Last summer, for my birthday, I got a gift certificate to an awesome little, locally owned, kitchen store in downtown Colorado Springs. They have a website also, it isn’t as impressive as the store itself but you can find it here.
I love anything kitchen related, so this was a wonderful gift. The trouble was combing through the store and narrowing down what I wanted to buy. I ended up with this:
It’s a cast iron wok, obviously. I suddenly had a new excitement to learn how to make stir fry. Super healthy. Lots of fresh veggies. Yum!
Then for Christmas I got these, that go with the wok:
Steamer baskets that fit inside the wok. There is a whole world of steamed food out there, outside of steamed broccoli and asparagus, that I guess I didn’t really know about.
So, for the first time, last night, I busted these bad boys out to give them a try. (Yes, it’s taken me 5 months, to use for the first time, a gift I got for Christmas. Whatever.). And, I made these:
Steamed Turkey Dumplings
In a bowl, combine:
8 oz ground turkey (or chicken, if that’s your preference)
4 green onions, green and white parts, finely chopped
1 Tbsp garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup peanuts, finely chopped (I ran mine through the food processor)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 Tbsp sweet chili sauce
2 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp fish sauce
Have on stand by:
I doubled my recipe, I’ll explain why in a bit. This needs to be mixed all together. I just used my hands. Think meatloaf. However you mix that together will work for this process also.
Once your mixture is together, spoon a little on to each wonton wrapper:
Dab water around the outer edges of the wonton wrapper, fold like a triangle and press the edges together. Repeat until you’ve used up all your ‘stuffing’ and wonton wrappers. You should be able to make around 16 dumplings.
Place them in a steamer. Any steamer will do. For my purposes I lined the steamer baskets with some parchment paper, just for easier clean up. If you do this, make sure to leave room for the steam to flow through.
Then, my steamer baskets stack up and have a lid. Place the baskets over already boiling water in the wok. Make sure the bottom edge of the basket just touches the water and that it’s not boiling so rapidly that it boils up into your baskets. These are supposed to be steamed dumplings, not boiled.
It’s also wise to keep a pan of boiling water on a back burner, just in case your wok steams itself out. It’s a very bad thing to allow the pan to go dry and you can’t start over with fresh, cold water because it interrupts the cooking process.
While these steam, for 10 minutes, throw together the dipping sauce:
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp dark brown sugar
1 Tbsp water
1 clove garlic, smashed (so it’s kind of like a paste)
couple dashes red pepper powder
**a red chili pepper would have been a better option than red pepper powder, but I live in a small town where it’s slim pickin’s at the grocery store and you go with what you’ve got.
After your dumplings have steamed, be very careful as to not burn yourself with steam trying to remove them. I pulled my pan away from the burner and waited for the steam to die down before I removed the lid.
That’s it! Simple. Healthy. Delish! Serve ’em warm and with the dipping sauce.
These are really meant to be an appetizer. I ate them for my dinner, but I understand the need for them to be served as an appetizer with another dish to follow. They are wonderful, but I got tired of the texture and just those flavors (with nothin’ mixing it up) after 4 dumplings or so. I think if I’d had a plate of beef with broccoli to follow I’d have been super satisfied.
I’m not sure how these will reheat. I’ve got a few leftover that I will try, and report back to you on. I’ve also assembled a few (uncooked) to keep in the fridge a couple days to see if this can be a make ahead recipe (think dinner party – who wants to be assembling these with guests in the house? Not this girl!).
Finally, remember I said that I doubled the recipe? That’s because I put half the ‘stuffing’ in the freezer to see if this can be a freeze and thaw sort of item. I often cook for one, and more often than not have a pretty busy schedule. This makes cooking difficult some nights. So, anytime I make something that can go in the freezer I make extra the first go round for an easy go-to another time. You never know how well something will hold up in the freezer so it’s important to take a leap of faith and try it at least once. If it’s no good and I have to throw it away I’ll cringe, but it will be a lesson learned. If it’s awesome just like the first go round, then it’s an important tid-bit to keep in mind (think impromptu dinner party, when you wanna serve something sorta fancy but don’t have time to run to the store for all the fresh ingredients). You can keep extra wonton wrappers in the freezer also. I’ll report back at a later time re: if this can be a freeze, thaw, and go recipe.
So…that’s that. I’m totally craving stir fry now. Mmmm.
On a side note: I applaud those great persons who blog about mostly cooking. It is quite a challenge to put a meal together, all the while snapping pictures. Takes a lot of hand washing, dealing with poor lighting, and when you’re going at this solo a third arm would come in handy. So…great job to those of you who do it all the time!