The Daring Cooks #2 Chinese dumplings...

And here it is - this special time each month - to post out our completed challenge. This month's challenge was to make traditional Chinese dumplings - you should know them as wontons. I always wanted to make them, but it never really happened ;) This was a great opportunity for me to finally try it! The dough wasn't so difficult - though, you have to make right the amount of the flour and water, that can be tricky. The filling was our choice and as my Hubby like his meat ;) I choose pork filling as suggested by the host of the challenge - Jen from www.userealbutter.com and I made a sweet ones too - blueberry filling :)



How to make it...

Ingredients:
Dough:
- 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (113g) warm water
- flour for work surface
Filling:
- 450g ground pork
- 4 large napa cabbage leaves, minced
- 3 stalks green onions, minced
- 7 shitake mushrooms, minced (if dried - rehydrated and rinsed carefully)
- 1/2 cup bamboo shoots, minced
- 1/4 cup ginger root, minced
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
Dipping sauce:
- 2 parts soy sauce
- 1 part vinegar (red wine or black)
- a few drops of sesame oil
- chili garlic paste (optional)
- minced ginger (optional)
- minced garlic (optional)
- minced green onion (optional)
- sugar (optional)

I also made a sweet version of those dumplings with blueberries. They were served with some Greek yogurt and brown sugar - yum! :)



Instructions how to make the dough by Jen:
Method 1: Place the flour in the work bowl of a food processor with the dough blade. Run the processor and pour the warm water in until incorporated. Pour the contents into a sturdy bowl or onto a work surface and knead until uniform and smooth. The dough should be firm and silky to the touch and not sticky.[Note: it’s better to have a moist dough and have to incorporate more flour than to have a dry and pilling dough and have to incorporate more water).
Make the dough, Method 2 (Jen's mom’s instructions): In a large bowl mix flour with 1/4 cup of water and stir until water is absorbed. Continue adding water one teaspoon at a time and mixing thoroughly until dough pulls away from sides of bowl. We want a firm dough that is barely sticky to the touch.
Knead the dough about twenty strokes then cover with a damp towel for 15 minutes. Take the dough and form a flattened dome. Cut into strips about 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide. Shape the strips into rounded long cylinders. On a floured surface, cut the strips into 3/4 inch pieces. Press palm down on each piece to form a flat circle (you can shape the corners in with your fingers). With a rolling pin, roll out a circular wrapper from each flat disc. Take care not to roll out too thin or the dumplings will break during cooking - about 1/16th inch. Leave the centers slightly thicker than the edges. Place a tablespoon of filling in the center of each wrapper and fold the dough in half, pleating the edges along one side. Keep all unused dough under damp cloth.



Filling - meaty:
Combine all filling ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly (I mix by clean hand). Cover and refrigerate until ready to use (up to a day, but preferably within an hour or two). - Easy peasy ;)

To boil:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add dumplings to pot. Boil the dumplings until they float.
To steam:
Place dumplings on a single layer of napa cabbage leaves or on a well-greased surface in a steamer basket with lid. Steam covered for about 6 minutes.
To pan fry (potstickers): Place dumplings in a frying pan with 2-3 tbsp of vegetable oil. Heat on high and fry for a few minutes until bottoms are golden. Add 1/2 cup water and cover. Cook until the water has boiled away and then uncover and reduce heat to medium or medium low. Let the dumplings cook for another 2 minutes then remove from heat and serve.
To freeze:
Assemble dumplings on a baking sheet so they are not touching. It helps to rub the base of the dumpling in a little flour before setting on the baking sheet for ease of release. Freeze for 20-30 minutes until dumplings are no longer soft. Place in ziploc bag and freeze for up to a couple of months. Prepare per the above instructions, but allow extra time to ensure the filling is thoroughly cooked.

Smacznego!