Turkey Dumplings with Scallion and Fresh Ginger

turkey dumpling

So it has been a long while since I have posted. Life caught up with me in the form of a move, work, and a few freelance assignments. However I am back again with some cool posts that I have built up in this break!

Let me tell you why I decided to make this recipe. For me, cooking has always been a stress reliever. This is especially the case when the recipe involves repetitive motion. Focusing all my energy on only one repeating task is a great way to get out of my head and mentally decompress.  Dumplings are a great example of this.

Aside from the initial mixing of the meat filling, most of the work only involves three steps. Fill, dampen the dough, and pinch everything together. You just repeat these steps until you run out of filling.  At the end, you have this beautiful plate full of dumplings that are ready to boil. Call me Type A, but having this nicely arranged plate (usually in a spiral shape) is a very relaxing site to see at the end of a hectic day.

Also, this is such a comforting food to eat. Think about it. Warm, soothing chicken broth. A slightly chewy filling with a hint of ginger. Tender dumpling dough. All of these are quite comforting things. This is also a very light recipe, so you won’t feel weighed down after eating it.

If what I just said still hasn’t hooked you in, let me say this is a great food for office lunches as they are the best the day after making them. Much like a good marinara sauce, these dumplings get better as they sit since all the flavors have had a chance to meld together. Now let’s get started:

turkey dumpling

Ingredients

  • 1 package lean, ground turkey (you can also use ground pork or chicken)
  • 1 Tbs finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 package fresh wonton wrappers (you can find these at an Asian market or in the health/ethnic food section of your local grocery store)
  • 1 Tbs water, to glue the dumplings together
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 Tbs. sesame oil
  • Chicken broth to serve with (you can also serve dry with a soy dipping sauce)

Step 1: Let’s make the meat filling. Combine the ground turkey, ginger, green onion, egg and salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix until homogenous.

Step 2: Open dumpling wrappers. (Tip, keep a damp towel over your extra wrappers to keep them from drying out while you work. I usually isolate groups of 20 wrappers at a time.) Take one wrapper and dampen half of the edge.

Step 3: Take a teaspoon of meat filling and drop it in the middle of the wrapper. Lift the dry half of the wrapper and press it into the damp side. Before you completely seal the edges together, lightly press any excess air out of the dumpling. (This prevents them from floating to the top of the pan prematurely.

Step 4: Fill and fold all of your dumplings together until you run out of meat. As you fill plates with your raw dumplings, cover the dumplings with plastic wrap to prevent the dumpling skin from drying out.

Step 5: Boil water in a large saucepan. When it’s a rolling boil, place 10-15 dumplings into the pot. Be sure to not overcrowd the pot. Stir the water while dropping the dumplings to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Boil for 5-7 minutes. Break one dumpling in half after cooking and check to see if the meat is white. If it is still pink, continue cooking another 1-2 minutes.

Step 6: When fully cooked, drain and transfer dumplings to an oiled dish. Swirl the dumplings in the sesame oil to keep them from sticking together. Repeat step 5 as necessary. Serve warm with chicken broth.

turkey dumpling

turkey dumpling

Crispy chive pancakes

chive-pancake

Here is the chive pancake recipe I hinted to last time! Like I said in my last France post, I will launch a series of French inspired recipes, so I know this Asian-inspired post may come as a surprise. However, when I got home, I was a bit tired of all the French food I had enjoyed while traveling. So, my next few posts will not touch on that French-themed series at all.

In fact, after this, I have a pumpkin pie ice cream post already shot for you, followed by a sweet potato mochi recipe.

That being said, I am currently developing recipes for the French food series, so if there is anything I should try out, tell me and leave a comment below!

As for today’s post, this is a great appetizer or snack that comes together in about 30 minutes. Subtle in flavor, this recipe takes traditional asian ingredients and creates a crispy pancake that satisfies any junk food cravings.

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp roasted sesame seeds
  • 1 cup roughly chopped fresh chive
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (for cooking)

Step 1: Mix all above ingredients until you achieve a uniform ball. Separate the ball into 4 – 6 pieces. (You can make them bigger or smaller depending on your preference) Roll the individual pieces into balls.

Step 2: Take two sheets of wax paper, and put one of the dough balls in between. Using a rolling pin, or a long cup if you do not have one on hand, roll the ball into a thin disc. You want it to be about 1/3 of a centimeter thick. Repeat the process for each of the pancakes. Set the pancake aside, and use extra wax paper in between the pancakes to keep the dough from sticking as you roll the rest of the recipe.

