|1 pounds||Fresh lean ground|
|Pork in a bowl|
|½ cup||Cabbage, after chopping|
|Very fine and squeezing|
|Out water till dry|
|2 teaspoons||Salt (plain old|
|2½ teaspoon||Sugar (just white|
|1 teaspoon||Pepper (white or black;|
|This is optional to taste)|
|2 tablespoons||Soy sauce|
|2 teaspoons||Sesame oil|
|1 small||Bowl of water just for|
|1 medium||Wonton skins (thickness|
|2 tablespoons||Hot chili sauce|
|3 tablespoons||Soy sauce|
|1 teaspoon||Powdered ginger|
|1 teaspoon||Sesame oil|
Here is the way I make dumplings (not wonton soup) at home. Serves a full meal 2-3 depending on how much each person eats.
Prepare the sauce: Depending on how spicy you like it, adjust. We like it VERY HOT. Warning: I don't normally measure, I just taste and keep adding on, so normally I end up with 2½ times as much sauce as we need. WONTONS & FILLING Put the ground pork in a bowl and press it into a flattened ball.
Sprinkle half of the salt lightly over it, flip the meat over and then do the same on the other side. Mix it in well, then do the same for the sugar.
When you sprinkle salt and sugar on, make it look like lightly powdered sugar sprinkled over a cake. If you want pepper of any kind, add it in the same way. Add in the soy sauce. I like the meat to have a taste of its own, and for me the color of the meat should be somewhat darker than the color of the meat after adding the soy sauce. If you are afraid it may be salty for you, measure it in smaller quantities and smell it to test the saltiness. Also, you can drop a small ball of it into boiling water to cook it and test its saltiness at any stage.
I always peel off the outside layer of cabbage, then cut off the big stem at the bottom enough to easily peel off a couple more leaves. The amount of cabbage you put in depends on how much you like it. I generally chop about 3-5 leaves of a small head of cabbage and then whatever I don't use I just throw away. DO NOT chop a whole head and waste your energy; not even ¼ of a head, because once it's chopped up and squeezed to get the water out, it will dry out in the fridge.
Note: The cabbage must be chopped really, really finely. It normally takes me quite a long time to hand-chop it. I have never used a food processor, that makes it too watery. If you sit down and go at it, it may take you 20-30 minutes depending on how much excess you end up chopping and not needing. Don't dump in all the cabbage you chopped. Pick up a handful and squeeze out the water, then dump the squeezed cabbage into the measuring cup and press it down tightly. Mix the cabbage evenly into the meat.
You can start a pot of water boiling now (depending on your patience), and use a big pot so you can boil more at once.
Sprinkle the cornstarch heavily and mix in well. You can't overmix.
Depending on how soft you want the meat inside to be, add more to make it softer. We like our dumplings moderately soft, so this is about what we put in. Again, you can test it to see how soft it will be when finished if you drop a small amount into boiling water to test it.
When you're tired of mixing in the cornstarch and it's really sticking to your hands, add the sesame oil and handle the meat lightly. You want just enough so that it's not too sticky. Make the dumplings by putting about 1 ½ tsp into the center of the wonton. Use the water to wet the edges and fold the skins over into a triangle. This is enough but if you fold the two 45 degree-angled corners overlapping and stick them together, they are less likely to fall apart when you cook them.
The boiling water is only for cooking the dumplings. It is not for soup and we throw away at the end, although I use some water to dilute my sauce (personal preference; it can get spicy). Put some dumplings in boiling water, uncovered (don't stuff too many in or they will stick together).
Time the clock for 5 minutes, until they're floating, and then remove them into a bowl. I sometimes put them into room-temperature water to keep them from sticking or overcooking; but when you store them if you keep them in water, they will bloat up. It's better to make only what you can eat.
Leftovers should be stored without any water, just in a bowl and covered so they don't dry out.
You may need to add water that was used up by the previous batch. Let the water boil again each time before putting in the new batch. Continue to cook all the dumplings this way.
Usually they're best when hot so we eat while we're cooking! Have a good dinner, Tina Mongkolsmai From Gemini's MASSIVE MealMaster collection at www.synapse.com/~gemini
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