My mother would prepare New Year dumplings at the crack of dawn to serve in a traditional Korean rice cake soup for breakfast. I don’t remember her ever staying up to enjoy New Year’s Eve, and her well-rested self would toil in the dark morning kitchen, making as much noise as possible, to wake up the entire family to celebrate the first day of the New Year.
New Year’s dumplings are sacred, and not one to be messed around with, but for the rest of the year, dumplings needn’t be fussy. I remember eating dumplings filled with nothing more than squeezed tofu and scallions as a kid, and loving it. It’s the experience of biting into a delicate chewy shell, and then tasting the savory center that makes dumplings so much fun to eat. And with dumpling wrappers so readily available, it makes sense to have them in your fridge at all times.
Chinese soup dumpling is the crazy uncle of the bunch–difficult, searing, and wonderfully entertaining. Difficult in the sense that the filling needs a gelatinized broth, but too much of it, and you’ll end up with a messy bursted dumpling. You also need to eat a soup dumpling hot, and often novices will burn their tongues at their first aggressive bite. It’s normally served alongside other delicious dishes in Chinese dumpling houses, but it’s the soup dumpling that you’ll talk about on your way home.
Having had dinner out Sunday night at a Chinese restaurant, I had soup dumplings on the brain. I also needed to rid our household of the last serving of turkey and gravy without turning it into sandwiches, which I already had packed for the kids’ lunches. Why not stuff potsticker wrappers with some minced turkey and cold gravy?
I served these dumplings up to the kids after school, and they had no idea that it was turkey and gravy. And they were so surprised by the afternoon dumplings that they were convinced that I was feeling guilty about something.
- 1 package of potsticker wrappers (thicker than wonton wrappers)
- 1 cup of finely minced cooked turkey
- 6 tbs of cold gravy
- 2 cups of chicken stock
- 3 tbs of chopped chives
- 1 egg white
- Combine 2 tbs of chopped chives, 6 tbs of cold gravy, minced cooked turkey, and 2 tbs of chicken stock.
- Break an egg, and place egg white in a small bowl.
- Place a potsticker wrapper down on a clean surface. Dip a finger into the egg white, and wet the edges of the wrapper. Place a heaping tsp of filling mixture in the middle of the wrapper. Pack the filling down with a spoon. Bring up the ends of the wrapper to resemble a canoli. Press the edges together to seal. Then bring up the other ends and seal completely.
- Place lettuce leaves down in a steamer. Place dumplings on the lettuce.
- Steam for 3-4 minutes.
- Serve with hot chicken stock and garnish with chives.
- (Unused wrappers can be frozen. Defrost in fridge completely before using.)