Jo Hunter Adams
One great thing about US cities is that it's relatively easy to get ingredients for a very wide variety of foods. For example, near our house is a Super 88, where we can get any Chinese food we want, and a more limited variety of other Asian foods. I recently learned how to make dumplings and I wanted to share it with you, because it's very easy and is one food that almost everyone likes. (side note: in Durban North, there is a Chinese grocery across the road from the Engen off Umhlanga Rocks Drive, between Danville Girl's High and Umhlanga Rocks Drive. Sorry, I always forget the name of the road.) These are as good, but without the preservatives of shop or restaurant-made dumplings.
Ingredients you need:
Small pack of mince (ground beef or pork, pork is usually better)
sesame oil (if possible)
ginger (if possible)
ground up garlic
finely chopped carrot (optional)
To make the filling, mix mince/ground meat, scallions, a little sesame oil, about a teaspoon of garlic and some finely chopped vegetables (really, really tiny, as small as you can).
Mix well with a wooden spoon.
Making the Outside
Have a little bowl of water and the dumpling skins. Dip a [clean] finger in the water and gently wet the edges of the dumpling skin.
Put about a tablespoon of filling into the center of the dumpling. You'll see what works when you try to close it. Trial and error is fine!
Fold the skin in half, and press the edges together. They should seal well. If they don't, dab a little bit of water with a finger.
Place the dumplings on a lightly floured surface.
Cooking the Dumplings
You can boil them, steam them or fry them in a pan with a tiny bit of oil on the bottom. I like frying them because it's very quick and they come out crispy. You can also add them to soups.
If you have the dumplings on their own, you can make a quick dipping sauce using soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar and a little sugar. Try it out and see what your taste buds like best!