Monday, June 19, 2006

Green Dumplings

From the picture above, you must think that this is a failure but it isn't! They look horrible but taste really good which is much better than something looking great and not tasting great, I think. More on this later.

We received a pound of bok choy in our box last week. We were sick and tired of stir-fries and hard pressed to find a non-stir fry recipe. My cooking buddy being the master recipe researcher that he is found this recipe! I can't tell you how proud I am that we didn't make a stir-fry out of of this.

This recipe was exciting for me. I love Asian dumplings in all forms and never thought about making them at home until we found this simple recipe. It's a little bit intensive but fun! It's worth the effort and can be made in a group setting.

Makes 6 to 8 servings
Time: 1 "so worth it" hour

-1 1/2 pounds bok choy
-1/2 cake firm tofu
-2 egg whites
-4 scallions, minced
-2 tsp soy sauce
-1 tsp garlic, minced
-1 tsp ginger, minced
-1/4 tsp sesame oil
-2 dozen gyoza or wonton wrappers

My modifications
I only had a 1 pound of boy choy and 2 scallions. I kept everything else the same.

Press tofu. Please see cabbage roll recipe on pressing.

Steam bok choy until wilted, about 5 minutes or so. Let cool and drain. Then chop finely, pressing out any excess water.

In a food processor or blender, puree tofu with egg whites. Add bok choy and scallions, and all other ingredients except wrappers!

Place about 2 tsp of filling into wrapper and fold into triangle. Arrange on a heatproof plate or steamer tray and steam over boiling water until cooked through, about 4 minutes.

This is where the recipe fell apart for us. As you can see from the picture above, many of our dumplings were torn open. During the steaming process, the dumplings stuck to each other and were difficult to separate without being torn.

This is what I suggest. The back of the wonton wrappers packaging suggests taking the triangle one step further to make a true dumpling by making the two bottom corners touch (look at the package). They don't explicitly say why but I recommend you do take this step because there will be less surface area which means that there are fewer points of contact between dumplings. Hence less sticking! I also think that boiling them in batches (instead of steaming) for the same amount of time would reduce the sticking to each other issue. I don't have a large steamer tray so stacking and stickiness was inevitable.

If you serve these as is, you may find that the dumplings lack salt but if you serve with soy sauce, this isn't a problem!

If you can get these right, you could really impress some folks.

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