Tag Archives: dumplings

These Freezer-Friendly Russian Pelmeni Dumplings Are the Perfect At-Home Cooking Project

If you’ve ever visited a Russian restaurant, you’re probably familiar with pelmeni. Pelmeni are savoury dumplings stuffed with ground meat and onion. They can be served in a broth or on their own with a healthy helping of butter or sour cream. Regardless of how you choose to serve them, these dumplings make for a great cooking project. Make a big batch and split among friends or store in the freezer for those times when you’re running low on groceries.

Russian Pelmeni Dumplings

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Rest Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
Servings: Approx. 50 pelmeni

Ingredients:

Dough
1 large egg
¾ cup lukewarm water
2 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp fine sea salt

Filling
1/3 cup grated onion, about ½ medium onion
100 grams ground pork
100 grams ground beef
¾ tsp fine sea salt
¼ cup ice water

1 bay leaf (optional)

Directions:

1. Whisk egg and water in a large bowl. Add flour and salt, stirring with a wooden spoon until dough comes together. Knead the dough either in the bowl or on a clean surface lightly dusted with flour, until it is smooth, about 5 minutes. Form into a disc then wrap tightly in plastic and transfer to the refrigerator to let rest for 30 minutes.

2. In the meantime, combine the onion, pork, beef and salt in a large bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon until thoroughly mixed. Add 1 tablespoon of ice water and stir vigorously until absorbed. Repeat this process with the remaining 3 tablespoons until no liquid remains.

Related: 15 Perogie Recipes That Are Pure Comfort

3. Lightly sprinkle a sheet tray with flour. Divide dough into two halves. Wrap one half and set aside. Roll out dough until it measures 1/16-inch thick. Using a 2 3/4 or 3-inch cutter (or overturned glass) cut out circles.

4. Place a generous teaspoon of filling in the centre of each circle. Fold the dough over itself to create a half moon. Press the edges tightly with your fingertips (if the dough does not stick to itself lightly brush the edges with water) then fold the edge upwards. Grab both ends of the half moon and draw them towards each other so they overlap. Press firmly to seal. Transfer to prepared tray. Repeat with remaining dough. Scraps can be rerolled to use up excess filling, but the resulting pelmeni will be tougher.

5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the bay leaf, if desired. Cook pelmeni in boiling water until cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Pelmeni can be frozen on prepared sheet tray, then transferred to a tightly sealed zip top bag for storage. To cook from frozen, boil for 5 minutes. Enjoy!

Want more at-home cooking projects? These mini bagels and 12-layer chocolate cake will surely impress.

How to Make Momos: South Asian Steamed Dumplings Filled With Chicken and Shrimp

We first fell in love with momos while travelling through Nepal. Momos are steamed dumplings traditionally from the Nepal and Tibetan regions. They’re warm, light, extremely flavourful and very filling (especially when you eat a ton of them, which you inevitably will). Here, we wanted to bring out the punchy Asian flavours that work on all the taste receptors: salty tamari, sweet sesame oil and honey, spicy ginger and sour rice wine vinegar. By combining shrimp and chicken as the filling, you achieve a lighter texture with a stronger depth of flavour.

Bunching up the momos into little packages is also half the fun. You can make your own dough, but for this recipe, we opted for pre-made wrappers from the grocery store. We find wrapping the dumplings to be a fun social experience if done with friends and family, or it can be quite meditative if you’re cooking alone. Achieving the perfect fold may take a few tries, but you’ll get there. For an easier alternative, make the classic crescent moon shape by folding the wrapper in half. Here, we went a little fancy and created a round version secured together with cinched pleats. Go ahead and try out these petite parcels of perfection for yourself!

