Monday, January 30, 2012

Happy Chinese New Year - Merry Style!

I love chinese dumplings and potstickers, or my personal name for them: lazy sui mai.  Why lazy?  Because I use a dumpling mold instead of mucking about with forming it by hand!  But the funny part is that, I will start out making sui mai traditionally, then get fed up with my ugly attempts and pull out my dumpling maker.  Sad, sad, sad, and lazy!  See, that is where the lazy comes in.  But, it does make pretty dumplings, and makes me look far more proficient than I really am. 

You can find these dumpling makers everywhere, but I like JapanBargain on Ebay.  Free shipping on just about everything, and every japanese kitchen utensil I ever need can be found in their store.  The dumpling maker comes with a handy little spatula, to deposit just right amount of filling.

Before starting, set your steamer up.  Basically, you need something to hold the dumplings up and out of the simmering water.  You could set a plate on top of a cup inside a covered pot of simmering water.  Or buy a steamer plate, again Japan Bargain has these, or use the steamer insert that came with your pan set.  Line the steamer with cabbage leaves, these keeps them from sticking and I also feel it adds an authenticness, but that just maybe my imagination.  Put the heat on low-med to start the water heating, by the time you are done pressing the dumplings, it should be simmering.

Merry's Dumpling Filling

1 lb of skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/2 lb of shrimp, peeled, cleaned and tails off
1 bunch of green onions, chopped
1 can of water chestnuts, chopped small
4 tbsp or more of soy sauce
2 tbsp of oyster sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp rice vinegar

You will also need: savoy cabbage leaves for the steamer

Dipping Sauce
Sweet Chili Sauce
Soy Sauce
Peanut Butter (optional)

Process the chicken and shrimp until minced thoroughly.  Add the rest of the ingredients and process until well mixed.

Add about tsp or so of filling on top of a gyoza dumpling skin on top of the dumpling press.  Push the filling down a bit, then squeeze the maker shut firmly, to seal the filling in.  Look at my fat little fingers, they look dumpling like too!!

Proceed as above until all your filling is gone, I was able to make quite a bit, I used about 55 or so dumpling skins.  If you don't have the round skins, you can use square wonton wrappers, just cut them into circles with a cookie cutter, or heck keep them square, just set them on the diagonal in the press.

Place them in your cabbage leaf lined steamer inset, cover and steam for about 12 - 15 minutes, break one open at the end of the first batch to see if you have steamed them long enough.

Take them out, and let them cool a bit, before storing them and freezing them.  What?  Yes, freeze these lovelies so when you have a craving, you can pull a container out and micro them for a few minutes, and soothe that craving!

I mix a few tablespoons of sweet chili sauce with some soy sauce, and that is my dipping sauce.  If you want to kick it up a notch, add a spoon of peanut butter and smooth it all together. 


Sue said...

Thanks for the recipe...I will make these.

The 21st Century Housewife© said...

I love that little dumpling maker! Believe it or not I've never seen one before! Your dumplings sound absolutely delicious, and I look forward to hopefully giving them a try soon. What a great way to celebrate Chinese New Year! Thank you for sharing this post with the Hearth and Soul hop.