"Friday Night Finger Food" Pork and Vegetable Steamed Dumplings with Ginger Citrus Soy Dip

Oh Fridays..how I love thee!  It has been a crazy busy week around here.  For those of you that are Canadian, you know it’s that time of year…and no I am not speaking of the Royal Wedding…Tax Season!!

In fact…I hate doing taxes so much that I would prefer to do almost anything else, hence the reason, they will be late this year…ugghh.  Anyway, needless to say – I get to spend a fun filled weekend preparing paperwork for our accountant – and then will happily hand it over to him..only to have another year off until I have to think about taxes again.

My kids absolute favorite thing that I make, are my homemade dumplings.  They could be close to one of my favorites too.  This recipe makes alot of dumplings…you can freeze them if you like (before cooking them).  Just place them on a baking tray covered in parchment paper..place some saran over and freeze – once they are frozen you can transfer them to a freezer bag for next time you would like to enjoy them..if you cook from frozen just add a couple minutes onto your steam time.

I usually almost always steam my dumplings, partly because you save on some calories…but I have to admit another large part is just it’s a little less cleanup afterwards.  If you like them fried (potsticker style).  Just place veggie oil in a pan and let them crisp up until nicely browned on one side (do not move them around while doing this or they will break apart).  Once they are browned pour in a bit of water and cover with a lid and let steam the rest of the way until cooked (about 3 minutes).

This is what I used for my filling today.  Although, these are very versatile, you need not worry if you would like to substitute or omit something to your taste.  For example I decided to add cabbage and mushrooms to my mixture tonight..just because I had some in the fridge and thought they would be nice in here – so feel free to mix it up a little.  Here is the recipe for what I did tonight – they were really yummy!

 For the filling:
 – 0.75 kg ground pork
 – 3-4 cups finely chopped cabbage
 – 10 mushrooms (I used cremini), diced roughly
 – 1 tbsp freshly minced ginger
 – 3 garlic cloves, minced
 – 2 green onions, finely chopped
 – 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
 – 1 tbsp soy sauce
 – 1 tsp sesame oil
 – 1 egg
 – 1 tsp cornstarch
 – freshly ground pepper
 In a little oil, in a heated saucepan.  Saute your cabbage and mushrooms until they have cooked down a bit and released some of their moisture.  Add a pinch of salt to finish this and place on a paper towel on a plate just to allow some of the moisture to drain out.
In a large bowl combine your cabbage mixture and all other ingredients and mix well.
At this point you will need 1 package of dumpling wrappers…and a couple of eggs beaten in a seperate bowl to make an egg wash (you can also just use a bit of water, but egg wash works a bit better.
Using a pastry brush, brush each dumpling wrapper with a thin coating of egg wash.  Place about a tsp or so of the filling in the center of the wrapper, and bring up the sides (to form a triangle like shape).  Pinching gently to seal with your fingers.  Once you get the hang of it – it will be pretty simple.

As you are preparing the dumplings, I place mine on a cookie sheet with a sheet of parchment paper.  Cover them with a lightly dampened clean tea towel, so they don’t dry out.  Once these are all done, place in a tightly covered steamer coated with a bit of non-stick cooking spray.  I also line my steamer with cabbage leaves, this helps prevent sticking and adds a nice flavour, but is optional.  Steam for about 10 minutes, until pork is cooked through (12 if cooking from frozen)
Serve with Citrus Soy Dipping Sauce:
 – 1/4 cup soy sauce
 – 1 (1/2 inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
 – 1 teaspoon brown sugar
 – 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
 – zest and juice of 1 lemon
 – a little chopped cilantro, optional