Unless you live in specific places with specific kinds of restaurants, homemade dumplings are superior to store-bought ones in almost every way. The quality and texture of the meat being one of them. Personally, I find that store/restaurant bought ones either have not enough vegetables, or low quality meat, or both. I also consider basic-ass jiao-zi / guo-tie / gyoza to be a pretty different category of thing from most things you get at dim sum, where dim sum is about variety, but homemade dumplings are a meal all by themselves.
I was going to mention what CLWheeljack just mentioned. Where do you stand on things like dim sum or baozi? Dumplings rock, man. I dunno what they fill them with that you’ve tried, but they taste fantastic and @roguefrog those look delicious.
I’ve had what some friends claim were good homemade ones a couple of times, and a handful more at various restaurants that rank all the way from “bring Pepto” up to “nice enough that I shouldn’t be wearing jeans” (I wore them anyway), and had relatively similar experiences. Some have been basically fine, but not something I’d seek out actively, ya know? Like, not offensive or terrible, but just not something I found myself craving afterwards.
The solution, obviously, is for you all to make me dumplings.
(I’ve never tried to fancy them up myself because my gf is extremely put off by them on a conceptual level, and doing them right requires enough tedium and work that I don’t really wanna do it just for myself)
Edit: I tend to like steamed buns more; the faintly sweet fluffy bun of a bao or similar is nicer than the gummy texture of the uncrisped portion of a dumpling, and I tend to prefer the fillings I’ve had there, like the “BBQ” style shredded pork or red bean paste, none of which quite have that…congealed texture I find so concerning in especially bad dumplings.
Since @roguefrog didn’t give measurements: my family’s not at all secret dumpling recipe, parts more or less identical to what was mentioned above. We usually just boil them, because frying in the quantities required for a whole family is a pain, but they work equally well for either application and, like all dumplings, freeze wonderfully:
Note that the 3/4 lb napa cabbage here is after you’ve extracted the water out of it. So, it’s close to twice that in, like, store-bought weight.
~ 40 dumplings:
- 3/4 pound ground pork (not too fatty)
- 3/4 pound Chinese Napa Cabbage or spinach
- 2 Tablespoons or more chopped green onion
- 1 teaspoon chopped Ginger
- 2 Tablespoon soysauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2-4 tablespoon sesame oil
sprinkle a little salt (not part of the one teaspoon) over chopped cabbage and let sit, squeeze out the water, rinse if necessary.
mix meat, cabbage, green onions, ginger, salt, soy sauce and sesame oil in a mixing bowl. (optional to crack one egg into the mixture for texture)
put in fridge for half hour or more before wrapping dumplings.
Key thing about wrapping is to use less meat than you think you need. Once you fold it over, there isn’t really that much room inside the wrapper.
I used some word stuff i don’t normally use.
It used some pork shoulder, that i had cut off from a larger piece that i had made into pulled pork a few weeks ago.
The weird things, for me at least, were turnips and parsnips. They are root vegetables that i just never really use. The parsnips, especially, are a thing I’ve only cooked a handful of times ever. Every time i get them, i always taste one and am surprised by the flavor… Like a weird, cinnamon-y carrot.
Anyway, the main flavor profile here is harissa, which actually goes extremely well with the parsnips. Totally unintentional, but it worked well.
I made a mulligatawny soup tonight. Fresh from my new cookbook.
Was a decent amount of effort, but the results are worth it. A very hearty and flavorful soup. The honey is way less pronounced than I expected, and even the coconut milk is fairly subdued. But it gives it a nice savory heat front with a slightly sweet creamy backend. I might cut down the recipient going forward because… it didn’t quite fit in the pot. Had to wait to cook down before I could even add the rice.
Plus cutting the grains and stock down some would help bring the creamy sweet flavors more, which would also be a benefit. But definitely one that will get made again.
Who's your Secret Santa in the 12th Annual QT3 Secret Santa Gift Exchange?
