Obviously I have been on an Asian adventure what with egg rolls and dumplings and dipping sauces. There’s been a lot of stir-frying, also, but since I mostly just throw whatever is on hand into the wok, I can’t really share those recipes. You can make these dumplings with chicken, turkey, beef, or vegetables, alone. Finely chopped kale and/or other greens make terrific dumplings. You will need a bamboo steamer or a saucepan with a steamer basket to make these.
½ pound minced lean pork
½ cup finely diced water chestnuts
3 tablespoons finely diced bell pepper, either red, orange, or yellow or a mix of
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons minced shallots
2 teaspoons canola oil
2 large egg whites, separated
1 teaspoon sherry wine
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 package wonton wrappers
A few large iceberg or romaine lettuce leaves
Ginger Dipping Sauce: Combine 1 cup rice wine vinegar with 3 tablespoons light brown sugar, 2 tablespoons soy sauce and 1 teaspoon lime juice, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Add ¼ cup finely diced hot house cucumber, 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves, 1 teaspoon grated ginger root and however much finely diced hot chile you like.
Combine the pork, water chestnuts, bell pepper, cilantro, and shallots in a medium mixing bowl, stirring to blend completely.
Heat the canola oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add the pork mixture and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes or just until the pork is almost cooked. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
Combine the 1 of the egg whites with the sherry, sesame oil, and soy sauce. When blended, add to the cooled chicken mixture, stirring to combine completely.
Using a biscuit cutter, cut the wonton wrappers into 3-inch circles. As cut, stack and cover with a damp kitchen towel to keep them from drying out.
Place the remaining egg white in a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of cold water and, using a whisk, beat until slightly frothy. Set aside.
Working with one wrapper at a time, place it on a clean, dry work surface. Place a teaspoon or so of the pork mixture in the center. Using your fingertip, rub a bit of the egg white wash around the edges of the wrapper. Then, fold one half over the filling and, using your fingertips, pleat the edge of the dumpling around the filling. Set aside as you continue to make dumplings. Don’t let the finished dumplings sit around too long or they will get too wet and won’t hold together. I make a few and cook them up quickly so we can nosh as I continue to make more dumplings.
Fill a saucepan large enough to hold a bamboo steamer or a steamer basket with about 2-inches of water. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer.
Line the bamboo steamer or steamer basket with lettuce leaves and add dumplings, as many as can fit into the basket without touching. Place over the simmering water, cover, and steam for about 6 minutes or until dumplings are cooked through.
Lift the dumplings from the steamer and continue making dumplings. The lettuce will have to be replaced after a couple of steams.
Serve hot with dipping sauce.