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Nov 01

Cookbook 126: The Crazy Dumplings Cookbook

I ended up with The Crazy Dumplings Cookbook by Amanda Roberts when I backed her second volume of dumpling recipes on Kickstarter.  I like dumplings a lot, and I was intrigued by the idea that you really can fill dumplings with almost everything and they still taste amazing.  Naturally I went with the non-standard dumpling fillers to see what they were like.  I’m incredibly grateful to my sister, Jacinta, without whom we wouldn’t’ve had a full meal of dumplings as it really is a team effort to produce this many.  We also gave up on making the dessert dumplings, though there are a lot of them in the book, because we were in pain from standing and bending over a bench (and being full of dumplings).

This book is in imperial measurements, and I’ve converted the recipes to metric, because that’s how I cook.  The only exception to this was that I used a US tablespoon measure, which is 15ml.  Where you see tablespoon measures below, if you don’t have a 15ml tablespoon handy (you probably shouldn’t) then use 3 teaspoons.  I will share the recipe that Amanda provided (modified by me) of making your own dumpling pastry, but it’s probably easier and quicker to buy your own pre-made dumpling rounds, if you have access to a Chinese grocer.  All the recipes claim to make 12 dumplings worth of filler.  In my kitchen, the recipes tended to make between 18 and 24 dumplings, so make or buy more pastry than you expect.  Also some of the recipes seem to have been rewritten part way through, so ingredients don’t always match the method.  This was most obvious in the Roast Vegetable dumplings, and the recipe below is rewritten for consistency here.  Overall I give this 4 out of 5 stars.  (There are no photos below, because really dumplings all look the same)

Dumpling Wrapper/Pastry

To make 12 dumpling wrappers

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup plain flour
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup boiling water
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Flour for dusting

Method:

  1. Mix flour and salt together
  2. Slowly drizzle in a third of the water, mixing with a fork.  Add extra water as needed to make the dough form into a bowl.  You may have to knead it (it will be warm to hot).
  3. Leave in bowl, covered with plastic wrap (or a damp tea towel), for 15 minutes.
  4. Gather dough up into a ball and knead on a floured counter for a minute or two until the dough is smooth.
  5. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions.  Roll each portion into a flat circle on the counter, dusting with flour to keep the dough from sticking.
  6. Fill with a dumpling filling of your choice.

A video on how to fold dumplings is here.

Roasted Vegetable Dumplings

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons of oil (I used peanut)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup of cheery tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 cup eggplant, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup zucchini, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 12 dumpling wrappers (you’ll need more)
  • 1 cup of oil for frying

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C
  2. In a bowl, combine the oil, garlic, parsley, spring onions, and salt, and blend well.  Add vegetables to the oil and toss well to coat.
  3. On a baking sheet, spread the vegetables evenly in a single layer.  Roast for about 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender and just starting to brown.  Remove from the oven and let cool before handling.
  4. Toss the vegetables with parmesan cheese if using.
  5. Spoon vegetable mixture into dumpling wrappers and pinch closed.
  6. To fry the dumplings, preheat the oil for 30 seconds on high heat, then lower heat to medium.  Cook dumplings on each side for about 3 minutes or until golden brown.

Mushroom and Ricotta Dumplings

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, finely chopped
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • dash of salt
  • dash of black pepper
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of mixed herbs
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • Dumpling wrappers
  • 1 cup of oil for frying

Method:

  1. Mix together all filling ingredients.
  2. Spoon mixture into dumpling wrappers and pinch closed
  3. To fry the dumplings, preheat the oil for 30 seconds on high heat, then lower heat to medium.  Cook dumplings on each side for about 3 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. Serve with a tomato based sauce.  (We had both tomato relish and salsa on the table).

Au Gratin Potato Dumplings

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup potatoes, finely chopped (I grated mine)
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese
  • 1/4 cup milk & 1 tablespoon butter OR 3 tablespoons of cream
  • dash of salt
  • dash of pepper
  • Dumpling wrappers
  • 1 cup of oil for frying

Method:

  1. Combine all filling ingredients and mix well.
  2. Spoon mixture into dumpling wrappers and mix well.
  3. To fry the dumplings, preheat the oil for 30 seconds on high heat, then lower heat to medium.  Cook dumplings on each side for about 3 minutes or until golden brown.

Taco Dumplings

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup minced meat (you can use chicken, pork, beef)
  • 1/4 cup grated cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chilli seasoning (we used Old El Paso Chilli Seasoning)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/2 cup coriander, finely chopped
  • Dumpling wrappers
  • 1 cup of oil for frying
  • Salsa, guacamole, cheese sauce, sour cream (whichever you like) to serve

Method:

  1. Mix filling ingredients together.
  2. Spoon mixture into dumpling wrappers and pinch closed.
  3. To fry the dumplings, preheat the oil for 30 seconds on high heat, then lower heat to medium.  Cook dumplings on each side for about 3 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. Always cut a dumpling open to make sure it is cooked through.
  5. Serve hot with sauces for dipping.

Chicken Taquito Dumplings

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked chicken, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup pepper flavoured cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup corn kernels
  • 1/4 cup canned black beans (drained)
  • 1.5 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chilli seasoning (or chipotle powder if you can find it).
  • 1 tablespoon fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • Dumpling wrappers
  • 1 cup of oil for frying
  • Salsa, guacamole, cheese sauce, sour cream (whichever you like) to serve

Method:

  1. Mix together the chicken, cheese, corn, beans, cumin, chilli seasoning/chipotle powder, and coriander.
  2. Spoon mixture into dumpling wrappers and pinch closed.
  3. To fry the dumplings, preheat the oil for 30 seconds on high heat, then lower heat to medium.  Cook dumplings on each side for about 3 minutes or until golden brown.

Notes on all these recipes

  • I thought I’d save the notes for the end.
  • We made, but have not yet eaten, the Taco dumplings (we used chicken mince) because we were full of dumplings.  They’re in the freezer.  I will probably cook them up for a light lunch on the weekend.
  • I would use cream, instead of milk and butter, in the potato dumpling recipe because the milk made everything, including the dumpling wrappers soggy – which damaged their structural integrity.
  • Most people’s favourite was the roast vegetable dumplings.  We cut the eggplant and zucchini really small, so you couldn’t notice the skin, where the pieces had skin.  Probably 0.5cm cubes.
  • For the Taquito dumplings I bought a BBQ chicken and used the cooked meat of that, in order to save time and effort in cooking chicken when I was already cooking everything else.
  • This was fun, but next time I might only make 1 or 2 types of dumplings and not be quite as adventurous.
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