No dumplings were thrown across the room in the making of this article. Seriously! I told everyone that Justin and I were giving the homemade dumplings another try after this semi-disaster a month ago. After reading through our trials and tribulations, everyone and their mother suggested pre-made wrappers were the key. Well, everyone and their mother were right. After all, the filling last time was delicious—they just fell apart and were impossible to form from the beginning. We had no such problems yesterday for round two. The wrappers contained a glutenous stickiness that made pinching and folding incredibly easy when dampened…and removed anxiety which contributed to steadier hands and a calmer demeanor. After the first couple, we were cranking them out like pros.
I must say, we were both incredibly satisfied. They look professional, if I do say so myself, and tasted fantastic. They held up through not only the folding, but frying and steaming as well. So, that’s the secret: don’t be a hero. Use store-bought wrappers! The other key I noticed was stirring the mixture with chopsticks and using them to place the filling onto the wrapper. It helped with portion control and also the actual dropping.
We began our day, Chinese New Year, at SM Food Market in Middletown (the one attached to Crown Palace). We got the last spot in the parking lot, and while most people were in the restaurant, the market was indeed crowded. There was a happy buzz in the air, of people buying ingredients for this special day. We selected a pork shoulder (only $2.39 a pound— our piece came to $4.79) and needed only a few other ingredients. We thankfully have a nice stock of Asian sauces and spices already at home.
Below is the entire process, from market to our dinner table. I hope you enjoy! Give it a try. If you are looking for a great cooking/bonding experience with your significant other, make dumplings!
Happy Chinese New Year!