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Feb 27

Dumplings!

One of my favorite things to eat out, is dumplings. I just love them. Dumplings can make for a great meal, and are very filling and light. And thanks to the variety of fillings, dumplings are healthy too-of course I am not talking about the fried variety. Usually, dumplings are made with a meat and veggie filling in a thinly rolled cover of flour dough. All kinds of meat are used in dumplings, though pork and chicken are more popular.

I have often been confused by the difference between dumplings, wantons and pot stickers. So here is what my research tells me:

‘Dumplings’ is a generic term for potstickers and wontons. Potstickers are pan fried dumplings. They get the name from the fact that they probably used to stick to the pan when being pan fried. Wontons have a thinner dough and are usually cooked in soup, though they can be deep fried as well. Of course, dumplings can be steamed as well-and these are the healthiest variety.

Indian dumplings or samosas are a completely different category. They are usually bigger in size and contain a potato filling-completely vegetarian. Recently, samosas are being made with chicken as well-and those are really great too. And samosas are always deep fried. There are several recipes for the filling. This one is my favorite.

The technique for making dumplings is simple. Roll a cover made of flour thin enough to allow the filling to cook, but thick enough to be able to hold the filling without bursting. Make the filling separately, and put it inside the cover, sealing the cover at the edges with your hands and then cooking in your preferred cooking method. They are usually small in size, and can be had all at one go.

This recipe is an easy one and worth a try. I will try out some options myself and post a recipe soon. Its great to make these at home in bulk and freeze them so that you can just grab them when you are in the mood for dumplings. Of course steamed dumplings work best for reheating. If fried, you can reheat them in the oven to retain the crispy cover and yet avoid adding to the calories.

My absolute favorite place to eat out is a place that my sister introduced me to-a place called Din Tai Fung or DTF in Bellevue, near Seattle in Washington. Its a dumpling restaurant that opened about 2 years ago, and always always has a 1-2 hour wait. I haven’t heard of many places that will retain their popularity for that long. They obviously know how to make good dumplings and maintain the quality over time. They have the BEST dumplings and lots of variety too. I hope they come to the SF Bay Area soon.

My favorite there is the juicy pork dumpling. The dumpling has a filling of pork and some soup inside it. Its absolutely delicious, and when you put the dumpling in your mouth, several flavors explode at the same time. It is simply outstanding! We always wondered how they managed to get soup inside the dumpling, and we eventually found out that they fill it with a gel that becomes liquid when cooked. That is a great technique to try, and makes the dumpling much tastier.

They have another dumpling that is on my list of favorites-its a spicy dumpling. The dumpling comes with a spicy sauce that is outstanding and goes really well with the dumpling.

All in all, dumplings are great- whether they are consumed as a snack or as a meal. And the variety means that you will never get bored of them. That’s it- I’m headed out for dumplings right now.

1 ping

  1. Different cooking methods | Saumya's Kitchen

    [...] not get in direct contact with the water before it evaporates. My favorite steamed preparation is dumplings. Idli is another great steamed preparation, very healthy and delicious. This is an easy recipe. [...]

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