Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Homemade Chinese Food: Worth It

A couple nights ago, I made scallion pancakes and pork dumplings in appreciation of the new computer I have, courtesy of BF, because there is nothing better than fried appetizers as the main course. Two and a half hours to make all this, but worth doing once in a while.

The Chinese restaurant my family regularly bought from when we wanted Chinese food had pork dumplings with the most wonderful, substantial dough wrappings, that I have never found anywhere else - most places use thin wonton wrappers, and I've finally nailed down the way to replicate that kind of thick, chewy outside. The recipe linked above is what I use for the dough, but while it claims to make 60 dumplings from one batch of dough, I make 24-30, and change the filling recipe to compensate: same proportions of meat, soy sauce, rice wine (or rice vinegar, because I had no wine), garlic, ginger, scallion, sesame oil, salt, and pepper, and one cup of whatever else you put in (recipe suggests bamboo shoots and napa cabbage; I used carrots because they were on hand.

Order of operations: Dumpling dough first, scallion pancake dough second, then dumpling filling and chopping scallions while doughs are resting. Shape pancakes, then shape dumplings. Fry pancakes while dumplings are boiling, then fry dumplings while pancakes are draining off the excess oil.

That dipping sauce recipe on the scallion pancakes page works equally well for pork dumplings, too, and must be remembered.

If I were having company over, I would make these to go along with a stir fry - shape, boil, and store ahead of time, then fry just before it's time to eat.

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