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March 20, 2006
Thai-style dumplings

[bento with Thai-style dumplings & veggies]

Front: homemade Thai-style dumplings with pork and veggies (not GF), grape tomatoes, steamed broccoli
Back: rice with black sesame seeds, stir-fried bok choy, grape tomatoes, container of cilantro-lime dipping sauce (GF)



I was feeling a little ambitious this weekend and decided to make some shumai-like dumplings, but Thai-style. The recipe is very adaptable -- you can use ground chicken, minced shrimp and/or scallops, tofu with excess liquid squeezed out, plain veggies, etc. I went with ground pork, which is one of the more traditional dumpling fillings. The recipe calls for round wonton wrappers -- if you don't have them, then you can cut rounded corners off of normal square wrappers (like me!). The filling also works well in eggrolls and potstickers (using gyoza wrappers).

I'm not really sure how you're supposed to form these dumplings. One recipe I consulted said to gather up the wonton skin and "form a waist" around the filling, while "pushing the dumpling from the bottom" and keeping the filling level with the top of the wrapper. I have no earthly idea what these instructions mean, so I just did my own thing, but still kept the top of the filling visible and even with the edge of the wrapper. Whatever works, right? :P

Oh, and the dipping sauce is super nyummy!

THAI-STYLE DUMPLINGS WITH MINTY CILANTRO-LIME DIPPING SAUCE
Ingredients
- Dumplings -
1 lb. ground pork
1/4 cup minced scallions
2 tbsp. minced cilantro
2 tsp. minced ginger
1 red bell pepper, minced
2/3 cup minced cabbage
2 small garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
pepper to taste
1 large egg, beaten lightly
45-50 shumai wrappers (or round wonton wrappers), thawed if frozen
- Sauce -
1 tbsp. fish sauce
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tsp. sugar, or to taste
2 tsp. minced ginger
1 tbsp. shredded mint leaves
1 tbsp. finely chopped cilantro
Steps
  1. In a bowl, add the scallions, pork, ginger, bell pepper, cabbage, garlic, oil, soysauce, coriander, egg, salt, and pepper. Mix well with hands. Cook a bit in the microwave and adjust seasonings to taste. Cover and chill filling for 1 hour (or overnight).
  2. Put a heaping teaspoon of filling in the center of a wonton wrapper, then moisten the edge of the wrapper with water. Form into the dumpling shape of your choice (regular wonton triangles or half-moons, little gathered purses with the filling completely enclosed, etc.). To make ones like mine, pinch the wrapper closed around the filling, forming a mulit-pointed star-like shape with the filling exposed in the middle. Then push all of the points in one direction and squoosh the filling and the dumpling into the shape you want. With a wet fingertip, flatten out the top of the dumpling. Place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.
  3. Continue making dumplings until you run out of wrappers or filling. At this point, the dumplings can be frozen on the cookie sheet or cooked right away. I froze mine overnight, then popped them into freezer bags the next day.
  4. To cook the dumplings, heat a small amount of oil in a frying pan. Place the dumplings in and cook for 1 minute, or until the bottoms begin browning. Then place about 1/4"-1/2" of water in the pan, cover and steam until the water is absorbed. Continue adding water as it is absorbed until the dumplings are cooked all the way through (it usually takes at least 6-7 minutes if cooking straight from the freezer).
  5. To make the sauce, just combine all of the sauce ingredients and mix well. Adjust as you like.
* NOTE: The sauce is pretty strong so do not liberally douse your dumplings before tasting first!
 
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