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Shrimp & Chicken Ginger Tamari Momo Dumplings

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Wrap Time: 1 hour
Steam Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 45 momos

Ingredients:

1 inch piece of ginger, peeled
½ small red onion
2 garlic cloves, peeled
¼ cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
½ cup shiitake mushrooms (about 6 mushrooms)
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined (cooked or uncooked)
1/2 lb ground chicken
1 egg
1 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp tamari
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp honey
45 momo/dumpling wrappers

Directions:

1. Turn on your food processor, and as it’s running, toss in the ginger, red onion and garlic through the feeding tube.

2. Once these aromatic ingredients have had a few spins, add in the cilantro and mushrooms. Pulse until well chopped, then add in the shrimp until it’s minced into pieces.

3. Take out the mixture and place it in a large bowl. Add in the ground chicken.

4. Whisk the egg on one side of the bowl, or whisk separately and pour into the food processor.

5. Then pour in the sesame oil, tamari, rice wine vinegar and honey. Now begin combining everything so the entire mixture is well seasoned.

6. Take out the momo wrappers and cover with a damp cloth to keep from drying out.

7. Hold one wrapper in the palm of your hand. Have a bowl of water nearby, and wet the perimeter of the wrapper with your finger.

8. Place one tablespoon of filling into its centre. Slowly pinch the dough together, moving around in a circular motion, until the wrapper is securely closed into a parcel shape. Dip your fingers back in the water and pinch the top together.

9. Repeat the above steps for each momo. The first few dumplings may look messy, but practice makes perfect! *If you prefer to prep ahead, freeze the momos at this step, prior to steaming.

10. To steam, you’ll require a steamer basket, steamer pot or bamboo steamer. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Brush the steamer with oil, or if you’re using a bamboo steamer, line it with parchment paper or cabbage leaves, and brush with oil.

11. Place the momos inside the steamer. Don’t overcrowd them or they’ll stick together. Place the steamer onto the pot of boiling water. Cover with a lid and steam for 15 minutes.

12. Take out the dumplings and repeat until all the momos are steamed. Enjoy with tamari or your favourite hot sauce.

Still hungry? These Indian recipes are even better than takeout. You’ll also love these healthy dishes from around the world, and a must-try coconut shrimp taco recipe (trust us, it’s cheaper than taking a vacation).

How to Make Your Own Dumplings for Chinese New Year

Born and raised in Richmond, BC, Chef Nicole Gomes has been celebrating Chinese New Year ever since she can remember. The west coast city, just a stone’s throw from Vancouver, is known across North America for its dynamic Chinese food scene and famous night market brimming with all sorts of delicious eats.

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The Top Chef Canada alum has been calling Calgary home for over 16 years, where she runs a high-end catering company (Nicole Gourmet) and the uber-popular fried chicken eatery, Cluck ‘N’ Cleaver. But with strong family ties in Richmond, she always heads back west to celebrate the holiday with her family.

“Most of my memories about Chinese New Year just revolve around spending time with my family,” says Gomes, smiling. “Well, spending time with family and then eating and eating and eating. There’s always so much food!”

So when it comes to Chinese New Year cooking, Nicole Gomes is something of an expert. Here are some top tips she has picked up over the years, plus how to make perfect Chinese dumplings.

 

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The Perfect Dumplings for Chinese New Year

While Gomes says food has always been central to her upbringing, one of her most fond food memories is spending weekend afternoons learning to make dumplings (jiaozi) with her grandmother and younger sister.

“We would make dumplings all of the time with my grandma. Hundreds and hundreds of them,” says Gomes. “That is one of the best things about dumplings. You can make a huge batch, freeze them and eat them when you want.”

After years of making dough, rolling, filling and pinching, Gomes has become quite the dumpling expert, practically making them with her eyes closed. Though the filling can be flexible, Gomes’ favourite filling is a classic one made with ground pork and Shanghai bok choy.

If you’re celebrating the Lunar New Year at home this year, you should definitely have some dumplings on the table — so why not make some that are chef-approved?

