I adore Japanese boiled dumplings..I used to buy them in Sydney all the time, though not so much here, cause my budget is smaller here. :p
So when my sister, who was abandoning me and heading to the Mainland to live, gave me her little gadget to make them myself, I was all over it. I can't believe how incredibly simple they are to make, when they charge so much in the shops! I found a fantastic tutorial for making the pleats by hand here, if you don't have access to my handy-dandy gadget, so I'm putting up the recipe I made so you can try their awesomeness yourself. :p (I am not in any way recommending that meat filling she used, though...I am veggie all the way! :D )
1 1/2 c shredded wonbok (Napa cabbage or chinese cabbage) or cabbage
1/4 c diced fine onion
1/4 c minced shiitake mushrooms
1/8 c minced waterchestnuts
1 inch piece ginger, fine grated
10 oz block tofu, pressed to drain excess water and mashed
1 small clove garlic minced
splash sesame oil
salt and pepper to taste
Combine all the filling ingredients in a pan, and fry til the cabbage is cooked, and dry rather than soggy.
Adjust seasoning as needed.
Take one wrapper, put 1-1.5 teaspoons of filling in the middle, wet the edges with water, and crimp, either with the tool like I have** or following that tut up above. Press the crimper really hard so the edges are properly sealed, and won't come open in the water while boiling. Very bland and soggy that way.
From here..I like to boil them. So I boil a pot of water to a gentle boil, and slip the dumplings in; boiling for 5 min or so, til they start to look translucent and cooked, like the pic above. Gently scoop out with a slotted spoon, and drain in a colander.
Another way to cook them, though, is by frying in a pan, preferred by a lot of people. The girl in that other tut above actually has pictures of this process, too (actually, her whole tut rocks, minus the meat..just not vegetarian, and she isn't doing boiled like mine..so I'm going ahead with this one. :p )
Serve with your fave dipping sauce. I made one with just soy sauce, sesame oil, chilli flakes, and vinegar. So yum.
My filling makes approx 30 dumplings, and an average serve is 5-6 per person.
* This is a pic of the gyoza wrappers I use...you can also use wonton wrappers if that is all you can find.
**This is my awesome crimper. I find the handles aren't all that strong, and I end up just clamping the edges together by hand...but the whole thing is so worth having, so I don't mind. :p I also have a much larger size, for turnovers, but haven't gotten to try it yet. Can't wait! :D
Would LOVE to hear if you tried these, and let me know if there are any glaring errors in here! :D