If I had to name a food that I most enjoy making with friends, I would have to say dumplings. These delicious two-bite treats are a staple in our homes and can be used as snacks, appetizers or even a light meal by themselves. You can vary the filling, by adding vegetables or changing the meat. They are truly devoured by everyone. Often times, we make the fillings (which take less than 15 minutes to assemble) and then sit and crimp together. It’s a rewarding way to fill our freezers while spending an hour or so with a friend.
Cooking With Friends Kitchen
1 pound raw ground chicken
few dashes of sesame oil
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
2 small garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
1/8 cup chopped water chestnuts
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ teaspoon salt (optional)
1 package of 60 dumpling wrappers found at Asian markets or in grocery stores
Mix all ingredients (except for the wrappers) in a large bowl. Set aside.
Set out a work surface with a small bowl of water (to seal the edges of the dumplings), a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and if using, a dumpling crimper. Place a heaping teaspoon full of the mixture on the center of a wrapper, moisten the edges with water and then crimp the edges together. You can either use your hands or a simple dumpling crimper. Lay the dumplings on the parchment paper and repeat until all of the filling is used. Make sure the dumplings aren’t overlapping or they will stick together. To freeze, place uncovered in the freezer for about two hours until they begin to harden and the transfer to a zip loc freezer bag. Remove any excess air before sealing.
To cook, remove the dumplings from the freezer and cook frozen. Heat two tablespoons of canola oil in a large non-stick skillet. Add 12 dumplings and cook for a minute or two in the oil. Add ½ cup water by pouring over the dumplings and then cover the skillet. Reduce the heat and cook for approximately 12-15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Serve with a simple dipping sauce (soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and chopped scallions.)
Makes about 120 dumplings