When the time nears the end of a year, I think of dumplings. On many New Year’s Eves, I used to go to my oldest Uncle’s place and help my aunt to prepare the big family feast for New Year’s day. The main dish of a Korean New Year is called, “dduk-gguk”, which is a savory stew made with thinly sliced rice cakes and dumplings. In Korean culture, eating a large bowl of ddeok-gguk officially adds a year to your age. In order to prepare for the feast, all the female members of the family would sit down on the floor and make lots of dumplings. Even though it took many hours of labor, I had many good laughs and jokes with my aunts and cousins. Dumplings take a little work to make, but their reward is great.
Enjoy these dumplings and have a simply delicious New Year, foodies ^^
BEVERAGE TIP: Soju ginger honey cocktail
SIDE DISH PAIRING TIP: Cucumber Salad
New Year, foodies ^^
SERVES 2 as an entree / 4 as an appetizer
Yields about 24-30 dumplings
Total: 40 minutes Active: 35 minutes
2 garlic cloves
same part ginger as garlic
1/4 medium onion, roughly chopped
3.8 oz green cabbage (about twice the amount of onion), roughly chopped
1 bundle(6 heads) green onion, thinly sliced
4 oz firm tofu
5 oz ground pork
1 Tbsp. sake or white wine
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 package potsticker/ gyoza wrappers
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
1. To make the filling: Finely chop the garlic and ginger by using a food processor. Add the onion and cabbage and pulse blend it to a coarse chop. Transfer mixture to a medium mixing bowl.
2. Squeeze out the excess water from the tofu by firmly pressing it with both hands until no more liquid bleeds from it. Add this to the mixing bowl.
3. Add the rest of the filling ingredients to the bowl and mix it with both hands until all of the ingredients are well incorporated. Set aside.
*The filling can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two days.
4. Lightly coat a work surface (or plate) with flour to lay the completed dumplings on.
*This will prevent the dumplings from sticking to the surface.
5. Lay a piece of pot sticker skin on your open palm and add 1 Tbsp filling to its’ center. Wet the edge of the skin with water using your index finger. Then, fold the skin in half around the filling and press the wet edges together, firmly between your fingers, in order to seal the edge.
*Watch the step-by-step video above for an in-depth visual demonstration of making the dumplings.
6. Repeat step 5 until you have used all of the filling. This recipe will yield 24-30 dumplings.
7. Heat a non-stick skillet over high heat. Add 1Tbsp. of sesame oil and then line up the dumplings across the bottom of the pan. Leave a little space in between the dumplings so they don’t stick together. Add water until it reaches 1/3 of the height of the dumplings.
8. Cook this over high heat, covered, for about 6 minutes until the water is almost evaporated and the dumpling skins become translucent.
9. Uncover. Cook the dumplings another 2 minutes over medium high heat until the bottoms get golden and crispy.
10. Serve with the dipping sauce. Enjoy^^
There are many ways to make dumplings. Start with an easier technique and move on to more difficult ones once you feel more comfortable.
No worries if the folds and shapes are not perfect. Regardless of shape perfection, the dumplings will be just as tasty.