A few friends gathered on 08/08/08 to celebrate the vertical infinity number with some serious food fun. And no, we did not watch the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. This party was about the number 8, people.
Serveral months ago Aaron grabed a cookbook from work so we could make dim-sum on his Sunday off. The dim-sum never happened but I remembered this recipe when I wanted to make dumplings and I was craving scallops.
I don’t have any pictures of the raw filling because my hands were. . .scallopy. I used wild scallops for this dish and was pleased with the results. Each bite was filled with a well balanced ginger/lemon/scallop taste, truly delightful. My good buddy Ashby and I folded the dumplings in two styles, gyoza and soup. I prefered the gyoza half-moon packets, each bite delivered well balanced flavor and moisture content. I think Ashby prefered the soup dumpling packets!
I REALLY enjoyed the “dressing” approach instead of the “dipping” approach. I only used about half the dressing and by using lite soy sauce the flavor was not too salty.
Ashby and I were joined by Liz, food-maker, cake-baker extrordinaire. This lady is so organized! When I stopped by her house to pick her up she had her spring rolls fully prepped and everything was organized in a laungry basket. She even purchased Chinese beer for the occasion!
The spring rolls were crazy delicious. Rice wrappers packed with an assortment of veggies including squash and the PERFECT ratio of rice noodle to vegetable. I’m not surprised, Liz always wins. It was super fun to watch her heat up the deep fryer and stand above it mumbling about “dead soldiers”.
As the spring rolls luxuriated in the vegetable oil Ashby really started loving the smell. Insisting that everyone walk outside and walk back into the house to fully embrace the aroma. “Except for you Emily” she said. ‘Tis true, I couldn’t smell a thing. However, hours later as I drank a beer with a friend of mine he exclaimed, “Emily, you smell delicious.” I was stumped and worried because when you can’t smell there are no “delicious” smells just aromas you don’t understand. I was hesitant, “Um, what do I smell like?” “Fried deliciousness” he said. I almost died laughing. I did not think that standing in a room with 6 spring rolls in a fryer would cling to my clothes for so long. Ah well, if I am ever single again I will buy a Fry Daddy and put it to good use!
Ashby whipped up a special sauce and provided the kitchen. Have I mentioned how much I love peanut sauce? I do, I could probably devote an entire post to that condiment.
In all seriousness, this night was so much fun. Good friends, good convo, good times.
Boiled Ginger Dumplings from Chinese Cooking for Beginners by Helene Siegel.
1/2 pound bay or sea scallops
1 small egg white
3 scallions, white and green minced
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon cornstarch
30 round gyoza wrapers
Dressing – 2 tbl. light soy sauce, 2 tbl. rice viegar 1scallion thinly sliced
1.) Combine the scallops with the edd white on a cutting board and chop finely. Dumplings taste better with larger bits of meat, so don’t be too finicky. Place in a mixing bowl with the remaining ingredients except wrappers and dressing. Combine well. The filling can be reserved in the refridgerator, covered, for up to two hours.
2.) To fill dumplings, have a small bowl of water ready nearby and a baking tray dusted with cornstarch center a generous teaspoonful of filing on each skin. With a finger diped in water, moisten the outside edge of half of the wrapper. Fold over, pressing the dry dough to the wet to seal and enclose the filing. Then, lifting your hands, moisten the tip and press the 2 points toether to form a small cap. These can be stuffed several hours in advance.
3.) Combine the dressing in a small bowl. To cook the dumplings bring a large saucepan or stockpot of water to a boil. Salt the water as you would for past, and drop in the dumplings. Stir the dumplings once to avoid sticking and cook until they all rise to the top and bubble there for about 10 seconds.
4.) Drain in a colander, shaking vigorously to remove exces water. Do not be concerned with dumplings that may have lost some filling. Tip out onto a deep plater or bowl, pour on the dressing, and gently toss. Serve immediately.