“Cooking at Home” continues…hope we are doing this together. Three days ago I was thinking of bottom-crusty, flavorful gyoza dumplings, so bought ground lamb to make them for next day. I planned to buy dumpling wrappers on the day of the making as a short-cut preparation. Then, two days ago we were snowed in (well it was not too bad but discouraged me to go out for shopping wrappers), so I ended up making my own. It is actually very easy to make dumpling wrappers at home. Here is the recipe for you and you should definitely try and master it.
The Dough: (from The Japanese Kitchen, page 444)
2 cups all purpose flour and additional flour for dusting
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 3/4 cup hot water
Sift flour into a large bowl and stir in the salt. Add boiling water little by little, stirring the flour with chopsticks. Then, shape the mixture into a smooth ball. Let the dough stand, covered with a moist cloth, for 1 hour. [Use this period to make fillings. No waste of time.]
After one hour on a floured work surface, knead the dough for 3-5 minutes or until it is smooth. Form the dough into a long log, and cut the log crosswise into 40 disks. Dust each cut side with additional flour to prevent the surfaces from drying out. Roll each piece of dough into a 3-inch disk, making the rim thinner than the center. Dust the wrappers liberally with additional flour, and stack them. Fill the wrapper with the prepared filling ingredients.
The filling: (from The Japanese Kitchen, page 444)
You can use ground pork, lamb, turkey, chicken…whichever fancies you as a filling. The traditional gyoza dumpling uses Chinese cabbage as a part of filling. I replace Chinese cabbage with other greens such as kale, Swiss chard or spinach according to the season.
7 ounces ground lamb
7 ounces kale leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons shoyu (soy sauce)
2 teaspoons grated ginger
1 garlic clove, grated
2 tablespoons minced green part of scallion
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Mince the kale fine and toss it with the salt. Let the kale stand for 10 minutes. In a bowl toss the ground lamb with soy sauce and knead until the mixture is very sticky. Mix in the ginger, garlic, scallion and black pepper. Now you squeeze the kale firmly to remove excess water and add it to the lamb and mix thoroughly.
Pick up one wrapper and place it in one hand. Place abotu 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper in half by placing one edge over the other edge. While sealing the dumpling, make six to eight pleats in the top on only the upper side.
We can cook these dumplings in the gyoza style, cooking and browning the bottom of the dumplings in an oiled skillet first, and then, steaming them, covered. Since the day was so cold, I made the vegetable soup and throw the dumplings into the soup. Here the dumplings are mingling with winter vegetables – red cabbage, turnip, leek and carrot. The vegetable soup took over meat flavor from the dumplings, and was rich & delicious. If you are not eating all the dumplings at one time, freeze the leftovers for a later consumption. When you cook the frozen dumplings, do not defrost them, but start cooking them frozen.