Sunday, 23 September 2012

Pork Dumplings and Mie Goreng

So this page/blog/thing was originally supposed to be food as well, but it really hasn't had any of that (although not much anything else either). I decided it was time to change this.

I also decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to train my girlfriend to make her own dumplings, because I always have to make them and while they are nice they also take a while to prepare.

Step 1 - Mince Mix

So first off you need to make the filling for your dumplings. When I cook I tend to just rifle through the cupboard and throw in anything that looks promising so don't feel this is a "set" recipe. Because I made it up. Also along that theme, I don't cook with measurements I cook with "oh that looks about right" so you will need to use some judgement on how much of stuff to put in.

1 polytray of pork mince - you don't need heaps to get a whole batch. pretty sure I used 2/3 of a 500gm and that was exactly right.

Some grated ginger - I have my root ginger in the freezer so it doesn't go mouldy. You can scrape the skin off frozen ginger with a knife easy, then I used a parmesan grater to grate it in. Put in a decent amount, you want these to be nice and seasoned.

Some grated carrot - again I grated with the parmesan grater to get it finer and to save dishes. Carrot bulks out the pork and makes it sweet and moist. Not too much, I used two small carrots.

1 spring onion - the ones I had had been in the fridge for weeks and gone slimy, so they got chucked. Theoretically these are good to put in though.

Seasoning I just chucked in about how much looked right, doesn't really matter it just adds more deliciousness. Go hard on this, epically seasoned dumplings will hide the fact you're also eating 2 minute noodles.

Garlic - jar garlic is fine, no-one is judging you.

Sesame oil - MSG on steroids, the most delicious substance known to man. Crank this, you can never have too much.

Hoisin sauce - got it from Yan's but normal supermarkets have it. Awesome with pork (bought it for roast pork so using up the leftovers).

Oyster sauce - again Yan's. If you don't like it you don't have to put it in, but its kinda like anchovies... tastes bad on its own but makes stuff its in better.

Chinese 5 spice - chucked some of this in because it seemed appropriate. Also goes good with chicken e.g in marinade.

 Mix it all together and you should get a fairly unappetising but delicious smelling pinky brown goop. As long as it smells good, should be fine.

Step 2 - Skin up

Now you need to put your mince mix into dumpling skins. I bought these Chiao Tzu skins from Yan's the asian supermarket, but I'm pretty sure I've seen them in like countdown. These are what we used to use at Chow so you know they are vaguely legit. Leave them out to defrost (they come frozen) but try not to microwave them because if they heat up and melt they stick together.

Take this opportunity to put your mie gorengs down, as these can be finished and waiting at the end which makes things easier. 2 ppl = 2 mie gorengs - boil the noodles in a pot, then drain them and leave them sitting somewhere till we want them.

A - Clear your bench, wash it, dry it off, then lay out a load of skins like so.

B - Place a dollop of mix into each skin, enough that it'll be full but not too much or you won't be able to close it. You can try a few test-folds before you do it en mass.

C - Fold it up. I fold it in half and squeeze all the mix into the middle, then pinch the top together. You can just gather folds at the top like a purse dumpling, doesn't really matter. Make sure you pinch it properly though so the edges stick together, or they'll come apart when you cook them.

D - As you finish folding each batch, place them onto an oven tray. You can fit heaps on there, which is probably good because this recipe makes a lot of them. This is after I took out the ones I was gonna cook.

E - Put the ones you intend to eat aside, maybe 5-7 per person. The rest can be frozen off and cooked from frozen later. First place the tray in the freezer, our chest freezer is boss for this cuz its huge and so full that you can place it flat on the top. Once those have been in there for a while (e.g. hour), you can transfer them to a container. You just want to pre-freeze them a bit so they don't all stick together.

Step 3 - Heat and eat

You can cook these however you like - boil, fry, deep fry, something, microwave, etc.

I like to use a frying pan because I can put the noodles in after and cook everything together, plus it means they go crispy and brown but retain some moisture.

F - Put some oil in a pan, add dumplings, cook on maybe 4.5/7 on the electric stove scale - hot enough to brown but not to burn them before they cook. Ignore the two gimp looking ones, some of the skins were dry or stuck together or something.

G - Fry till brown, turning to get all the sides brown. Then add a splash of water and put a lid on so they steam and go all nice and plump.

At this point you should have some mie goreng waiting to be seasoned. Add some soy sauce and sesame oil to these, and maybe cut them up a bit so they can fry better and mix around.

H - Once you decide the dumplings are cooked, add the noodles to the pan and mix it round for a bit to re-warm them.

I - Serve them up. Full disclosure: girls will eat these uncontrollably till you take them away or they have to make them themselves, so be wary.

See? Not even that hard.

Bon appetit, or as I told french boy it was in english "shut up an eat it".

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