dumpling sauce, or anything you feel like, really. (We did soy sauce and garlic, and then there was a spicy version.)
Things You Should Know
This recipe makes about 60/64 dumplings, depending on how small our dollops are. Obviously that’s quite a bit so you may want to half this recipe. Or you can do what we cool cats do and just have lots of leftovers. Be prepared it takes quite a while to prep, wrap, and cook. (2-3 hours) So if you’re looking for a fast meal, this is definitely not it. But it’s totally fantastic to munch on through out the day while you’re immersing yourself in JAPANESE!
Learning Japanese At HomeOur goal for Kanji & Tea, aside from sharing our struggles and successes, is to help provide the everyday person with all the tools necessary to learn Japanese on their own through everyday immersion.
How did you learn your first language? Hands on and not through a text book! You listened, you watched, you absorbed. Well, what's stopping you from learning your second or third language that way? The answer is nothing.
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