Monday, July 20, 2009

Angry Dumplings

Perhaps, Wrathlings...
I came back from Jersey with many things, including a curious pairing of Chinese broccoli and wonton wrappers. My first instinct was to treat both ingredients exclusively. Maybe some sweet dumplings somewhere down the line, and to probably
sauté Chinese broccoli with olive oil, garlic, and sesame seeds: "But that's what what you do with all your vegetables" was the instant complaint. Fine. I'll poke around and pout a bit.
While searching (and pouting), I came across a
Recipe that used both. Flipping through it, I quickly realized I didn't have any of the additional ingredients. No go - more pouting.

So I stared at this

and these

and some odds and ends from my fridge, and came up with:

Angry Dumplings

1 bunch of Chinese Broccoli (8 cups chopped)
1 package of Tempeh (8 oz - chopped / crumbled)
1 package wonton wrappers
1 medium yellow onion (chopped)
4 or 5 cloves garlic
1 cup vegetable broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tsp of red pepper flakes (1/2 tsp if you don't like it as hot. More if you do! Hey, that's why I call them angry)

First of all, have you got something else to do today? Also, a comfortable kitchen table / chair combo will come in handy for the copious amounts of dumpling folding. Anyone owe you favors? You might want to call them in for that part. Seriously. A pound of wrappers. Nothing to sneeze at.

For the filling:
Chop the onion and garlic ( I used a garlic press for this recipe) and sauté in olive oil in a deep saucier until translucent.
Add the chopped tempeh and allow to brown. It's okay if it crumbles further in the process.
Once the tempeh is slightly brown, add the soy sauce, vegetable broth, pepper flakes and stir to combine.
Add the chopped Chinese broccoli and cover. Before you stir it, let it wilt a bit. It won't be as dramatic as you'd think, this stuff is hearty. Give it about 2-5 minutes covered, then stir to incorporate all the ingredients.
Do not overcook the Chinese broccoli! You want it to keep green, so keep the cooking time short. About 5 minutes should do it.
Remove from heat and let the filling cool. If you're in a rush, spread it out in a large pyrex.

Folding the dumplings:
Have a small bowl of water on the ready
Take one teaspoon of the filling and place in the center of the wrapper. Do not be tempted to overfill these, it will only end badly. Do not. You were warned.
With a fingertip, wet the edges of the wonton wrapper and fold in half (to for a triangle)
Push any excess air out, and seal the edges.
You can leave them as is, or get fancy. I took the two edges, and folded them into the middle- Woo. Fancy.

Frying the dumplings:
This is the potsticker method that gives you a lovely crust on the bottom.
In a large stainless steel frying pan over medium heat, brush a thin layer of canola oil.
Arrange the dumplings in the pan and allow to quickly sear for 1 to 2 minutes.
Carefully add a few tablespoons to 1/4 a cup of water and quickly cover.
Allow to steam for between 3 to 5 minutes- the dumplings will become translucent.

Other Options?
Steam them the whole way.
Add them to soup.
Freeze them because you have so many dumplings.
So many.
So very many.
I mean: Yay! Dumplings!

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