What are dumplings? Yum….glad you asked. Dumplings have become so popular in the past years. Commonly an Asian cuisine, lets just simplify it to filling (often including meat) in a unique soft dough wrapper. You can boil, steam or fry them and there are many variations of these tasty bite and a half sized delights.

Dumplings are a favourite of ours (actually I lie, one kid just pretends to like them because she likes drinking soy sauce) and we regularly make them at home. So, often kids love them and kids make good kitchen helpers! Worth noting if you are going to make a batch you can successfully freeze them – so my advice, double (or triple) down. Yep, go large people!

Here is one of our favourite recipes from Mamma Jo (former Master Chef contestant Jo Kendray). Don’t be scared to mix up the ingredients for the filling a bit. We often just fly with what ever we have available, and honestly, I don’t think we have made a bad one yet. *Disclaimer only wrap actual edible contents, unlike the time lego turned up in one of ours.

Note: Jo says use yellow egg won-ton wrappers for this, because she does a fancy pants fold and it works best for fancy pants moves like hers. I actually just prefer the white flour wrappers and she does say “you do you” a lot, so use what ever wrapper you like, it is not even hard to make your own.

Find wrappers at any Asian grocery or even most supermarkets these days.

Dumpling Mix:

200g green prawns

200g pork mince

2 stems of shallots (spring onions) micro-planed into fine paste

1 Tbsp finely chopped garlic chives

1 tbsp light soy sauce

1 tbsp Shao Xing cooking wine

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp Egg white

½ tsp bi carb soda

½ tsp each – Salt and pepper

Method:

· Chop/dice half of the prawns into a fine dice, and blitz the other half in a food processor (very quickly and careful not to over process otherwise will make your dumpling meat tough)

· Mix all ingredients together thoroughly then splat it – throw it hard against the side of the bowl to activate/strengthens the proteins – let rest if you have time. You want it to be sticky and cohesive as this will give you a firmer texture.

· Fry or boil a taste size of your mix off to check your seasoning and then adjust accordingly – eg add salt, soy etc to get the balance to how you need and like it. Sometimes we add here – a smidge of grated fresh ginger (that’s not Mamma Jo approved)

· Using the wonton wrapper in your hand with points facing like a clock face – 12, 3, 6 and 9 and drop about 25 g of mince from 9 to 3 across the wrapper

· When you weigh it with the wrapper – you want to aim for around 30g – a couple extra g won’t matter but much more will burst during the cook so keep your eye on size

· Wet the top point up from 9 to 12 and then down from 12 to 3 with water then fold the bottom point – at position 6 up to meet position 12 to create a triangle with the point at the top and facing away from you or bang it in dumpling press if you are working with kids or with an ‘I can’t wait to eat this’ attitude.

· Want to go fancy? Flip the triangle over, so that the point is now facing you at position 6

· Wet the tip at 9 position then fold it towards the opposite side – with that tip going over the wet tip, then press together to form a ‘tail’

· Place cornflour on baking paper and tray, as this will stop dumplings from sticking together or to the tray.

· You can freeze to cook later, or chill until ready to serve

Once you are ready to cook, bring salted water in a pot to the boil and place dumplings into the water. Boil for 4 mins – its ok to go just over – but they will continue to cook once you remove them so test first to make sure they are cooked through before serving to guests

Serve immediately with spiced vinegar and chilli oil. Or we like soy with a few drops of sesame oil and a squirt of sriracha all mixed together. You do you, eh Mamma Jo? Give her a follow on Facebook HERE or Instagram HERE if you think you can handle the delicious-ness.

Below Image Credit: Mamma Jo