18 January 2008

Pork Dumplings, Asian-Style

Until a few days ago, I had never worked with wonton skins. I had just barely worked with ground pork. When I put the two together, I came up with these dumplings. I can't say that they're authentic, but they are very tasty - better, I think, that any take-out I've had. They're also remarkably easy to make, considering how difficult I expected them to be. It is time consuming, though - the recipe makes a lot of dumplings.

Asian Flavored Pork Dumplings

1/2 pound ground pork
1 clove garlic, grated
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 inch lemongrass, finely chopped
1-2 teaspoons lime juice
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
Salt and freshly grated pepper
1-2 teaspoons stir-fry sauce
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
40-50 wonton wrappers
vegetable or other light oil
chicken stock

1. Using your hands, mix the pork, garlic, inger, lemongrass, lime juice, soy sauce, stir-fry sauce and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Cover the wonton skins with a wet paper towel while working to prevent them drying out. To assemble the wontons, you'll need some water in a cup or bowl that you can easily dip your finger into.
3. Put a 1/2 teaspoon of the pork mixture into the center of a wonton wrapper. Lightly wet two sides of the wrapper with water, and fold in half diagonally to make a triangle. There are three ways to shape the wontons: you can leave them in a triangle, or you can make two crimps on each of the two sides of the triangle to make a diamond-like shape, or you can bring two of the corners (the two on either side of the crease) together in the center of the bundle. This makes a purse-like shape.
4. Repeat with the rest of the wontons, placing the finished ones on a sheet pan under a damp paper towel.
5. To cook the wontons, very lightly oil a large non-stick skillet. Place over medium-high heat. Put as many wontons as you can into the pan - I never had a problem with over-crowding. Brown on both sides (it takes less than a minute), then pour chicken stock into the pan carefully, until it reaches about half-way up the wontons. Boil until the chicken stock is gone. Move the wontons into a oven-safe dish and keep in the oven on 'warm' until the rest of the wontons are done. Wipe out the skillet between batches.

Today, I'm reading... On Chesil Beach, by Ian McEwan.


Deborah said...

I love making dumplings with wonton wrappers, but you are right, it is very time consuming. Yours look wonderful!

Nabeela said...

Do you think your french bread could be halved? I already have lots of bread at home but I still wanna make yours...

Rachel said...

The recipe that I started with for the French Bread called for the dough to be divided into two loaves, so it could absolutely be halved - I would just start checking on it after 15 or 20 minutes in the oven. Let me know how it turns out!