Monday, April 12, 2010

Pinching my Dumplings

There are lots of things I love to pinch..... and today I spent an hour pinching my homemade dumplings, over and over again. I pinched those little things until I had over 50 of these wonderful plump little pillows filled with utter savory goodness. They are delicious and time consuming, but it is worth effort as this recipe makes enough that you can put extras in the freezer to be cooked up at a later date. I surprised myself with this recipe. I was a bit concerned about keeping my sanity together through all the tedious dough rolling, one perfect 3 inch circle for each little dumpling. 50 dumplings later, I did it, with my sanity intact and flour all over the place.

While cooking this afternoon, I tried to stay as mindful as I could during the food preparation process. When I chopped I was chopping, when I was grating the lemongrass, I was simply there with the lemongrass, present and aware. It was a nice feeling to not be worrying ab
out my other 'things' that I could have been doing. When you are present in what you are doing, those other 'things' do not really matter.

Mindful Chicken Dumplings
  • 3/4 lb. ground chicken, part thigh and part breast meat
  • 1 packed cup of very thinly sliced shitake mushrooms. Heap your measuring cup full. Slice mushrooms in half and then begin the thin slicing.
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro - use the stem and leaf, chop fine
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 and 1/2 cups chopped kale.
  • 1/2 cup green onion, include both green and white part. Chop fine
  • 1 TBS and 1 tsp of finely chopped ginger
  • 1 Heaping Tbs of grated lemongrass. Grate as you would lemon rind or orange zest.
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 TBS shoyu
  • 1 TBS apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 1 egg
Dumpling Dough
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup water, add more if needed
  1. Mix flour and water together with wooden spoon. The dough will start to come together. Pull it out of bowl and knead for 5 minutes. Knead, knead, and knead. Add more flour if dough is too sticky. Place dough back in bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a wet towel and let dough rest while preparing the filling. 20 minutes
  2. Assemble the filling, place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add the egg last, and then stir for a few minutes until all the ingredients are nicely mixed up. Set aside.
  3. Here is where you enlist the help of your children to be your dough rollers, if they say no, tell them you will pinch their cheeks.
  4. Get out a cookie sheet and lay down some parchment paper.
  5. Flour your work area, and grab a rolling pin.
  6. Divide your dough into 4 parts. Roll each into a log about 12 inches long,or 1 " in diameter.
  7. Take each log and cut in 1" segments. Roll each segment into a little ball in the palms of your hands.
  8. Take each ball and begin the task of rolling out your perfect little dumpling wrappers, one at a time.You want them to be about 3" in diameter. If you go much larger, you run the risk of thinning the wrapper too much which could in turn break at some point during the cooking process.
  9. Take 1 TBS of your yummy filling and put it right in the center. Fold over wrapper to create a half moon and gently pinch the dumpling closed. Place with it's tummy side down on the baking sheet.
  10. Cooking Dumplings: Heat a few tablespoons of sesame oil and butter in a skillet, we like cast iron pans at our house. Place the dumplings, belly side down into the pan and brown them on one side for about 2 minutes or so. You will probably have to move them around in the pan a bit to make sure they are evenly browned. Pour in 1/2 cup of a water and cover. Let the dumplings steam and cook like this for a good 5 minutes. Take off cover and cook until they are nice and brown. At this point I like to flip them, as I enjoy the whole dumpling to be nicely browned. This can take up to another 5 minutes.
  11. Serving - Eat them while hot. I like to use a nice rice wine vinegar and shoyu mix for a dipping sauce.
  12. Freezing Instructions: Freeze uncooked dumplings on a cookie sheet. When frozen place in Tupperware. No need to thaw out when cooking.
Be mindful in your kitchen. Let your creative kitchen goddess come shining through as you prepare your food. Leave your worries out of your kitchen. (sometimes a glass of wine can help)


  1. Nice to see a fellow foodie food blog. Can't wait to try some recipes.

  2. Oh, that sounds delicious. Will I have the patience? Your recipe makes me hungry. I think I can throw my cookbooks away and rely just on your blog.

  3. I love your pictures and inspiration!! Wow. I sent your anti inflammatory food pyramid to my sister who has lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. THANKS. Te mando un abrazo de Montevideo.

  4. These are gorgeous dumplings!

    I love dumplings theyre my favorite!


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