Dumplings

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This is a dumpling recipe that I use to make dumplings. This recipe is from my favorite food blog (https://thewoksoflife.com/). The blog is full of a bunch of Chinese recipes, more on the traditional side. The blog is also useful in that it provides a bunch of information on and related to cooking. There are methods on how to maintain a wok, debone meats, wrap dumplings and egg rolls, make homemade noodles, and even secret tips and tricks that restaurant chefs use that differentiate a home-cooked meal from a professional meal. The blog also categorizes recipes depending on what you are working with, like, fish, beef, vegetable, chicken, etc. There’s even a big section on the wide varieties of Asian spices and sauces.

Making dumplings is one of the things that instantly takes me back to my childhood. My mom would hit up an Asian supermarket, grab all of the ingredients, and then use me and my two siblings as a dumpling production factory. I must say, the first few times making dumplings was full of me getting frustrated that my dumplings were turning out overfilled and ugly and ended with me giving up. But after a while, I got the hang of it and it became a therapeutic thing for me. We would always make hella dumplings at once then freeze them. It was a nice family activity that killed a few hours.

My favorite way of eating dumplings is fried. Heat up a pan of oil, dump the dumplings in, fry them for a minute or two until adding water to cover them 2/3 of the way up. Fry them until the water is gone then I like to wait a little bit for the skins to crisp up. I usually eat them without any sauce but if I am feeling saucy, I would add chili oil, soy sauce, and extra minced garlic. I also enjoy boiled dumplings with black vinegar if I am too lazy.

Ingredients
* 3 lbs green leafy vegetable (1.35kg, like shepherd’s purse, baby bok choy, napa cabbage, or Chinese chives)
* 1 ½ pounds ground pork (680g; can substitute ground chicken or beef, as long as they aren’t too lean)
* 2/3 cup shaoxing wine
* ½ cup oil
* 3 tablespoons sesame oil
* 1 tablespoon salt
* 3 tablespoons soy sauce
* ¼ teaspoon white pepper
* 2/3 cup water (plus more for assembly)
* 3 packages dumpling wrappers
Instructions
* Wash your vegetables thoroughly and blanch them in a pot of boiling water. Transfer them to an ice bath to cool. Ring out all the water from the vegetables and chop very finely.
* In a large bowl, stir together the vegetable, meat, wine, oil, sesame oil, salt, soy sauce, white pepper, and 2/3 cup water. Mix for 6-8 minutes, until very well-combined.
* To wrap the dumplings, dampen the edges of each circle with some water. Put a little less than a tablespoon of filling in the middle. Fold the circle in half and pinch the wrapper together at the top. Then make two folds on each side, until the dumpling looks like a fan. Make sure it’s completely sealed. Repeat until all the filling is gone, placing the dumplings on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Make sure the dumplings aren’t sticking together.
* If you’d like to freeze them, wrap the baking sheets tightly with plastic wrap and put the pans in the freezer. Allow them to freeze overnight. You can then take the sheets out of the freezer, transfer the dumplings to Ziploc bags, and throw them back in the freezer for use later.
* To cook the dumplings, boil them or pan-fry them. To boil, simple bring a large pot of water to a boil, drop the dumplings in, and cook until they float to the top and the skins are cooked through, but still slightly al dente.
* To pan-fry, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a non-stick pan over medium high heat. Place the dumplings in the pan and allow to fry for 2 minutes. Pour a thin layer of water into the pan, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Allow dumplings to steam until the water has evaporated. Remove the cover, increase heat to medium-high and allow to fry for a few more minutes, until the bottoms of the dumplings are golden brown and crisp.
* Serve with soy sauce, Chinese black vinegar, chili sauce, or other dipping sauce of your choice!

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