Thursday, September 9

Little dumplings for a little dumpling....

Actually I am slightly less dumpling like this week, although this weight loss thing sure is sloowww. However last nights supper was fresh, light, yet delicious, and I am sure it helped things along nicely...

I was watching Rude Boy Food on Food TV the other night, Aaron Craze worked at Fifteen, Jamie Oliver's restaurant in London then won a competition to start his own pub. He is also on Market Kitchen from time to time. I was all prepared to cringe at the Mockney references, and at times all the faux wide boy nonsense was a tad irritating. But he can cook, and all three dishes were food I would want to eat, although probably not while freezing my tits off on a grim Southend beach....

Aaron made dumplings, which were also demonstrated at my cooking class at Somerset Cottage on Sunday. I can wholly recommend these classes, you will undoubtedly come away having learnt a trick or two, have some great recipes, and a lovely lunch, what could be better? The dumplings at the class were pumpkin, but I fancied pork , which is what Mr Rude Boy whipped up also.
Dumplings are quite easy to put together, and rather therapeutic to make. The trick is to make a whole batch at once, then freeze them.

The mixture is simply a bit of chopping and stirring, then it is just a case of filling each wrapper, while resisting the temptation to don't want fat little dumplings bursting out of their wrappers do you?

The following made 47 dumplings, I used 6 per bowl of soup, and froze the rest.

Pork Mixture

500 grams minced pork
3 spring onions finely chopped
3 tbsp shaoxing cooking wine (or a splash of sherry or ordinary wine)
3 tbsp soya sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
Knob of ginger about the size of your thumb, grated
Handful chopped coriander
1 red chili deseeded and chopped (or use chili flakes)
zest & juice of a lime

Simply mix the whole lot together, and use about a teaspoonful in each dumpling wrapper. You can also use wonton wrappers. I got mine from Farro but you can usually pick these up at the supermarket, or greengrocer.

To make the dumplings I put my filling into each wrapper, then dipped my finger into a small bowl of water and ran it around the edge of the wrapper. Fold over the filling and press the edges together. I then went around and crimped the edges between each of my thumbs, creating a sort of pleat. Believe me it sounds a lot more complicated than it is, and as long as the filling is sealed in, it does not really matter what they look like. As you can see I have taken that piece of advice to heart. I am quite democratic in my ethnic boundaries however, and I can assure you my samosas look equally amateurish....


For the record 47 of these little puppies took no more than about 35 mins, so not quite as time consuming as you would think.....


To cook, I heated up  
3-4 cups of fresh (well, frozen actually!) chicken stock, 
A large knob of ginger that had been sliced into 5 pieces,
One sliced chili (to taste)
Big splash of soya sauce,
Big splash of kecap manis (that thick Indonesian soya sauce I would add to everything if I could)

When the stock was simmering I cooked half the dumplings for about 5 mins, stirring gently when I first put them in so they didn't stick, then removed them to a warm plate and cooked the other half. These were also put on a plate, and I added

Half a sliced red pepper
A handful of sliced mushrooms
Big bunch of chopped fresh spinach 
Two sliced spring onions,

Simmering for a couple of minutes until everything is cooked. Put your dumplings into warm soup bowls, and ladle over the hot stock mixture. Sprinkle with chopped coriander, and more fresh chili if you like. This method, while slightly more time consuming that simply throwing everything into the stock and cooking, means the dumplings remain perfectly cooked, rather than turning to mush while the vege cooks......

We really enjoyed this supper, the dumplings are light yet substantial, and the soup, with plenty of ginger , veges and chili is really tasty. To freeze the remaining dumplings I simply put the whole oven tray in my freezer, and when frozen took them out and bagged them up into portions of ten, feeling terribly domestically fabulous while I did so....
My next mission is to create a vegetarian dumpling filling that is equally delish, so watch this space....


  1. Mmm, yum, watching this space.

  2. Oh my word they look delicious.

    Hopefully you'll find my following observation as amusing as I did once I realised my error, and won't be offended - if so I am TERRIBLY sorry!!!

    In your first photo of the soup with dumplings above, which I saw before reading beyond 'little', I thought the dumpling at left was the back end of a little frog and wondered where you'd managed to find frogs to make it. :-) Then I read on and breathed a sigh of relief.

  3. Thats hysterical! No, I am not at all offended, now you have pointed it out it is glaringly obvious......what a clever bean I am finding frogs in Ellerslie, non?:)

  4. Yummmmm, that looks awesome! I haven't made any dumplings before, but those look really tasty!

  5. Go for it Laura! Easy peasy once you start, you'll wonder what all the fuss was about:)

  6. I'm a dumpling gal from way back (see kaertner nudeln, germknoedel, gyoza) and plan on making some with topfen (quark this weekend). A friend of dumplings is a friend of mine ;P Hope you're feeling a lil better doll, maybe we can do a dumpling making party with the blogging girls when I come back ^_^


I'd love to hear what you have to say, please feel free to comment:)