Dumpling Party!

No better way to spend a day off from #souplife, than with a dinner party centered around dumplings! (But we had some soup too.)

We started, of course, with a stock. But we didn’t have the time  to make a stock from scratch, so we took this as an opportunity to use up some of the stock in our freezer. We ended up combining a “leftover meat bones” stock, a Vietnamese chicken stock, and a vegetable stock. To freshen it up a bit, we threw in some frozen chicken bones, bacon, ginger, garlic, and coriander seed. After straining and a little skimming (just a little), we seasoned it with fish sauce, dark soy sauce, brown sugar, and some other stuff I’m sure I forgot. (The lesson, if you’re trying this at home, is to add stuff until it tastes great.) We ended up having shrimp shells leftover from the dumpling filling, so we made a quick shrimp stock and added that to the broth just before serving. If you got it, why not use it?

A quick trip to Chinatown produced the dumpling and wonton skins, fresh noodles for the peanut noodle salad (based closely off Kenji Lopez-Alt’s amazing recipe), baby bok choy, and other goodies. We rounded out the menu with a smashed cucumber salad and Uncle Boon’s coconut ice cream sundaes.

Our resident dumpling expert, Jennifer Sharkey, was in charge of the dumpling filling - a mix of ground pork, shrimp, ginger and other spices. We asked her for a recipe but she said “Oh, I just know it. I don’t have a recipe.” Thanks, Jen.

Next, it was time for assembly. Dumplings require a bit of egg wash and a simple fold. The wontons involved an extra step of folding the corners together. We enlisted our friends (bribing them with beer and rosé) to help with dumpling assembly. This is an important step, because trust us, wrapping dumplings is tedious work. Plus, around here, if you want to eat, you have to work!

Here's the step-by-step:

Step 1 - Filling goes in the center (not too much!)

Step 1 - Filling goes in the center (not too much!)

Step 2 - Spread a thin layer of egg wash around the top two edges

Step 2 - Spread a thin layer of egg wash around the top two edges

Step 3 - Fold in half and press firmly together

Step 3 - Fold in half and press firmly together

Step 4 - Get ready for the final step!

Step 4 - Get ready for the final step!

Step 5 - Put a touch of egg wash on the right outside edge, fold corners in and press to close.

Step 5 - Put a touch of egg wash on the right outside edge, fold corners in and press to close.

The end result.

The end result.

It was finally time to cook, and this was the easiest part. We threw the wontons into the simmering broth for a few minutes, and pan fried the dumplings. 

And voilà!  Time for a feast!