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I sort of have a thing for ethnic foods. Any day of the week you never know what nationality I’ll be cooking up. In the last few days alone I’ve made something Italian, Indian, Thai, Mexican, French and Lebanese. My kitchen is like a culinary UN where everyone gets along.

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There are a variety of ways to fold a dumpling. I’m doing the easiest one I can think of. But you certainly don’t have to use this method. You can get as fancy as you please. There is a little bit of skill involved in the making, but once you get it down, it’s easy. The most important thing is to try to get all the air out of them before you seal them. Otherwise, they’ll puff up when you pan sauté them. No worries if that happens. They’ll flatten out when they cool slightly.

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Shrimp Dumplings with Dipping Sauce

  • ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tble rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tble sesame oil
  • 1½ Tble fresh ginger, cut in small chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves
  • 2 green onions, trimmed and cut into 1″ lengths
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 36-40 wonton wrappers
  • juice of 1 lime

Combine the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and sesame oil in a small bowl. Place ginger, garlic, cilantro and green onions in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until ingredients are chopped well. Remove half of the ginger mixture from the food processor to the soy sauce mixture. Set aside. Place ½ (one-half) of the shrimp into the food processor with the remaining ginger mixture and process until shrimp are chopped finely. Add a few tablespoons of the soy sauce mixture to the shrimp in the food processor and pulse until a paste is formed. Roughly chop the remaining half pound of shrimp. Mix shrimp paste and chopped shrimp in a bowl.

Fill a small bowl with water and place a wonton wrapper on a plate. Using your finger, dip finger in water then trace the outside edges of the wrapper. Place about ½ tablespoon of shrimp filling in the center of the wrapper. Gently fold wrapper corner-to-corner to form a triangle and seal edges by pressing firmly and being careful to squeeze the air out. Place dumpling on a baking sheet and cover with a damp paper towel to prevent drying out. Continue with wrappers and filling until you run out. I usually get about 36 dumplings out of this recipe, but you may get more or less depending on how much you fill your dumplings. You can cover them with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook them at this time or cook them directly after they’re made.

To steam: Place a bamboo steamer over a large pot of simmering water. Place as many dumplings as will fit comfortably in the steamer and cover (see notes). Steam about 6-8 minutes until shrimp is fully cooked. Transfer to a serving plate.

To pan sauté: Pour 2 tablespoons of canola or grapeseed oil in the bottom of a large sauté pan and heat over medium-high heat. Add a few dumplings at a time. Cook until dumpling is golden brown, about 3 or 4 minutes, then flip and cook another 2-3 minutes until shrimp is fully cooked. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain then place on serving plate.

Add lime juice to dipping sauce and serve while dumplings are hot.

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Notes:

  • No shrimp? No problem! Just substitute one pound of ground pork for the shrimp. Also, you can go dim-sum style and do one-half pork and one-half shrimp. You may have to adjust your cooking times slightly as shrimp cooks much more quickly than pork.
  • Sometimes the dumplings stick to the bamboo steamer. I find this extremely annoying! To prevent this from happening I line about 75-90% of the bottom of the steamer with non-stick aluminum foil leaving a space for steam to come through. Gently place dumplings on the non-stick aluminum foil and cook as directed.
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