Feb 27, 2016

Crispy pot stickers (Chinese dumplings) with spicy mushroom and spinach filling


Hello! How has your February been? The first half of this month was pretty hectic for me. I was wrapping up the manuscript of my fourth cookbook (it will be in Estonian this time) and I also had a big cooking workshop, which went great! After that, we flew to Monaco to visit my mother-in-law and to enjoy the beautiful Mediterranean. Monaco is a wonderful place. It's a city-state with yacht-lined harbor and endless gorgeous gardens. Everything is so polished and safe. It's like a huge atrium of a luxury mall but with fresh air. We also went to France and Italy and celebrated my birthday with a delicious picnic on the mountains of south of France. These ten days were really incredible and it was a much needed vacation with really lovely people. As a Scandinavian, I just couldn't get enough of the sunny and warm days. When we landed in Estonia, it was 2 degrees and snow. Still some time left until the Spring hits us too! 


I made this recipe many weeks ago and now it's finally time to share it with you. I'm a huge fan on different dumplings. May it be the good old dumpling soup or crispy pierogi. You can fill them with almost everything and the effort of making your own dumplings is always worth it. I use some very simple and effective techniques, so it will not take ages. This time I decided to fill them with mushrooms. I also added spinach and fresh chili. It came out amazing and this juicy and flavorful mushroom filling is just delicious when wrapped in a crispy homemade dough. Don't forget to serve them with an umami filled dipping sauce containing chili, spring onions, soy sauce, oil and lemon juice. Have fun, enjoy and may the Spring come A.S.A.P!


Preparation time: 50 minutes

Serves: 32 dumplings

For the dough:
  • 3 cups / 430 g all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup / 240 ml cold water

For the filling:
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 9 cups / 750 g thinly chopped white mushrooms
  • 1 ¼ tsp salt
  • a little bit over 3 cups (packed) / 100 g fresh spinach
  • 1 heaping Tbsp thinly chopped red chili with seeds

For the dipping sauce:
  • ½ Tbsp thinly chopped red chili with seeds
  • 2 heaping Tbsp chopped spring onions
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ cup / 60 ml soy sauce 
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice

Directions:

Make the dough by mixing the flour with salt and adding water. Knead with your hands for a couple of minutes, until you have an elastic dough ball. Cover it with a clean kitchen towel and let it sit for 10-15 minutes, until you prepare the filling.

For the filling, heat up a bigger pan and pour some oil in it. Add chopped mushrooms and salt. Let them cook for a few minutes, until the mushrooms have released their water and there isn't much moisture left. Add roughly chopped spinach and chili. Cook for a couple of minutes. Remove the heat.


Now take the dough ball and divide it into two even balls. Make two long "sausages" out of the dough balls and cut each sausage into 16 even coins. Now take a rolling pin and roll each dough piece until you have a thin and flat little "pancake". Spoon 1-2 teaspoons of filling into center and seal and crimp the edges with your fingers. Don't place the freshly wrapped dumplings onto each other but in one layer. My favorite way is to cover a baking tray with a parchment paper and place the dumplings there until it's time to cook them on a pan.


If you want to cook all the dumplings, it's a good idea to use 2-3 pans at the same time. Pour some oil into a hot pan and add one layer of dumplings. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then add boiling water so half of the dumplings are covered. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 10 minutes or until there's no more water left. Make the dipping sauce by mixing all the sauce ingredients. Serve with crispy dumplings.

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