After watching Kung Fu Panda, one thing was clear – I had to have dumplings. Unfortunately, it was Sunday night, and I had already devoured a bowl of broccoli and some rice for dinner — Hey, I’m a single gal. I eat strange. (not to mention the popcorn the boyfriend and I shared during the movie watched on his fabulous new TV!)
That could only mean one thing.
Dumplings for dinner Monday night.
Only I had no idea how to make a dumpling. Oh, sure, I knew where to order them. But that would be too easy. And if I learned anything from my buddy, Po, if you believe it, you can be it.
So here is Queen of Quirky’s guide to making fabulous dumplings:
Step One: Text boyfriend and let him know dumplings and sake will be served at 8 p.m. at your place. (One must have a partner in crime for this culinary exhibition.)
Step Two: Google “pan fried dumplings” and read about 35 different recipes. Write down ingredients you think would be tasty in said dumplings.
Step Three: Read 15 or so culinary blogs on how to pan fry dumplings. Self-doubt your ability to “add 2/3 cup of water to two tablespoons of sizzling canola oil.” Especially in light of your previous experience with said oil.
Step Four: Pick up dog food after work. (oh wait, has nothing to do with dumplings, but hey, dog can’t go hungry while you are feasting on yummy dumplings, can she?)
Step Five: Visit three grocery stores to find the following ingredients: Ground chickenturkey (you can’t find any chicken, so improvise with turkey), won ton wrappers, nappa cabbage, shitake mushrooms (three), canola oil (duh, you spilled the last batch), sesame oil, water chestnuts and green onions.
Step Six: Go to liquor store to buy sake.
Step Seven: Go to World Market to pick up chop sticks, and sake cups.
Step Eight: Let dog out.
Step Nine: Run 3 miles on treadmill. (Hey, pan fried dumplings aren’t exactly low-fat.)
Step 10: Dice up all bought ingredients (while wiping sweat off your face, and keeping sweat out of bowl) in addition to four cloves of fresh garlic (you have that), a table spoon of soy sauce and add a splash of sake and sesame oil to the mixture.
Step 11: Put the boyfriend on sake duty and tell him not to let you get empty from this point on. After all, you are about to mix oil and water on a hot stove. Sake is necessary.
Step 12: Attempt to fold the little buggers into the triangle with two pleats, as described in every recipe and blog you read.
Step 13: After about the fifth dumpling, finally succeed at this task. Try to cover up the goofy looking dumplings with better looking ones.
Step 14: Look for fire extinguisher.
Step 15: Can’t find the fire extinguisher, so carry on. Drink more sake.
Step 16: Start frying those babies up.
Step 17: Be surprised at your own success. (Kind of like Po!)
Step 18: Serve sizzling hot plate of dumplings with bowl of dipping sauce to boyfriend and relish in your victory.