Monday, January 29, 2018

Edamame Dumplings

I've made a lot of dumplings over the years. They've ranged in styles and methods quite significantly. I've made them with homemade wrappers as well as store-bought. I've made meat fillings, seafood fillings, and veggie fillings. And I've loved them all.

I love the extra-chewy texture of a slightly thicker homemade dumpling wrapper, but I equally love the convenience and speed of using store-bought wrappers from my local Chinese market. I enjoy a juicy, unctuous meat filling just as much as I enjoy a lighter, more colorful veggie version.

It's really difficult to pick a favorite dumpling recipe, next to impossible actually, but in general I've enjoyed the vegetable filled versions just a bit more than the rest. Maybe it's because they're a bit unexpected, or maybe subconsciously I think I'm being "healthy."

These edamame dumplings are probably the easiest veggie dumpling I've ever made. In fact, they are probably the easiest dumpling recipe in general I've tried because all the ingredients just get dumped into a food processor. Simple as that!

They are also incredibly delicious, filled with creamy pureed edamame, with some larger chunks for texture, and infused with vibrant freshness from a whole lot of lemon zest and lemon juice.

I usually pleat my dumplings once I seal them, but this time I wanted to make simple half-moons, and instead of sitting them upright I laid them flat on their sides to have a bit more surface area for crisping in the pan. They did take up more room in the pan, so I had to cook smaller batches, but the overall effect was worth it.

I served these brightly-flavored edamame dumplings with a toasted sesame-soy dipping sauce, a nice compliment which balances the tartness of the lemon with a salty and nutty accent.

These dumplings are crazy easy to make, so there's no excuse not to try them! I've made them in the past for a family party, and they were a huge hit. This time around I made sure to freeze most of them so I can enjoy them whenever the mood strikes.

Edamame Dumplings
Makes about 45 dumplings
(Adapted from Hey There, Dumpling!)

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes
1 pound (455 g) frozen shelled edamame, thawed
2 lemons
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (1 pound/455 g) package round dumpling wrappers
Toasted Sesame-Soy Dip (recipe follows)

In a food processor, combine the oil, soy sauce, chile flakes, and two-thirds of the edamame and puree until smooth. Add the remaining edamame and pulse just until coarsely chopped.

Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and zest the lemons directly into the mixture, then squeeze in the juice of 1 lemon. Stir well with a rubber spatula until evenly mixed. Taste and season with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice.

Take out five wrappers and cover the rest with a damp dowel. Lay out the five wrappers like ducks in a row. Wet 1/2 inch of the rim of each wrapper. Scoop a level tablespoon of filling into the center of each wrapper, shaping it elongated like a football to make it easier to fold. Fold the wrapper in half like a taco and pinch the edges at the top center. Continue folding the dumpling using your preferred folding method.

At this point, the dumplings can either be cooked immediately, covered and refrigerated for up to a couple hours, or frozen.

To pan-fry the dumplings, use a medium or large nonstick skillet (or cook two batches at the same time using two pans). Heat the skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 1/2 tablespoons oil for a medium skillet and 2 tablespoons for a large one. Place the dumplings 1 at a time, sealed edges up, in a winding circle pattern. The dumplings can touch. Medium skillets will generally fit 12 to 14 dumplings, large skillets will fit 16 to 18 dumplings. Fry the dumplings for 1 to 2 minutes until they are golden or light brown on the bottom.

Holding the lid close to the skillet to lessen splatter, use a measuring cup to add water to a depth of roughly 1/4 inch (about 1/3 cup water). The water will immediately sputter and boil vigorously, Cover with a lid or aluminum foil, lower the heat to medium, and let the water bubble away for 8 to 10 minutes, until it is mostly gone. When you hear sizzling noises, remove the lid as most of the water is now gone. Let the dumplings fry for another 1 or 2 minutes, or until the bottoms are brown and crisp. Turn off the heat and wait until the sizzling stops before using a spatula to transfer dumplings to a serving plate. Display them with their bottoms facing up so they remain crisp.(Alternatively you may steam these dumplings in a bamboo steamer basket lined with parchment paper or cabbage leaves.)

Serve dumplings with the Toasted Sesame-Soy Dip.

Toasted Sesame-Soy Dip
Makes about 1/2 cup
(From Hey There, Dumpling!)

1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
Pinch freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl, stir together all of the ingredients with 2 tablespoons water. If you have time, cover and refrigerate the mixture overnight. Pick out the garlic and throw it away before serving. The dip can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.


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