Kitchen Karma Returns!

28 Aug

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.

Shrimp mixture, ready for stuffing!

Shrimp mixture, ready for stuffing!

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.

filling in the dumpling wrapper

filling in the dumpling wrapper

fold over the wrapper

fold over the wrapper

seal the dumpling

seal the dumpling

pretty little sealed pocket

pretty little sealed pocket

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. 

frying the dumplings

frying the dumplings

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.

steaming

steaming

Carefully remove the dumplings from the pan (they stick) and serve.  These were so good I forgot the dipping sauce I’d made!

mmmmmm!

mmmmmm!

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