I think I was 16 or 17 when my mom and I started making dumplings. Our first venture took all afternoon. Getting the folding technique down was... interesting. We just had a picture to go off of and I am pretty sure it took two of us an hour and half to make 4 dozen. Now I can knock out 4 dozen by myself in 30-40 minutes (depending on distractions.)
You can fill these with a variety of things. I have made many, many variations. But I do think white meat turkey or chicken works best (if you use meat) because they are low in fat. This means they cook quickly and there isn't a lot of oil to make the dumpling soggy from the inside. Pork is really good, but using the store bought wonton wrappers, the amount of fat doesn't allow them to keep very well in a buffet/snacking type setting. So, if you use pork, eat them right away.
Fried Vegetable and Turkey Dumplings
1 pkg square wonton wrappers
1 lb white meat turkey, chicken, or soft tofu
1 1/4 C finely shredded green cabbage
1/3 C grated carrot
1/3 C grated broccoli stalk (peel stalk before grating)
1/3 C minced red bell pepper
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1 tsp lime zest
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Combine turkey, vegetables, egg, cilantro, zest, salt and pepper. Cook a small patty to test seasoning; adjust seasoning if necessary.
Lay out a few wonton skins, keep the rest covered with a damp paper towel to prevent drying.
Filling and Folding Steps (reference picture below):
1. Place a rounded teaspoon (about 2 level tsp) of meat mixture in the center of the wrapper.
2. Dip a finger into water and run it around the edges of the wrapper to dampen. Bring opposite corners together. Pinch.
3. Bring a side corner up to the center and pinch sides together. Do the same for the 4th corner.
4. Gently press down on dumpling to remove excess air pockets. Pinch sides back together if any of them gap.
Place finished dumplings on a baking sheet covered with a damp paper towel. Dumplings may be assembled and kept in refrigerator for 3-4 hours before cooking.
In a large skillet with a lid (non stick is best), heat some oil (~1 Tbsp) over med/med-hi heat. Place dumplings flat side down in oil. Cook 1.5-2 minutes until bottoms are browned.
Add about 1/4 C water and immediately cover with lid. Cook 2-3 minutes. (This steams the dumplings to fully cook them.) Repeat for batches.
Serves with peanut sauce (this this sauce with some extra vinegar and water) or other dipping sauce.
Makes 3.5-4 dozen. They will feed 8-16 people. (Err on the side of caution and make a lot, they tend to go fast and people usually want more.)
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