Monday, January 2, 2012

Fried Meat Dumplings on New Year's Day

New Year's Day was spent watching the Mummer's strut their stuff down Broad Street. I love it all, feathers, sequins, makeup and beautifully crafted floats, but the comics are my favorite. The parade has a long tradition, starting 1901 when Philadelphia made it an official city-sponsored event. I posted a video from Youtube below to give you a little taste of the Mummer’s Magic.

While we watched the parade from the comfort of home the DH and I whipped up a batch of Fried Meat Dumplings. The DH found the recipe at The recipe was much easier than it sounds. It took us only 1 ½ hours from start to finish. Three minutes of frying on each side worked for us. They were delicious!
Here’s the recipe along with our pictures – before, frying and after.

(Twigim Mandu)
Mandu makes a nice light lunch, appetizer, or snack. Although you can really fill them with anything you want, the traditional way is to make them with pork. To make a vegetarian version, substitute the meat with tofu. The secret to getting nice, crisp dumplings is to make sure all the ingredients are as dry as possible, so that the filling doesn’t make the skins soggy and cause extra splattering when frying. Still, to be safe, use a frying screen (they are screens stretched over metal circles with handles that fit over frying pans). If you can talk a friend, sibling, or spouse into helping, it’s much more fun and the work goes faster.

Yield : Makes 50 dumplings

1 cup mung bean or green bean sprouts
½ pound ground beef or pork

½ medium onion, chopped
2 green onions, chopped very fine

3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced

1 egg
1 teaspoon sesame oil

½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon white pepper

50 Fresh Dumpling Skins or storebought dumpling wrappers
Vegetable oil for frying

For the filling:

1. Blanch the mung bean sprouts by dunking them briefly in boiling water. Rinse in cold water to stop cooking. Squeeze out as much water as you can from the sprouts, chop them, and put them in a bowl.
2. In the same bowl, add the remaining ingredients (except the dumpling wrappers) and combine until mixed.

3. Before you begin filling the dumplings, prepare a large tray or other flat surface for laying down the dumplings as you make them. Also, pour some cold water in a small bowl for dipping.
4. Place a wrapper on the palm of your hand. Then, spoon enough filling into the middle of the circle to leave about ½ inch of empty skin (about a tablespoon). Dip your finger into the cold water and wet ½ of the edge of the dumpling skin. Fold the skin in half, sealing the filling inside, making a semicircle.

5. To make a fancy presentation, make small ridges on one side of the edge as you seal, using your finger and thumb, making about 5 or 7 ridges on each dumpling. The dumpling will curve naturally as you do this. This takes some practice, so don’t worry if the first one doesn’t come out stellar.
6. Repeat with each wrapper until all the filling or wrappers are used.

7. In a frying pan, pour enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom surface of the pan and heat over medium heat. Carefully, place the dumplings in the pan, filling the pan, but not crowding them so much that they touch and stick to each other. Fry until golden brown and crispy on one side. Flip them (long wooden chopsticks work best), cooking all sides until they are golden and crispy all over. Continue until all the dumplings are cooked, adding more oil as needed.
Serve warm with Vinegar Soy Sauce (Cho Ganjang) for dipping.