I have to say two things before this post begins. 1) I don’t always like everything I cook but I was really disappointed in myself a couple of nights ago, and 2) I am in no way an Asian cook and any “Asian” food I make I will readily admit is not going to be authentic.
That said, I was soooo happy to be on my way home last night and come up with a fun dinner idea, and even more, to execute it well! I had some left over (rather overcooked) tequila-lime-garlic shrimp I had from the last night’s Mexican dinner (it was too hot to cook at home, so we went out). I stopped on the way home and grabbed some more ingredients from North Park Produce (I love love love that place) and started in on shrimp dumplings as soon as I got home!
I was so excited to be able to use the newest gadget in my kitchen – the dumpling press. A few months back, hubby and I were walking through a kitchen gadget store and saw these curious little dumpling presses; at less than $5 a pop, it wasn’t a bad price, but I just felt like it was a little bit of a silly thing to get. I mean, making dumplings is not that hard by hand – why did I need a dumpling press? Even so, when I saw it the next week at a thrift store for under $1, I had to throw it in my basket. Why not?
Well, I’m so glad I did. I’ll tell you, even at $5 each, this little thing is pretty awesome. It cut down the time I spent assembling the dumplings, made it a lot cleaner (no exploding dumplings!) and was super-duper easy and FUN!
I didn’t cook these with any sort of a recipe – just threw the bits and pieces in the food processor – so I’m trying to recreate what I did, for the “recipe”. Again, I know it’s not particularly authentic, but who cares? The dumplings turned out really, really yummy – and the shrimp went from being slightly too limey and overcooked to being part of a really flavorful, gorgeous dish. We served them with vegetables sauteed with a little garlic and soy sauce.
Elisa’s Shrimp Dumplings
- 12-16 large cooked shrimp (or about 15-25 of the medium ones that you can usually get in the frozen food section). Mine were cooked with a lot of lime and tequila, which I think helped balance out the saltiness of the soy sauce… I actually think if you use plain cooked shrimp and then add a little lime to the mixture it’ll be tasty.
- 5-7 cloves roasted garlic (I roasted mine in the toaster in aluminum foil at 400 degrees for 10 minutes)
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp dijon mustard (I love adding mustard to Asian dishes; it helps balance the flavors for me)
- dime-sized piece of fresh ginger, minced (you could use jarred ginger or ground powdered ginger if you want; I don’t know the exact amount though)
- ground black pepper
- 2 green onions, chopped fine (greens only)
- 20-24 wonton wrappers
In a food processor, combine shrimp, garlic, mustard, soy sauce, ginger, and black pepper. Blend for approx. 1 minute or until the texture is similar to ground meat. Add green onions and mix together.
Place a small amount (approx. 1 1/2 tsp) of the mixture in a wonton/gyoza wrapper (the dumpling maker is soo nice for this – there’s a little indentation where you put the filling!) and seal the edges (also nice) with water.
Place finished dumplings in a single layer in a frying pan with a very thin layer of hot oil and fry on high for 1-2 minutes or until the dumplings begin to brown on the bottom.
Carefully add about 1/4 cup of water to the pan and quickly put a lid on the pan to catch the steam. This step includes a LOT of hissing and spitting, so when I say “carefully” it’s very important! Steam the dumplings for approx. 5 minutes. They’ll turn almost translucent and become very tender.
Carefully remove the dumplings from the pan (they stick) and serve. These were so good I forgot the dipping sauce I’d made!