Without a doubt dumplings are my favourite kind of food. For me they optimise complete comfort in every mouthful.
Dumplings are a common thread throughout many different cuisines. Traditionally made from cheap ingredients, they were used to make soups and stews stretch to feed more people. Today however this humble food has become a world wide popular cuisine. .
The Italians have gnocchi and tortellini, the Japanese have gyoza, the British have bread dumplings, the Swiss have potato dumplings,the Hungarians and Germans have spatzle and the Chinese have wontons, dim sims and pot stickers to name a few.
Steamed, fried, boiled or baked, dumplings are so diverse it is no wonder so many people, including me, love them.
During summer, I find myself craving spicy Asian inspired dumplings, flavoured with fresh ginger, chilli, kaffir lime leaves and pork all gently wrapped in a silken smooth skins.
When I make dumplings at home I make at least 3 times more than I need. I freeze the rest and eat in peace knowing that if a craving comes I have a saviour waiting for me.
Serve your dumplings in a simple chicken stock infused with lemon grass and coriander for a light meal, or with a simple dipping sauce made of soy sauce, a dash of fish sauce and some vinegar.
500g pork mince
3 garlic cloves
3cm piece ginger
1 birds eye chilli
½ bunch coriander
2 spring onions, roughly chopped
2 kaffir lime leaves, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon caster sugar
2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons soy sauce
100g bean shoots, finely sliced
60 round dumpling wrappers*
In a food processor place the garlic, ginger, chilli, coriander, spring onions and lime leaves. Process until fine. Add the sugar, soy sauce and fish sauce and process until combined.
In a large bowl mix together the pork and spices along with the chopped bean shoots. Season with salt and pepper.
Place 1 heaped teaspoon of the mixture onto the middle of a dumpling wrapper and brush the edges with a little water. Press the edges firmly together to seal.
To cook the dumplings bring water or stock to the boil. Gently lower the dumplings into the water and cook for 2-3 minutes.
To cook from frozen, bring water or stock to the boil. Add the dumplings and cook for 6 minutes.
Makes 60 dumplings.
*Note: Dumpling wrappers are available from asian super markets in the fridge. If you are freezing your dumplings place them in an airtight container to freeze.