Independence Day is finally upon us but fear not – there are no aliens coming to destroy Earth. Sorry, I just saw the film for the first time recently and I had to reference it somewhere.
Aliens aside, are you guys prepared for our country’s birthday? I’m sure you are all stocked up on alcohol, sunscreen, and good company. I also hope you’re all stocked up on food if you’re hosting, because that’s the only thing that matters – food and fireworks. For me, the best thing about parties are the appetizers; I would happily snack on appetizers all day.
Dumplings are always on my list of favorite appetizers – they’re like a mini present with a juicy filling inside. They’re also incredibly easy to make and they can be prepared ahead of time before guests come over.
This time, chicken and cabbage are the main ingredients – I always like vegetables in my dumplings. Enoki mushrooms were added in for texture; ginger, soy sauce, and five spice powder really give the dumplings their umami. These dumplings are packed with flavor. As an added bonus, there is a dipping sauce provided as well, but these dumplings do stand on their own. For a different kind of filling, check out these pork and shrimp ones.
And if aliens do invade our planet, offer them some of these dumplings to establish peace.
Happy 4th, everyone!
Chicken Cabbage Dumplings
Makes about 35-40
1 cup napa cabbage, finely chopped
3/4 pound ground chicken
1/2 cup enoki mushrooms, chopped
1 scallion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon five spice powder
1/2 teaspoon canola oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Chopped scallions for garnish
In a small bowl, place a paper towel at the bottom. Add napa cabbage, salt the cabbage and mix – leave alone for 10 minutes to draw the water out. Give the cabbage a gentle squeeze to get rid of any excess water.
In a large bowl, combine cabbage, ground chicken, mushrooms, chopped scallions, minced ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, and five spice powder. Mix until everything is evenly distributed. This will be the dumpling filling – you can do this step ahead of time if you’d like.
In the container that you’ll store the dumplings, line the bottom with parchment paper to avoid the dumplings sticking later. Have a small bowl of warm water ready to seal the dumplings with. I’m not too fancy with my wrapping technique, but I’ll try my best to explain my method. Place about a half tablespoon of filling in the center of the wrapper and dip your finger into the water and go around the entire outside of the wrapper. Then gently fold in half without actually closing it – begin pleating the side facing you from left to right (I’m right-handed) and seal the dumpling as you go.
If none of that made sense, I apologize and here is a video that will hopefully inspire other wrapping styles for you. Sorry I’m so bad with my words.
Once you’ve found your technique, start arranging your finished dumplings on the parchment paper and make sure they don’t touch. If you need to create layers for storage, just line each layer with new parchment paper.
To fry them, coat a pan with oil and turn to medium heat. Gently place the dumplings into the pan and brown each side for about 2-3 minutes. Add a couple tablespoons of cold water and immediately cover. Once the water has evaporated, the dumplings are done and ready to be served.
For the dipping sauce, simply heat up canola oil in a pan over medium-low heat and toss in chopped garlic. Sauté for about 2 minutes and add soy sauce and rice vinegar and cook for another minute. Turn off heat and pour in sesame oil and honey and mix. Transfer to a ramekin and top off with chopped scallions. Serve immediately alongside dumplings.
Store any uncooked dumplings in the freezer – they should be good for a few weeks.