Mushroom Soup and Cheesy Garlic bread from Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook. I doubled the batch to share and the soup has almost 6 pounds of mushrooms. My spouse says it tasted like her favorite mushroom risotto from a local steak place.
Nobody took any pictures because nobody wanted to put down a fork, but I made this menu for some friends today, and holy cow was it all excellent. Mushroom-stuffed beef tenderloin, goat cheese and chive mashed potatoes, and roasted winter vegetables. Count under benefits the fact that, from the parts of the tenderloin I trimmed, I now have a pretty solid stock of super-primo steaks just waiting to be cut, too.
I’ve also made four loaves of eggnog bread in about two weeks. It’s the first Christmas I’ve made it, and it’s been a hit everywhere I’ve served it. A nice nutmeg-and-eggnog flavor to it.
270g flour (2.25 cups, about)
2 tsp baking powder
.5 tsp salt
.5 tsp nutmeg
2 eggs, well-beaten
1 cup eggnog
3 tbsp bourbon
1 tsp vanilla extract
.5 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
Combine the first four ingredients, then combine the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl and whisk until nice and airy. Pour the dry ingredients into the liquid and mix as little as possible to ensure full combination. Bake in a 9"x5" loaf pan at 350F for 50 minutes. When it’s nice and brown on top and a tester comes out clean, it’s done.
Oh my god I want to call my parents right now in the middle of the night and yell at them for feeding me those awful frozen brussels sprouts as a kid. I don’t dislike them now, but holy amazeballs the fresh ones are incredible!
Meat. Potato. Brussels sprouts and bacon. DEFINITELY making more of these!
I love brussel sprouts. They take searing to the next level. Love searing them in bacon fat, sometimes drizzling a little bit of balsamic vinegar on them if I’m in the mood.
My first encounters with brussels sprouts were also of the frozen variety. Dropped into a pot an boiled, they put me off them for a long time until I got a taste of fresh roasted ones. What a revelation!
That looks like my kind of thing, and I was eager to try it since I actually have all those ingredients on hand for once.
Then I notice I am out of baking powder. Damnit.
Continuing experiments with smashburgers today. I don’t have a great means of smashing right now; tonight I just used a big honkin’ spatula and some parchment paper to keep it from sticking. . . but the spatula’s a little TOO big and long, so it kept hitting the wall of the pan and not going down hard enough, plus it’s only plastic. . .
Anyway, tomorrow I’ve got a proper grill press coming in, but until then, I present. . . dinner.
What if there’s bourbon and vanilla already in the eggnog? And sugar for that matter?
The bourbon and vanilla you can probably skip if you aren’t using American grocery store-style eggnog, and particularly if your eggnog is strongly flavored. I think the sugar probably has to stay either way, or else you’ll get a much less sweet bread.
I always make my own egg nog. Store bought isn’t really an option here.
You need to use a griddle to get enough space, basically. Then you put the little ball of meat down onto an ungreased surface (you want it to stick) and press down hard with a steel plastering trowel. When it’s ready to flip, you scrape it up with a sharp metal spatula and flip.
This is the exact model shake shack used when they started up.
Yeah, my electric griddle is hot ass and doesn’t get anywhere close to the listed temperatures and has awful hot/cold zone issues, so I am just sticking with my hilariously large (12", IIRC) cast iron skillet that is almost impossible to wash cuz my fuckin’ baby arms can barely lift that shit.
The sticking comment was more about the meat sticking to the spatula–trust me, I’m all about that crust formation from sticking to the cooking surface :)
I wound up going for this bad boy, mostly cuz it was available for Prime 1-day :)
Will definitely report back with results as soon as it’s arrived and been broken in. . .
That will certainly handle the smashing! Those are actually intended to be used to weigh down bacon so it doesn’t curl up and cooks faster. I never saw the point of that though.
Yeah. . . I just bake bacon if I want relatively straight, evenly cooked bacon, tbh. . . that said, I DO think it’s gonna be excellent for grilled cheeses as well, when I’m too lazy to swap the waffle plates on my Griddler panini press thing out for the grill plates. . .