Saturdays are for the Boys Dumplings

Last Saturday, my friends Josh and Nelly invited me to help them make some dumplings. I’ve never made them before, so of course, I said yes! This was an exciting new experience— and also, who can say no to dumplings? The closest experience I have to dumplings is helping my cousin make crab rangoon for the restaurant she owned.

The Quest to Digest

Chicago has introduced me to some amazing Asian food. From conveyor belt sushi to Korean BBQ, anything you can imagine filling your belly (and Instagram feed) with, the Windy City probably has it. Now that I’m in college and away from home, things are a little different. Living in Des Moines, Iowa can be very fun, but one of the downsides is that there’s a shortage of good Asian cuisine. Now, that could be because I miss my mom’s home cooking (nothing can beat her culinary creations), but nevertheless, my stomach yearns for some fine dining.

Making the Dumplings

Dumplings aren’t as hard to make as I thought it would be. It just takes a lot of prep time to mix the ingredients together and fold them. I’ll make a disclaimer now and say that Nelly eyeballed most of this so I don’t know any measurements, but I figured you can probably either look up an actual recipe or have a fun experiment to see what works for you. For the dumplings we made, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Lettuce
  • Ground meat (we used chicken, but feel free to use beef or pork)
  • Ginger
  • Soy sauce
  • Green onions
  • Eggs 
  • Wonton wrappers
  • Cooking oil
  • Chicken stock (or beef or pork stock depending on what meat you use)
  • Bowl of water

While I’m no Martha Stewart, I will do my best to explain our cooking process. To make the filling, chop up the lettuce, ginger, and green onions and add them all into a big bowl. Then, add in the eggs and ground meat and mix it all together. We added some soy sauce to also give the filling more flavor.

Use water to keep the dumpling from unfolding

Once everything is mixed together, that’s when you can start folding the dumplings. Use a spoon to put a bit of filling in the center of the wonton wrapper. Dip your fingers in the bowl of water and run it along the edge of the wonton wrapper and seal it. The water acts as a glue to keep the dumplings from falling apart.

Once you have all your dumplings nicely made, heat up a pan and put some oil in it. When it’s hot enough, place some dumplings and cook until the outside is a bit crispy— it should have a nice golden color on the sides that touched the pan.

Now that the outside is cooked, it’s time to cook the inside filling. Pour some chicken stock into the pan with the dumplings and cover the pan. After about five minutes, open the lid and see if they’re ready. The dumplings should be moist and a bit soft. That’s when you know that they’re ready to eat.

Here’s a video of how we made dumplings!

Having Your Fill

And there you have it! Our unofficial recipe for making dumplings. They were so delicious, we made about 90 dumplings and there were probably only about 10 left after we stuffed ourselves. The three of us had so much fun, we might even make it a monthly thing. Making dumplings is a great thing to do with friends and family, and I would highly recommend it. It can even be a fun non-traditional date night idea!

If your mouth is watering and you’re daydreaming about dumplings (don’t lie, we’ve all done it), feel free to try this recipe and tell me how it goes! Or if you have your own recipe— for dumplings or otherwise— let me know! My taste buds are ready.

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