Magic Dumpling/ Gyoza Formula

A friend asked me for my dumpling recipe, I never payed much attention to the exact measurements of the ingredient of my dumplings, neither did any old chinese woman. But we have to start somewhere, don’t we? This guide works for Gyoza also, the difference between these two kinds is the thickness of the skin and the wrapping method. It can be filled with any ingredient, though tradicionally it is with ground pork.

You have to select a cut from the pork that is neither too fat or too lean — pork loin, pork chops, pork belly — ask the butcher to ground it once.

The egg in the recipe works as a binding agent, crumbling meat is not desirable in there. The amount of all ingredients is freestyle and all ingredients are raw. I’ll give you a base recipe and other options to play around, but it is totally ok if you don’t add anything else to the basic recipe. This is only a rough guide, feel free to release your cooking genie. Old grandma didn’t need scales or spoons, let’s assume her success came from magic.

Servings
Each dumpling/ gyoza only needs around 1-2 tsp of filling, this will render A LOT, the ones you can’t eat right away:
1. Sprinkle a tray with flour so they don’t stick;
2. Either store in the fridge for 1-2 days maximum or store in the freezer for 3-4 months maximum.

Basic filling
around 500g/ 2 cups ground pork
1 egg
4-6 tbsp Chinese cooking wine (you can substitute with white wine or vodka)
2-4 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt (if the flavour is too plain you’ll have soy sauce later when it is cooked, so no worries)

Options
minced spring onions or chinese leeks (if you don’t like neither, supress them from your recipe)
minced pawns (same amount as picture)
minced shiitake mushrooms (same amount as picture)
minced white part of leek (in case you don’t have chinese leeks, twice as much as chinese leeks)

**Dumplings, gyozas, huntun, whatever you like, rely on fresh ingredients and the natural juices that are absorbed by the skin, my dad used to scold me “don’t you wrap so much meat in there, is all about the skin! *arghararar*”. So don’t try to suffocate the taste of the meat with too much veggies, nor try to make a undercover meatball.

***There are many other fillings, including vegan and vegetarian, but that’s another post.

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Potatoless Low-Carb Soup Formula also Low-Fat

So I’ve placed the lonely high starch potato in the most dark and unreachable corner there is. That means no potato in my soup, hell no. Although in my diet, carb is not the strongest villain to beat (it is fat), you only need to cut on carbs like potatoes and flours, those are calorie bombs awesome for post-exercise meals, but if we’re not sweating that much, why not kick that potato away?

So what to do to replace the creaminess of our (grounded ):<) potato? Leeks, cauliflower, pumpkin, chestnuts, carrots. If you do not like leeks, you’re not even going to notice the flavour. In order to adapt to any soup which features potatoes, you just need to replace the potato for these ingredients, over time you’ll find out what works best for you and start swapping ingredients like a pro!

What works for me is roughly:

1 big potato = 1/2 cauliflower floret
= 1/2 white part of the leek + 1 medium carrot
= 1/3 cauliflower floret + 1/3 white part of leek
= equal 1 cup chestnuts
= 1 cup pumpkin

Of course it is not going to taste the same, every ingredient as its unique flavour, personally I love love chestnuts, but it is so expensive, man, what I use most is leaks what I like most (other than chestnuts) is cauliflower, the creaminess is perfect.

Good “soup’ing”! Crush those veggies! Eat those veggies!