Nicole Gomes’ Homemade Pork Dumplings

Prep and Cook Time: 1 hour
Makes: 30 dumplings

dumpling-making

Ingredients:

Pork and Bok Choy Filling:
2 heads Shanghai bok choy (halved, thinly sliced and blanched)
1 pound ground pork
2 Tbsp oyster sauce
2 Tbsp light soy sauce
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 tsp cane sugar
2 Tbsp Chinese rice cooking wine
1 Tbsp sesame oil
Canola oil (for testing filling)

Dumpling Dough:
2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup boiling water

Dipping Sauce:
1/3 cup black vinegar (available at Asian grocers)
2 Tbsp garlic chili paste
Crushed chili flakes (for garnish)

Tip: Always cook off a bit of your filling in a pan and taste it first before filling your dumplings. Add more seasoning if needed. You don’t want to fill a whole bunch of dumplings only to find out they don’t taste as good as they could!

dumpling-filling

Directions:

Pork and Bok Choy Filling :
Place all ingredients in a bowl and stir until combined.

Dumpling Dough:
1. Mix flour and water together in a medium bowl and knead until smooth.
2. Split dough into six equal logs, roll to 3/4-inch thickness (approximately) and cut into 5 pieces per log for a total of 30 dumplings.

filling-dumplings
3. Roll out into rounds and fill with approximately prepared pork and bok choy filling.

pinching-dumplings
4. To seal, lightly dab water around the edge of one half of the dumplings. Bring sides together and gently pinch along seam to seal.

Dipping Sauce:
Place black vinegar, garlic chili paste and chili flakes in a small bowl and stir to combine.

Cooking:
1. Pour 1 1/2 Tbsp canola oil in a large pan to evenly coat and turn to medium-high heat. Place dumplings into pan and cook until bottoms start to brown, about 2-3 minutes.

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2. Next, pour in 1 1/2 cups water, cover with lid and let steam for 6-8 minutes or until water is absorbed.

dumplings-cooking
3. Remove lid to allow any remaining water to evaporate. Dumpling should be tender on top and golden brown on the bottom.
4. Transfer from pan to serving dish and let cool slightly before serving.

Tips for a Great Chinese New Year:

It’s a numbers game
The number eight is regarded as the luckiest number. That’s a good baseline to work with when you’re preparing dinner. Eight dishes can easily feed a big group of family or friends. On the other end, stay away from four in any shape or form (i.e. guests or dishes). Its pronunciation is the same as the word for death, so it’s considered very bad luck.

The longer the noodle you’re cooking with, the better
Noodles represent longevity in life. You will always see them on the table at Chinese New Year, but in a lot of different forms, like stir-fried or steamed with vegetables and soy-based sauces. Never cut the noodles — it is bad luck!

You don’t need to cook everything yourself
Popular dishes like suckling pig, barbecue pork and peking-style chicken or duck aren’t ideal for a home cook to make, especially if it’s their first time. Most Canadian cities have great Chinatown neighbourhoods with Chinese barbecue restaurants. Order these from a good quality spot and spend your time in the kitchen making delicious side dishes.

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Not every dish has to be hot
Many dishes in Chinese culture are served cold; a lot of people forget about that. Marinating soft tofu in a soy garlic sauce overnight in the fridge, for example, is really delicious and doesn’t take much prep at all.

Plan for some surf and turf
It isn’t a Chinese New Year dinner without lobster. Whole lobster is usually served because of its resemblance to a dragon (a creature that is synonymous with Chinese culture). It is usually paired with chicken. The presentation of a whole chicken represents family and prosperity.

What you should be drinking
Simple drinks are served along with Lunar New Year celebrations. Red and white wine to sip on throughout dinner, and finishing off with cognac when dessert comes around is perfect.

Always accept an invitation to someone’s New Year dinner, if possible
It is a real honour to be invited to someone’s Chinese New Year celebration, and one big plus is then you don’t have to worry about any of the cooking or the dishes afterwards.

Check out these 15 mouth-watering dumpling recipes for Chinese New Year.