Sunday, June 14, 2009

Daring Cooks: Dumplings

For the second edition of the Daring Cooks, our host Jen of Use Real Butter, chose Chinese Dumplings. At first I was a little disappointed with the challenge as I had done it before in another group (my recipe pick at the time actually). But after I thought about it, I was eager to give the pleating another try as I failed miserably last time.

I stuck with the recipe as written even though we could be creative as we wanted with the fillings (I used the pork option). Taking into account my experience last time with the dumpling dough, I went small and only made enough for a small batch. I still couldn't get the dough rolled out to the proper thickness so my dumplings ended up being a little doughy after steaming. I did a little better (depends on your definition of better) with the pleating this time but nothing really to be proud of. They still look a bit of a mess!

I considered trying to bake the dumplings but went ahead with just steaming them (I love my bamboo steamer!). Next time I'll attempt baking to see how they fare. Pan fried dumplings are delicious but I thought it would be better to steam them so they would be sure to get cooked all the way through (the doughy-ness remember?). Plus I had this gorgeous head of cabbage that I picked up to line the steamer (unlike last time when the dumplings stuck!).

Chinese Dumplings
Sorry for the crapola presentation. I just could make myself try and pretty up something so blah looking. Obviously these aren't the better pleated ones. They still stunk.

Taste wise these were just fine (if you ignore the doughy bit). The filling was obviously the best part. I'll definitely keep it in mind when I make dumplings again.

Dumplings are definitely something I would like to make more often. They are perfect for a quick and easy weeknight dinner when you make them from scratch and freeze them. The next time I do however, I will be buying the wrappers. Its just so much easier and they are the correct thickness. I don't think I could stand to eat another doughy dumpling! I know its all my fault for being a crappy wrapper maker. I'm sure in the hands of someone who won't mess it up, homemade wrappers would be perfect!

To see this June's recipe, head over to see Jen at Use Real Butter. You can also find it here at the Daring Kitchen. To see more variations on the potstickers/dumplings at the Daring Cooks Blogroll!

Print

23 Treats for Charlie:

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Very excellent that you tried again. It doesn't always feel right when it does turn out that picture perfect that you want but I know it's that trying again that actually finally gets you there. Sounds like good filling.

Anula said...

What a nice and big dumplings - very apetizig :) P.S. I love my bamboo steamer too!

Lisa Michelle said...

Practice always makes perfect, and giving it another go 'round proved sucessful. They came out lovely and look delicious! Nicely done!

singinghorse said...

I love doughy dumplings. Yours look perfect. Great job!

Mary said...

These really do look wonderful. Your dumplings and your photo are both wonderful.

Maria said...

Glad you tried them again, they look great!

Mary said...

Heather, I hope you enjoyed this challenge as much as I did. I'll bet your dumplings tasted delicious. Promise not to tell anyone ... I think the virtues of homemade wrappers may be exagerated. If you like dumplings use wrappers and if you hate pleating don't pleat them. There is also a device you can buy - undet $10 that will do the pleating for you. I better get out of here before they kick me out of the club.

dandelion said...

Your dumplings look delicious just like they should. Nice work. I know I'll be makings these all the time.

Hornedfroggy said...

Your post makes me want a bamboo steamer really bad! :) I'll have to try them that way next time!

Jen Yu said...

You are such a trooper! I'm very impressed that you tackled it again and I really don't think you should be so hard on yourself. The dumplings look great and it does take a little practice. Good on ya!

Ella said...

I never even thought of baking mine... I'll have to check back and see how that goes for you.
Your dumplings look great, congratulations on a super challenge!

TeaLady said...

But the taste. THAT'S what is important. They look just fine to me.

isa said...

Yours look so perfect - great job! I never try to steam them.

jenncuisine said...

hmm this post makes me want to get a bamboo steamer...

I think your potsickers look great!

Isolated Foodie said...

Your dumplings are beautiful -- who cares if the pleating isn't absolutely perfect? Until this challenge, I'd made potstickers a bunch of times and never even thought to pleat the wrapper!

Audax said...

Hi I think you are too harsh on your self. They look great and the flavour combination sounds excellent. Wonderful picture and I love the idea of a streamer, And you only learn by doing. Cheers from Audax in Australia.

Bumblebutton said...

You tried it again, and now you know for sure! Get yourself a stack of wrappers at the Asian market and go to town...you may want to get yourself one of those dumpling pleaters that make the process even easier--just lay on a wrapper, plop some filling in the indentation, and fold the two sides together. Viola--a perfectly pleated half moon with little effort and little expense (I think I picked mine up for about 2 bucks!) Nice job, even if you aren't super duper pleased.

Amy I. said...

Nice work! I think I need to run out and buy a bamboo steamer after your rave review. Your site is great, the Daring Cooks is a great way to get to know new blogs :) Glad I found you!

Margie said...

Your steamed dumplings look delicious. Makes me want a bamboo steamer. Looks like you've mastered the technique this time!

Dharm said...

Great that you tried it again even though you had done it before. I think your dumplings look great!

Jerry said...

I liked this challenge - I too had made lots of dumplings before but never with my own dough - that was a challenge! Your dumplings look delicious!

Valérie said...

I think they look very tempting, despite your self-criticism! It's great that you tried again! Way to go!

I was also curious about what would happen if I baked them, but ended up not trying it. I guess it would be crispier... But I do recommend the pan-frying method: love that crunch! And don't worry about the dumplings not being cooked through with this method: since you throw water into the pan and cover, the upper section ends up being steamed, while the bottom is fried.

ice tea: sugar high said...

They look good enough for me =)
Great job on the challenge

Blog Widget by LinkWithin