The Daily Dish: Chinese Dumplings with Soy Dipping Sauce

chinese dumplings with soy dipping sauce

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My favorite appetizer of all time has to be Asian dumplings, sometimes called Peking ravioli. There are more than a few ingredients to making good dumplings, but they are worth the effort. If you are making a dozen, you might as well make 100 and freeze them—once you get everything together, the assembly is fun and I have found that the little hands of kids turn this into a fun project.

Preparation Time: 90 minutes
Start to Finish Time: 90 minutes
Yield: 3 dozen dumplings

Ingredients

4 leaves Napa cabbage, finely chopped
5 garlic chives, finely chopped (substitute scallions or chives)
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger (1-inch piece)
1 pound ground pork
3/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon ground-garlic and chili sauce (such as Sriracha brand)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
8 cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
1 package round dumpling wrappers (substitute square wonton wrappers)
6 tablespoons peanut oil, divided

Directions
In a medium bowl, combine first 10 ingredients. With a dumpling wrapper flat in one hand, place about a tablespoon of filling in the middle in an oblong lump. There should be enough margin left along the wrapper to close it without spilling the filling, but don’t underfill.

Wet your finger and smear a little moisture along the outer edge of the wrapper; then fold the wrapper edges up into a taco shape and pinch the edges together at the top (in the middle) so that they’re stuck together (don’t let the pork filling get caught between). Create a pleat just to the right (or left) of the center pinch. Flatten the pleat next to the middle pinch point and squeeze the dough together.

Continue to the end of the dumpling; you should have two or three pleats from middle to end. At the end, you should have a small opening.

Pinch the end of the loop in toward the center of the dumpling and squeeze together.

Return to the middle pinch point and make pleats on the same side of the wrapper but in the opposite direction. At the end, pinch in the loop and squeeze the dough sealed.

Heat a large sauté pan to very high. Add about 2 tablespoons peanut oil.

Add up to 12 dumplings to the pan (don’t overcrowd) and brown well on both sides.

Add 1/4 cup water; then cover and let steam about 3 minutes. Add another 1/4 cup water; then cover and let steam about 3 minutes longer.

Remove to a plate and continue cooking remaining dumplings in batches. Serve with Soy Dipping Sauce.

Soy Dipping Sauce

Ingredients
• 1 cup light soy sauce
• 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
• 1 teaspoon sesame oil
• 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
• 1 scallion, finely sliced

Directions for Dipping Sauce
In a small bowl, combine all ingredients.

Serve with prepared dumplings.
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Annie B. Copps is a senior editor at Yankee Magazine. Annie oversees the magazine’s food coverage, both as an editor and as a contributor of feature stories and columns.

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The Daily Dish: Maitake Hot and Sour Soup

maitake hot and sour soup

In ancient times, maitake mushrooms were considered both “precious and rare.” (In fact, shoguns once traded them pound for pound with silver.) These days, they’re considered a precious source of vitamins B1, B2, and D, as well as vegetable fiber and polysaccharides. Health benefits aside, maitakes have an amazing taste. The rich, woodsy flavor and the firm, meaty texture of the flesh make them the stand-out ingredient of any dish — including today’s dish! This is no ordinary hot and sour soup, as it uses the tart citrus of blood oranges. Let’s get cooking!

Serves 4

Ingredients
5 slices ginger
2 onions, sliced
1 bunch scallions sliced thinly, separate white and green
4 ribs of celery sliced on bias
1 large head maitake, florets broken off and stem julienned
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
4 blood oranges, juiced
Juice of 2 lemons
3 tablespoons naturally brewed soy sauce
3 quarts chicken stock
Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
Canola oil

Directions
In a stockpot over medium-high heat coated lightly with oil, sauté the ginger, onions, scallion whites, and celery, then season. Add the maitake stems and sauté for 3 minutes. Season with white pepper, add orange juice, lemon juice, naturally brewed soy sauce, and chicken stock, and check for flavor. Add maitake florets, simmer, and reduce by 20%. Serve in large bowls garnished with scallion greens.

Ming’s wine pairing suggestion
Mas de la Dame Rose du Mas 2007
Provence, France

Taste: Subtle flavors of fresh berries and fennel with a flowery finish

Aroma: Fresh strawberries, peaches and roses

—Pairs nicely with barbecue, pesto pasta, salads, fish and grilled meat
—50% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 20% Cinsault
—Certified organic (Agriculture Biologique) by Qualite France

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chef ming tsaiMing Tsai is the host and executive producer of public television series Simply Ming. Each week, Simply Ming brings mouthwatering recipes inspired by the combination of East and West into homes across the country.

The Daily Dish: Scallion pancakes with dipping sauce

Makes 4 pancakes

Pot stickers, scallion cakes, dim sum… they all have one thing in common, the simplest dough in the universe: hot water dough. Add the great French ingredient, shallots, and you’ve got a combination that can morph into anything.

Hot Water Dough ingredients
2 cups (16 ounces) all-purpose flour
8 ounces hot water

Directions
In a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook, gradually add water to flour. Once dough forms a ball and all the dry ingredients are incorporated, remove from mixer. Dough should not be sticky. If it is, add more flour, tablespoon by tablespoon. Very lightly flour a flat surface and bring dough together into a disk. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and chill in fridge for up to 48 hours.

Scallion Pancake ingredients
1 tablespoon sambal
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup naturally brewed soy sauce
1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound Hot Water Dough
2 cups scallions, white and green parts, cut diagonally, 1/16 inches thick
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon grapeseed or canola oil

Directions
1. To make the dipping sauce, combine the sambal, vinegar, and soy sauce in a small bowl and mix. Set aside.

2. In a small bowl combine the sesame and olive oils and set aside.

3. Flour a work surface and on it roll the dough into a rectangle 1/8 inch thick. Brush the dough with the oil mixture, sprinkle with the scallions, and season with salt and pepper.

4. Starting with one long side nearest you, roll the dough jelly-roll fashion to make a tight log. Cut the log into 4 equal pieces.

5. Roll 1 piece with your palms to make a skinnier log about 12 inches in diameter. Twist each end of the log in opposite directions 4 or 5 times (this will make additional pancake layers), then wrap the log around itself to make a coil, tucking the outside end beneath the coil. With a rolling pin, flatten the coil to 1/4 inch thick. Repeat with the remaining dough to make 3 more pancakes.

6. Heat a large nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. Add the grapeseed oil and swirl to coat the pan. Depending on the pan’s size, add 1 to 2 pancakes and cook until brown and crispy on both sides, turning once, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Cook the remaining pancakes. Slice each pancake into 4 wedges.

Variation
For a savory pancake addition, mix 2 cups of finely chopped raw shrimp in a bowl with the scallions. Sprinkle the dough evenly with the mixture, and proceed with the recipe, frying the pancakes 3 to 4 minutes per side.

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chef ming tsaiMing Tsai is the host and executive producer of public television series Simply Ming. Each week, Simply Ming brings mouthwatering recipes inspired by the combination of East and West into homes across the country.