Daring Cooks: Dumplings! (with edits)

dumplings cooking

Hi there!  Just wanted to jump back in and add a few notes about this recipe.  All the new notes will be in green!

This month was my first daring cooks challenge.  It was hosted by Jen of Use Real Butter, and she chose Chinese Dumplings and Potstickers!  In my typical fashion, I had a whole month for the challenge, but I made the dumplings last night (the reveal date was yesterday!).  I planned to blog about them as soon as I finished eating them, slip my post in at the last second, and call it a night.  Well, needless to say, it didn’t quite happen that way.  Here’s what really happened:  I did make the dumplings last night, around seven.  They came out perfectly, but by the time I was done I didn’t really feel like having dumplings for dinner and my roommate was tempting me with the idea of going out to get Ethiopian.  Here’s the thing.  I’ve been craving Ethiopian food ALL WEEK and haven’t been able to get someone to go with me.  So of course, I caved.  I threw the rest of the dumplings in the freezer and we went out.  We had an awesome meal, hung out on the restaurant’s back patio for a while, and then I came home and promptly fell asleep watching Heroes, forgetting all about my plans to make a sneaky last-second post.  That brings us to this morning.  Well, I figure 8 hours late isn’t too big a deal, so here you go!  Potstickers!


Here the dough, after being kneaded.


Filling the dumplings…


And here the are now, crimped and ready for the pan.

ready to eat

And here they are again right before I put them in the fridge and went out to Ethiopian!  I did try one though.. delicious!

Chinese Dumplings/Potstickers

pork filling:
1 lb (450g) ground pork
4 large napa cabbage leaves, minced
1 small onion, minced
7 shitake mushrooms, minced (if dried – rehydrated and rinsed carefully)
1/4 (55g) cup ginger root, minced
3 tbsp (40g) soy sauce
2 tbsp (28g) sesame oil
1/2 block silken tofu
One note: the original recipe had cornstarch in the filling.  It acts as a binder.  I didn’t use it for two reasons:  One, I didn’t have any (simple!).  Two, I learned, on the dumpling episode of Bobby Flay’s Throwdown, that adding silken tofu to dumpling filling yeilds a silky (go figure) and perfectly textured dumpling.  I don’t like it when the meat part of the dumpling cooks up too hard, and tofu works perfectly to keep it the texture I like.   It also acts as a binder, helping the filling hold together while keeping it moist.

dough: (double this for the amount of filling, but easier to make it in 2 batches – or just halve the filling recipe)
2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (113g) warm water (although I ended up using much more)
flour for worksurface

For the filling: Combine all filling ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly (I mix by clean hand). Cover and refrigerate until ready to use (up to a day, but preferably within an hour or two)

To make the dough: In a large bowl mix flour with the water and stir until water is absorbed. Continue adding water one teaspoon at a time and mixing thoroughly until dough pulls away from sides of bowl. We want a firm dough that is barely sticky to the touch.

Knead the dough about twenty strokes, adding more flour as needed to keep it from sticking, then cover with a damp towel for 15 minutes. Take the dough and form a flattened dome. Cut into strips about 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide. Shape the strips into rounded long cylinders. On a floured surface, cut the strips into 3/4 inch pieces. Press palm down on each piece to form a flat circle (you can shape the corners in with your fingers). With a rolling pin, roll out a circular wrapper from each flat disc. Take care not to roll out too thin or the dumplings will break during cooking – about 1/16th inch. Leave the centers slightly thicker than the edges. Place a tablespoon of filling in the center of each wrapper and fold the dough in half, pleating the edges along one side. Keep all unused dough under damp cloth.

*There are two other, easier, ways to do this, both of which I tried.  One, you can just roll the dough into a log and cut off pieces, squish them flat, and then roll them a little flatter.  You can also take a bigger piece of dough, roll it out like a pie crust, and then use a 4-5 inch round cookie cutter (or even the rim of a glass) to cut out circles.  Both of these methods worked well for me.

To pan fry (potstickers): Place dumplings in a frying pan with 2-3 tbsp of vegetable oil. Heat on high and fry for a few minutes until bottoms are golden. Add 1/2 cup water and cover. Cook until the water has boiled away and then uncover and reduce heat to medium or medium low. Let the dumplings cook for another 2 minutes then remove from heat and serve.

To freeze: Assemble dumplings on a baking sheet so they are not touching. It helps to rub the base of the dumpling in a little flour before setting on the baking sheet for ease of release. Freeze for 20-30 minutes until dumplings are no longer soft. Place in ziploc bag and freeze for up to a couple of months. Prepare per the above instructions, but allow extra time to ensure the filling is thoroughly cooked.


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14 Responses to “Daring Cooks: Dumplings! (with edits)”

  1. JeanZ Says:

    Wow, they look great, and I probably would have run out for Ethopian too, as that is one of my favorite cuisines! I know you will love the leftovers potstickers.

  2. Audax Artifex Says:

    They are better the next day and 8 hours isn’t too late and WOW how good is you pleating. And Ethopian is a fav of mine you did the right thing. Bravo on your honesty. Kudos for your wonderous dumplings. Cheers from Audax in Australia

  3. stephchows Says:

    I LOVE Ethiopian but most of my friends who love it too have moved away, so whenever I get a chance and a willing friend, I go! Beautiful pics of the dumplings though 🙂 And no worries about being a little late I would have picked Ethiopian too 😉

  4. cait Says:

    you guys are so sweet! oh man I wish you all lived around here so we could all go out to Ethiopian together! hehe. Oh by the way… the last ingredient in the dumplings is not tof.. hahah yes you probably figured it out by now but that’s silken tofu.

  5. Valerie Says:

    Oh, I am all too familiar with food-related dilemmas! 🙂
    No worries, the dumplings didn’t go anywhere! They look very pretty, good job! Congrats on your first DC challenge!

  6. Anula Says:

    Congrats on your first challenge! I loved it too – it was great fun and what a delicious result 🙂 Your dumplings look very yummy! Cheers.

  7. Olga Says:

    wow, your pleats are absolutely perfect! I really like how they are symmetrical and meet up in the center.

    • cait Says:

      Thanks Olga! Haha i actually just did it that way cause it’s easier, but yeah, i like the way it looks too 🙂

      To everyone.. I just checked out all of your dumplings, they look great!!

  8. sweetie Says:

    the pleating is stellar! i’m confused about this part of the recipe:

    “Take the dough and form a flattened dome. Cut into strips about 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide. Shape the strips into rounded long cylinders. On a floured surface, cut the strips into 3/4 inch pieces.”

    can’t you just take off little portion from the dough ball and smush ’em flat? : )

    • cait Says:

      haha yeah you can, and I did 🙂 That’s just the recipe the way it was given to us. I posted in a rush this morning and was hoping to go back during the day and update the post with little notes about the recipe, but work was a bit crazy today. But yes, you can definitely just smush.

  9. Mary Says:

    Your dumplings look like they were made by a professional. I think you did a great job.

  10. lisamichele Says:

    Your dumplings came out lovely, especially the dough and pleats@ Awesome job, and they look nice and fat and delicious!

  11. lisamichele Says:

    Your dumplings came out lovely, especially the dough and pleats! Awesome job, and they look nice and fat and delicious!

  12. Jen Yu Says:

    Hey, nice job on the dumplings. They’re beautiful! And I can relate to not wanting to eat them after making them… especially if it takes a few hours. Congratulations on the challenge!

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