Janet Hesselberth

Traditional Skills from the Kitchen and Garden

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Dumplings Dumplings

I went to a real Asian market, where everything is labelled in Chinese, and very little is in English. I got Ground Pork (not the "Skinny Ground Pork"...lean, I assume), fresh ginger, some kind of garlic chive, rice vinegar, soy sauce, napa cabbage, and 3 large packages of dumpling wrappers. For the number of dumplings that my family wants to eat, there was no way I was going to survive rolling out the wrappers. I also found an awesome Kabocha squash, sticky rice, salty eggs, seaweed crackers and all kinds of interesting things. Sometimes you just have to get stuff to try, and figure out what you have when you get home.

My family first learned about making homemade dumplings when we hosted a Chinese exchange student, so it was interesting to see the differences between her version and yours. the main one was that you flavor the filling and sauce with more ingredients. It smelled heavenly as we were folding the dumplings. The other difference is that our student wanted us to blend the pork until it got stringy...I think it was breaking down the proteins so it bound together more. My daughters and I folded dumplings like crazy, put a number of trays in the freezer for another day, and saved out enough for dinner.

Dinner tonight: Some fried dumplings, some boiled dumplings, and roasted Kabocha squash. Here are pictures from this afternoon, and if I can convince someone to take a picture before inhaling their dinner, we'll get a picture of that later.

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...and Dinner. Verdict is that the fried are easiest to eat and therefore preferred. The Kubocha squash is something like roasted chestnuts. All good.

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