Step 3: Heat up a tablespoon or two of cooking oil in a pan. Use a paper towel to evenly distribute the oil in a thin layer. Add a bit more oil to the pan to make up for what may have been absorbed. The key to crisping up the dough in this recipe is not holding back on the cooking oil here. When the oil is well heated, you can throw a little clump of dough in the pan to see if it sizzles to check this, place the disk in the pan. Be careful to not tear the dough when you separate it from the wax paper.

Step 4: Let the pancake cook off on one side, let the bottom crisp up and turn a spotted golden brown. The dough may puff up a little. When the bottom is done, flip over and repeat the process for the other side. Repeat for the rest of the pancakes.

Step 5: Enjoy! This dish is good with a side of soy/vinegar sauce.

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Savoury udon egg custard

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I was inspired to make this recipe after going to eat at a soba noodle restaurant in Dallas. They had a dish in their small bites section that was so simple, yet delicious. The dish, called chawanmushi, is a steamed egg custard. The custard is dairy free and mixes egg with broth to create a light, savory appetizer or side dish. I took the basic idea from this dish, and taught myself how to make it through the Cooking with Dog Japanese cooking show channel on YouTube. (You can see their video for chawanmushi here and their recipe for udon egg custard here.)

This recipe is perfect for a spring meal as it is both warm and light. You will not feel overly full after eating this, so this would be an ideal late dinner or small lunch.

Ingredients

  • 1 package udon noodles, cooked
  • 2 cups dashi broth (or chicken broth)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tomato, cut into bite-size chunks
  • 1 shitake mushroom, sliced with the stem removed
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 small filet of grilled salmon, broken into chunks
  • drizzle sesame oil

Step 1: Put a cloth towel on the bottom of a deep-depth frying pan. In a separate saucepan, boil enough water to fill the frying pan half-way.

Step 2: Break up the egg whites with a fork. Then break the yolks and whisk the eggs until they are a homogeneous mixture.

Step 3: Mix the eggs with your broth. Stir well and then run the liquid through a strainer to ensure your mix is completely smooth when cooked.

Step 4: Put your udon noodles, vegetables and salmon into small bowls. Pour the egg liquid over the toppings and into individual serving cups and then top with a drizzle of sesame oil. Cover the bowls securely with plastic wrap. Place them into the cloth-lined frying pan.

Step 5: Pour the boiling water into the frying pan – there should be enough water to cover the bottom 1/2 to 1/3 of the bowls. Make sure that you are pouring around the bowls as to make sure that you do not dilute your egg mixture. Cover the pan with a lid and bring the pan to a rolling boil. When the water is fully boiling, reduce the heat to medium and cook another 10-15 minutes. The custard is done when the top is opaque and you can push a skewer into the custard and it is solid.

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Sesame oatmeal with soft-cooked egg and ginger

sesame oatmeal with egg

Despite sorting this in the breakfast section of my recipe page, I feel like this recipe is pretty universal regardless of when you eat it. Substitute the oatmeal for rice porridge and you would have an awesome alternative. You could even do this to plain white rice.

However when I woke up a couple mornings ago, I wanted something salty for breakfast, so I went this route.

Growing up, my mom would always add Maggi, a seasoning sauce similar to soy sauce, to her oatmeal. The sauce added a great umami flavor to a relatively bland breakfast staple. Unfortunately, I did not have any of this on hand. What I did have was dark soy sauce and sesame oil – so I thought, “Why don’t I give these a shot?”

Instead of finishing everything with a dash or two of soy sauce, I continued and went all the way, adding a fried egg and some vegetables. When I finished plating this, the recipe kind of reminded me of bi bim bap, a korean mixed rice dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet of instant oatmeal (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup water (for a twist, use leftover green or roasted barley tea instead)
  • 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 egg, fried with a runny yolk
  • julienned carrots, sautéed
  • chopped green onion
  • pepper to taste

Step 1: Cook the oatmeal with your water or tea. You can do this in the microwave or on the stove-top. However cook until the oatmeal is thick, you cannot have runny oatmeal as you will cut it with more liquid. Mix in 1 teaspoon of soy sauce.

Step 2: Pour oatmeal into a bowl. (Or keep in your cooking dish if you cooked in the microwave.) Top with the egg and carrots.

Step 3: Drizzle with remaining oil and sauce. Sprinkle with green onion and pepper.

sesame oatmeal with egg