January 6, 2010

Easy Asian Style Chicken Dumplings

I loooove me some dumplings and I get some pretty serious cravings for Chinese food, cravings like no other. Back when Hubby and I were poor though, we had to sacrifice and improvise. Improvising was really just a nice way of saying we couldn't afford to pay someone else to cook our food...and that was ok, once I figured out how to make it myself. I originally made these dumplings with a dough from scratch (really, it's not as impressive as it sounds) but today these are easy dumplings. You see, now that we're slightly less poor we can indulge in silly little things like wonton wrappers. I love wonton wrappers - really there's no reason for it, they're cute and they make things easy...like dumplings.

This is one of the very first recipes that made it into our keeper cookbook and we really do love it. We love it so much that we're giving it to you so you too can love it! Ok, the meat filling is supposed to be pork but last night I had some ground chicken, so I used that instead (thanks for the suggestion Hubby) and it worked just as well as the pork really. Here's how make these wonderful little bundles of...meat.


Mix the ground meat of your choice (pork and chicken are great) with some soy sauce, oyster sauce and greens onions (feel free to expand here - minced fresh ginger and garlic would be de-lish. Also, if you don't have oyster sauce handy it will be fine substituting with all soy sauce). Do not use salt to season as the sauces are quite salty themselves, even using the low-sodium soy sauce. Then I get a little bowl of water and I set up my assembly line of wonton wrappers. Work with just a few wrappers at a time, I use 4 because they are fickle little suckers and they will dry up on you in a hurry.

Once you have your little army lined up, dip your finger in the water and brush the edges of the wrapper, this will help them seal closed. Fill with rounded teaspoons of the meat mixture. Don't over stuff them, tempting as it may be, or you risk splitting your wrapper during folding...and that's not pretty. Fold over diagonally and press the edges together, trying to squish out any air bubbles that me be cozy-ing up with the filling. Set them on a plate once they're all stuffed.

Now we're going to get these puppies into the hot tub. Boil them about 5 minutes or so until the meat is cooked through - I always tend to cook them an extra minute just because no ones wants to bite into a raw dumpling, eeewy. Usually two batches works out well for me but you don't want to over crowd the pot. And there you have it, perfect little Asian style dumplings mmmmmm.

(they look a little brain-like don't they?! adorable!!)

Easy Asian Style Dumplings

3/4 lb ground chicken (or pork)
1 1/2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 or 2 greens onions, chopped (I usually just use 3-4 scallions, which are a bit smaller than the green onions, but adjust to your tastes)
wonton wrappers - I use Nasoya wrappers and tend to get about 20-25 dumplings out of this recipe, but I just go until I run out of the meat mixture so the amount may vary
optional: minced garlic or ginger

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine the chicken, soy sauce, oyster sauce and green onions until thoroughly combined.

Set the wrappers (4 at a time) on a dry surface and wipe the edges with a finger dipped in water. Place rounded teaspoon of the meat mixture in the center of each wrapper.

Fold each wrapper in half diagonally pressing the edges together to seal, making sure to press out any air bubbles. Set filled dumplings on a dry plate in a single layer.

Boil dumplings in batches of about 10 dumplings (don't over-crowd the water) until the meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove to serving plates and enjoy with a dipping sauce of your choice (mine is ranch dressing...hey don't knock it until you've tried it!).

Dumplings on Foodista

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