Friday, November 18, 2005

Of Dim Sum and Dumplings

I’ve been telling DucCat for sometime now that when the grew grey and cold, we would suck it up, and make our own dim sum. Finally, the weather changed.

Of course, I know that dim sum is more than just dumplings, but here in swanky Newport News, that’s about as close as we’re going to get. I enthusiastically purchased a variety of veggies, meats, and sauces, and soon we were both chopping and mincing away happily in the kitchen.

When everything was finally in tiny,uniform cubes, I pulled out the three recipes I’d had my eyes upon.

After getting everything sorted into seperate batches and mixed together nicely, I finally looked over the instructions to see how the folding was done. At which point, I noticed that one recipe called for the cabbage to be blanched, then completely wrung dry. A tablespoon of chopped ginger was to be carefully steeped in warm water, before being strained over the meat mixture, and the ginger itself discarded.

You'd think by now I'd know to read each and every recipe thoroughly before starting!. It was too late to turn back, so we forged ahead, and spent the next forty-five minutes stuffing and folding our way to dim sum delight.

And finally, that glorious moment came: fresh, fragrant, pillowy gyoza!

Now isn’t that truly delightful? The mandoo-style was probably favourite, with both of the others closely behind it. I think I’d prefer a slightly stronger kimchee flavour in the Pork & Kimchee dumplings, so will definately up the amount of kimchee. The Pork Dumplings, the recipe which I blazed through heedless of detailed instructions, came out just fine. Next time, I'll follow suit and save myself the time of the blanching and straining steps.

We also had a new favourite join our table that night, Stir-Fried Cabbage. I thought it was pretty good with a little heat still on it, while DucCat thought the flavour vastly improved after cooling completely to room temperature. The dumplings were all served with My Korean Dipping Sauce.

I’ve added the recipe titles with ingredients only, but they all link back to the original recipes. Pleast note that on the final Epicurious recipe, I did nothing more than add all the ingredients together, and stuff them into the dumplings. No blanching/steeping/wringing or straining for this girl!

Korean-Style Mandoo Dumplings
1/2 pound minced pork
1/4 cup minced scallion
1/4 cup minced shiitake mushrooms
1/4 cup minced carrot
1 cup chopped bok choy/nappa cabbage
1 teaspoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon black pepper
large pinch of salt
from Mark Bittman’s The World’s Best Recipes

Pork and Kimchee Dumplings
1/2 cup finely chopped shiitake mushroom caps
1/2 cup finely chopped kimchi
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
2 teaspoons mirin (sweet rice wine)
2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
4 ounces ground pork
from Cooking Light, MARCH 2003

Pork Dumplings
1 pound well-ground, fatty pork
1 pound Napa cabbage
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
2 scallions
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine or sherry
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon fine salt
Pinch of white pepper
adapted from Epicurious


Blogger Alicat said...

Those photo's are unbelievable! So gorgeous!! :)

November 18, 2005 1:16 PM  
Blogger Nerissa said...

I just skimmed the pictures before I read and thought you'd gone to a restaurant. alicat is right. The pictures are gorgeous and your food looks marvy-good! I'll have to copy the recipes as I'm sure His Froginess will love them :)

November 18, 2005 1:23 PM  
Blogger melissa said...

Hey s'kat,
I have a deep and lasting love affair with delicious, filled pockets of all varieties, and these sound darn good. I like your blog, too. Take care,

November 19, 2005 1:48 AM  
Blogger MeBeth said...

I love dumplings so much, and these are stunning! I definitely want to have a dumpling-fest like this some day soon.

November 19, 2005 10:23 AM  
Blogger Mona said...

Wow, those look better than some of the kinds I've eaten in some of the fanciest restaurants in this city. I'm really impressed. I 'll have to try them sometime, recipe doesn't sound that difficult.

November 19, 2005 6:43 PM  
Blogger s'kat said...

Alicat and thediningdica, thank you so much! They really tasted as good as they looked.

Thanks, melissa, I'm out to tackle empanadas next!

MeBeth and Mona, just make sure you have people there to help you wrap. It was more time-consuming than I anticipated!

November 21, 2005 2:27 PM  

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