Make your own dumplings TICM style
Dumplings are a resourceful and delicious method to use up remaining odds and ends of produce and proteins in the fridge. You can make different delicious combinations depending on what you have on hand. It is also a fun activity to do with your family.
For the dough, it is better you can make your own or buy it pre-made. I prefer to make my own as that way I am in control of how it is made, what state my mind was in when I made it and I know exactly what was used to make it. When I make dumplings, I make as many as I can to freeze them. When you initially freeze them, make sure they are spaced out and not touching. After 24 hours in the freezer, you can put them in a bag all together if you need to save room in the freezer.
In this particular batch I used dried shiitake mushrooms, dried wood ear mushrooms, Chinese chives and chicken.
Wash and dry vegetables.
For dried ingredients like the mushrooms, I wash them and then soak them for about an hour in filtered water.
Dice everything up in uniform size and place in a bowl. Mix it together thoroughly.
Place about a 1/2 tablespoon of filling in center the dough. Use one hand to hold one side of the dough flat and to pinch the other side together so it closes up nicely.
How you cook these dumplings are important. You want the dough to be soft and crispy on one side. You also don't want them to fall apart in the pan. I use a cast iron pan for this. If you do not have cast iron, use what is available to you but do not use aluminium or teflon or non stick of any kind due to toxicity. I have previously done a post on different types of materials pots are made of.
The key is to get the pan really really hot, do not add any oil yet.
Place the dumplings in. Don't overcrowd the pan.
Drizzle a tiny bit of oil (I use olive oil) and then a cup of water.
Cover the pan and cook for 5 minutes.
Uncover and you will see the water is evaporated. Cook another minute.
Use a spatula, they are done when they can be easily moved, if the dumplings are stuck, they aren't ready yet.
Plate up. You can add sesame oil, sesame seeds, scallions or whatever you choose for a garnish. I like to have them with a cup of bone broth.
For a dipping sauce: combine soy sauce (avoid alcohol if it is not permissible for you), a splash of apple cider vinegar and chili.