Friday, February 19, 2010

Jade Dumplings

Hello veggie dumpling, you're lookin good!
Bright and fresh from raw asparagus and ginger, the water chestnuts for crunch, pillowed together inside the dumpling wrapper.
You would put any pork or shrimp dumpling to shame.
There's something about dumpling assembly that I really love. The first three are awkward, but then you fall into a rhythm and the pile grows and grows. I clear the counters, add a rimmed baking sheet next to my work space, and crank Pandora radio on my iPhone. It takes time but you're rewarded with plenty for tonight and a good sized bag for the freezer. The first serving swam in a light coconut broth with some snow peas. Serving #2 were eaten with chopsticks after being dunked in a bit of soy sauce. The last of them- more broth, this time with leeks and mushrooms.
I've assembled my dumplings into many different shapes, pairing what I think works best with the filling. The asian dumpling is well suited to the half-moon shape, but I prefer smaller bundles. Patting the half-moon in the center coaxes the two ends together, fastened together with a bit of moistening.
They look a bit like Panama hats, don't they?

I use store-bought wonton wrappers, and greatly prefer round ones to square ones. I find that I always have a bunch of filling leftover with just one package so I would recommend arming yourself with two. You might as well make as many as you can!

Jade Dumplings
adapted from
makes a bunch!
12 ounces fresh asparagus, stems trimmed and cut in quarters
1 8 ounce-can water chestnuts, drained
3 scallions, cut in quarters
1 Tbs fresh ginger, minced
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp low sodium soy sauce
1/4 tsp salt
2 packages round wonton wrappers (each package contains about 36 wrappers)
a small cup of water
Add the ginger and garlic to a food processor and make sure they are well minced. Add the asparagus, water chestnuts, scallions, sesame oil, soy sauce, and salt, and pulse a few times until the vegetables are finely chopped.
Scrape the mixture into a small bowl, and cover your wonton wrappers with a damp towel.
Take one wonton wrapper and dot a small amount of filling in the center (I use a small spoon). Dip your finger in the cup of water and moisten half the wrapper. Press the edges together with your fingers, pushing out any air around the filling. Moisten the ends of the half moon and press them together firmly. Place the dumpling on a prepared baking sheet. Continue with the rest of the wrappers until you run out of baking sheet space. Place the full sheet in the freezer, and continue on a new baking sheet until all the wrappers or filling are gone.
After 30 minutes in the freezer, you can remove the baking sheet and transfer the dumplings to a freezer bag.



Erica said...

Genius! I love your sweet pea bundles and these sound even better. Love the crunch of water chestnuts. Book marking this many of your recipes can I have book marked? hahah

Unknown said...

these are making me crave spring :) i used to hate water chesnuts, but my eyes have been opened... interesting addition here!