Food is how we show people we care for them. If we cook for you we care about you. We want you to eat something good. We want you to eat something that is good for you. Dumplings, are one of the many ways I show I care. They are labor intensive, time-consuming, and an entire plate will disappear faster than you can fold one up.
When Luke and I make dumplings, we usually make them together over a couple of beers and maybe some Pelican playing in the background. Unless it’s your job to make dumplings, this is really the only way to get through folding up all those little pockets of goodness.
Fillings vary, but we almost always include the tried and true hits – cabbage, carrots, green onion, garlic, ginger, mung bean sprouts, and mushrooms. Luckily, kimchi has almost all those ingredients and takes away a ton of prep time, unless of course you make your own kimchi like we do. :)
Spicy, salty, and funky (I’m not just talking about myself here), kimchi is essentially a pickling of vegetables. Brining takes 5-8 hours depending on what we have going on that day. From there you can toss the brined veggies in Korean hot pepper, garlic, ginger, and sugar and eat immediately or let ferment at room temp, then in the fridge for a few days.
We chose the quick eat immediately approach for this.
There are so many ways to fold dumplings and while I am no expert, the triangle-pinch-and-fold method seems to be our favorite because of the maximum fried surface area on the outside. Don’t judge! This is pure comfort food.
Heat oil over medium-high heat and fry each side of your dumplings until golden brown. With the pan cover near by, add 2-3 tbsps of water and quickly cover to allow dumplings to steam. They are ready when the water is dissolved and dumplings stick to the pan.
Give these to your family and to your friends, but most importantly serve these with chili sauce, vinegar, and soy sauce. :)
- 50 dumpling wrappers
- 3 cups kimchi, homemade or store-bought, chopped
- 3 cups shittake mushrooms, chopped into small pieces
- 3 cups mung bean sprouts, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 green onion
- 2 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
- 2-3 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp white vinegar, 1/2 tsp sambal olek chili paste (optional- for dipping)
To cook dumpling filling:
- Heat oil over medium high heat. Cook mushrooms, garlic and green onion for 1-2 minutes. Add soy sauce. Let cook for another 4-5 minutes until mushrooms release they juices.
- Add bean sprouts and kimchi. Cook for another 5 minutes. Take off heat and let mixture cool for 15 minutes or so.
- Put a tablespoon to a tablespoon and a half of mixture into dumpling wrapper. Dampen the edges of your dumpling wrapper. With wet fingers, pinch together opposite corners to form a triangle. (see pictures in articles) Fold and pinch edges on each side to seal dumplings. Place dumplings on a floured baking tray.
- In a medium pan, heat 2 tbsp oil over medium high heat. Fry dumplings in batches until they are golden brown on each side, careful not to over crowd the pan.
- With the pan cover ready, add 2-3 tbsp water to the pan and quickly cover. Allow dumplings to steam for 4-5 minutes on medium heat.
- Serve with vinegar, soy sauce, and chili paste.
To make homemade kimchi:
- 2 cups green cabbage or nappa cabbage, shredded
- 1 cup shredded daikon radish
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 4 green onions, sliced
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 4 tbsp salt
Red Pepper paste:
- 1/4 cup Korean red pepper flakes
- 2 tbsp vegan sugar or coconut sugar
- 2 inches fresh ginger
- 3 garlic cloves
How to make kimchi:
- Combine all vegetables into a bowl, cover with water and sprinkle with salt. Cover and let brine for 5-8 hours.
- Rinse vegetables in colander with cold water.
- In a food processor (or you can chop/mash very finely) combine all the red pepper paste ingredients.
- Combine red pepper paste and brined vegetables. Mix together well. Store in air tight mason jars and ferment for 24-48 hours on a kitchen counter, unrefrigerated. Continue fermenting in refrigerator for another 1-2 days, slightly loosening jar lid every so often to let some air come out.
- OR eat immediately without fermentation.