Oh dumplings, never change…
This was only my third or fourth attempt at making dumplings (mandu if you’re in Korea) and it does get easier to get them all together but with endless possibilities for flavor, its hard to choose what to use. You need something that will make a little heft for a nice bite. If you’re not a meat eater, I would suggest the tofu like I used here. glass noodles or more vegetables (cabbage, onions, something sturdy).
The trick is the filling to dumpling wrapper ratio…it will be everything. You’re not a machine, you can’t fill up your dumpling like a store bought one unless you are really, really talented. So don’t beat yourself up if it takes a bit to figure out the ratio. Practice, fail, keep trying. That’s the way to do it.
You could also just make a little half circle dumpling. There’s no shame in that shape and I’ve done it myself. They’re great for frying, actually. But, I made these in the shape of dumpling that’s good for steaming (bikini season!) so that’s why they’re so cute. ❤
Never made dumplings before? Here’s some newbie advice:
1. They won’t be perfect. Unless you spend your day making dumplings for a living, you are not going to make every dumpling perfect the first time around–or ever. Some will be terrific and some will be flops. It takes some time to figure out the right amount of filling and water to get it looking decent.
2. Some wrappers will tear from either using excess water or just because the universe doesn’t like you that day. It’s okay, either work with it or discard the wrapper and reuse the filling in another one. The goal, don’t get your wrappers wet until its time.
3. Don’t over water the edges, just a dip of your finger will do. Also, don’t under water it, you need those edges to stick or they will open when cooking.
4. Keep your wrappers and finished dumplings under a damp towel to keep from drying out.
5. You want to make dumplings at least a day before for the best taste.
- 1 package of circular dumpling wrappers
- 4 small heads of bok choy; ends cut off and cleaned
- 5-6 large cloves of garlic
- 1 block of firm tofu
- 2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- sesame oil for drizzling
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Place dry bok choy on a baking sheet with garlic. Drizzle with sesame oil. Salt and pepper and add 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Roast the bok choy for 15-20 minutes or until its nice and browned and the garlic cloves can be crushed easily.
- Take the bok choy and garlic out of the oven, let it cool. Place the bok choy in a paper towel or a cheesecloth and wring out until most of the moisture is gone. Chop up, Chop up garlic as well. Break apart the tofu and place in a cheesecloth or paper towel and squeeze all the water you can from it. Place bok choy, garlic and tofu in a bowl.
- Make a mixture with the back of a spatula, breaking up the tofu and mixing it all together. Salt and pepper again and add the 2nd teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
- Start rolling up your dumplings following the steps in the pictures below. 😀
You need to make the dumplings the day before for the best taste AND to let it firm up for cooking. I actually freeze mine for weeknight dinners.
In a pot place 1-2 inches of water and add a steamer on top. You either need to use a cheesecloth or oil the steamer if you use a metal one like me. Those dumplings will stick. Once the water is boiling, add your dumplings and cover. Let cook for about 10 minutes and check for doneness.
If you want to pan fry your dumplings, just drop the dumpling on a hot skillet with cooking oil.
Here are the steps to making a little army of dumplings all for yourself!
The dumplings go marching…
I was losing light so I needed a picture quickly. These are not totally done and they’re cooked on the day. Remember, make them one day ahead of time for better firmness and taste.