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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Make Dumplings - Save Money - Be Happy

I know its been a while... a lot has been going on!
We were out of town (back to the Minnesota homeland) for the month of December. Then we had a death of a very close family member while we were there. I also started doing a little more contract work, so I have been falling behind on my "fun" stuff!

Photo credit: *
Its been about 6 years since my infatuation with dumplings began; steamed dumplings to be exact. My favorites are still the kind you can find only at your Chinese take-out place that are really doughy and have that wonderful blend of pork and who knows what else. And the sauce... oh the sauce... sweet, salty, & spicy maybe with a sprinkling of green onions and peanuts. I still have not quite figured out how to duplicate the sauce; and its a crap shoot if I order from a random Chinese place if they will happen to make the sauce the way I like it.

Moving on. I would love to eat those doughy dumplings every time I have a craving- but that obviously will not work for my checkbook (even though they are usually not too pricey considering, but still $4 for 6) or my waistline. So, I have tried several of the frozen variety that range from $5-$8 and you usually get between 15 and 20 dumplings; some come with sauce; most don't. And usually I am not extremely impressed with what's stuffed inside, not to mention the overall taste.

If you have about an hour (or less if you have helpers). You can whip around 50 of these babies for  for under $10 (depending on what kind of  meat you use). They are not as exotic as my doughy faves, but also not as sinful... and really are quite tasty.

Steamed Dumplings
1 lb ground (turkey, pork, beef etc.- leaner the better); I think turkey tastes great, and less fat to boot [$3-$6]
1/4 cup (more or less to taste) of chopped bamboo shoots or water chestnuts [$1 or less]
4 scallions sliced [$0.25]
14 oz bag of coleslaw (or broccoli slaw) mix (optional)[$2]
12 oz package of wonton wrappers [$3]
2 options for sauce to add to the wonton mixture: 1) Franks Red Hot Sweet Chili Sauce (1/4 cup); 2) Mixture of 1 tbsp each of soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, minced garlic, & minced ginger

Dipping sauce: if used Red Hot Sweet Chili- use that to dip; if used other mix 1/4 cup each of soy sauce and rice wine vinegar, throw in a tsp of ginger, sugar, and dark sesame oil and top with scallions, red pepper flakes, & chopped peanuts if you want!

  • Grab your steamer basket and fill the pot with water to almost where the basket hits... bring to a boil. Fill a small bowl with tap water
  • Mix meat, shoots or chestnuts, scallions, coleslaw, and whichever sauce you are using in a big bowl.
  • Use one wonton wrapper and place tablespoon amount of mixture in middle; use water to moisten edges of wrapper and fold in half- secure.\
  • Decide how many you want eat, throw the rest on a wax paper lined cookie sheet in the freezer. Once frozen, toss in zippie and take out as desired.
  • Depending on the size of steamer you can cook 5-10 at a time for approx 5 minutes- 8 minutes from frozen (test to make sure meat is cooked). Try to make sure they don't touch one another to prevent sticking. You can use non-stick spray on the steamer or throw down some leftover coleslaw to keep the dumplings from attaching themselves to your basket.
  • Dip, eat, love

 My 2 year old twins  really liked these; they prefer the sweet chili sauce ones to the other sauce.

* I vow to try this recipe soon, they really look wonderful

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