Tuesday, May 1 2012, 11:37 AM MDT
Chinese Dumplings With Lamb, Carrot & Chive
As aired on January 23, 2012
An amazing Chinese woman, (Christy) Song Ching, showed me how to make authentic Chinese dumplings while enjoying a memorable summer evening in my kitchen. My cooking lesson resulted in these toothsome little pillows, beautifully formed and irresistibly tasty. Don't make the mistake of assuming you will eat only one.
The two keys to great dumplings: finely mince all the filling ingredients and avoid the tendency to over-fill the wrappers; too much filling makes the dumplings difficult to seal.
For a vegetarian variation, leave out the lamb and chives to make delicious Carrot-Ginger Dumplings.
Makes 60 dumplings
1 cup white onion, finely diced
1-pound lamb, well-ground
2 cups grated and finely chopped carrots
3-4 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
3-4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
salt to taste
2 tablespoons olive or peanut oil
1 package fresh round dumpling wrappers (about 60)
small bowl of water
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 heaping teaspoon sambal (chile paste)
1 tablespoon scallion, chopped fine
Make Lamb Filling:
Wrap chopped onion in several layers of paper towels and squeeze between hands to extract as much moisture as possible. Transfer onion to a medium mixing bowl. Add next four ingredients and stir well to combine. Add egg, soy sauce, salt and peanut oil. Using hands, mix very well.
Place one teaspoon of filling in the center of the dumpling wrapper. Using fingertip, wet outer edge of dumpling wrapper around filling. Cupping the dumpling in one hand, start at one end and with the other hand press edges together, making pleats every 1/4-inch or so. Seal as you go so no filling escapes during cooking. Deflate any air pockets as you press the edges together. Try to shape a fat rounded bottom with a semi-circle of small pleats around the top, like a crown. Place dumplings on parchment lined baking sheets and press bottom slightly to flatten so dumpling will stand up in pan. Continue until all dumplings are filled. This fun project can occupy many hands in the kitchen at once.
In a large pot, heat water to almost boiling. Simmer dumplings until they rise to the top of the pot. Test a dumpling by slicing open. They are done when lamb is opaque and dumpling wrapper is tender but still firm.
Make Dipping Sauce:
Stir together sauce ingredients. Adjust soy sauce to taste.
Serve hot dumplings immediately with dipping sauce.