Putting Japan in the pan

Definitely Delicious

By TERRI WINDOVER, Connect Columnist

Japenese-inspired dumplins to die for, served up with dipping sauce. Perfect for catering or individual portions. Photo by TERRI WINDOVER, Connect Columnist

Japenese-inspired dumplins to die for, served up with dipping sauce. Perfect for catering or individual portions. Photo by TERRI WINDOVER, Connect Columnist

If you haven’t had these little bundles of deliciousness, you don’t know what you’re missing. I sincerely love these things, but the restaurant version is usually loaded with sodium. And, an hour later, I’m guzzling down water like a parched camel at an oasis.

The classic version is with cabbage and pork wrapped in wonton wrappers, which are then pleated by hand-like origami. However, unlike Martha Stewart, I don’t have that kind of time and I doubt that you do either.

So, I picked up an amazing little tool for a few bucks at Canadian tire. It’s used for foods like perogies and wontons… and it makes life so much easier.

I swapped out the pork for chicken and used different veggies. If you really want to make this even easier you can use the meat from a pre-roasted chicken.

Here we go on a Japanese cooking adventure. Itadakimasu! (Let’s eat!)

Homemade Gyoza (Japanese Pan Fried Dumplings)

*Note: When I say minced I mean minced small

INGREDIENTS:

10oz cooked chicken breast, minced

1/2 tsp garlic, minced

4 Tbsp green onion, minced

2/3 cup orange pepper, minced

2/3 cup water chestnuts, minced

2/3 cup bean sprouts, minced

4 Tbsp teriyaki sauce

6 tbsp plum sauce

1 tsp crushed red chili peppers

40 dumpling wrappers (usually found in the produce section)

For Cooking Dumplings:

1 Tbsp sesame oil

1/2 cup water

Dipping Sauce:

6 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce

3 tbsp rice vinegar (I use balsamic because I love it)

1 Tbsp honey

1/2 tsp chili oil

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Combine all dumpling ingredients – except wonton wrappers in a bowl – and let it sit for ten minutes to blend flavours.
  2. Have a small bowl of cold water ready. Lay a dumpling wrapper on the tool that I know you went and bought, and place a heaping teaspoon of the meat mixture in the center of the wrapper. With a fingertip moistened with water, trace a line along half of the edge of the round wrapper. Fold the tool in half to enclose the filling. Set aside the stuffed dumpling with the pleated-wrapper edge up. Repeat to make 40 dumplings in all.
  3. In a large skillet with a tight fitting lid, heat 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil over medium-high heat. Carefully place as many of the dumplings that can fit without touching in the skillet with the pleated-wrapper edge up. Cook the dumplings for 3 minutes, or until nicely browned on the bottom. Check the progress by lifting 1 or 2 dumplings by their pleated edge.
  4. Once the bottoms are nicely browned, use the skillet lid to shield yourself and carefully pour in 1/4 cup of the water. When the hissing and splattering die down, drizzle in 1/2 teaspoon of the sesame oil around the edge of the skillet. Place the lid on the skillet to trap in the moisture and then quickly lower the heat to keep the liquid at a bare simmer.
  5. Check the dumplings after 2 minutes. When the wrappers appear slightly translucent, remove the lid and raise the heat slightly. Continue to cook until all the water has evaporated and only the oil remains (about 2 minutes). Once you hear a sizzling sound, shake the skillet. The dumplings should slide about. If they seem to stick to the skillet, move the skillet away from the stove and replace the lid for a moment. Remove the dumplings from the skillet with a broad flexible spatula. Flip them over so that the seared surface faces up. Cook the remaining dumplings the same way. Serve the dumplings hot accompanied by the dipping sauce.
  6. While the dumplings are cooking, make the dipping sauce by mixing the soy sauce and rice vinegar together in a small bowl. Pour the sauce into a small serving pitcher or distribute among individual dipping dishes.

– Connect Weekly –