Kimchi Dumplings from Scratch


Happy New Year!

We are gearing up for our classes on January 31, putting final tweaks in recipes and class plans. The multi-colored dumplings above will be a part of our Dumplings & Buns class, and we will start the class by discussing how to add colors with natural ingredients and make dumpling wrappers from scratch.

But for those of you who can't join us, I hope this recipe comes in handy. Although it takes a little bit of planning and preparation, you can make the wrapper dough and the dumpling filling a day ahead. Making dumplings together is a fun DYI dinner party idea, whether it's a Lunar New Year party or any other time of the year.

PAN-FRIED KIMCHI DUMPLINGS

Yield - about 40 dumplings (4 servings)

Ingredients:

Dumpling wrappers from scratch

2 cups plus more for dusting all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup water

For kimchi filling

1 cup kimchi, preferably well-aged and tart (a bit too strong to eat by itself)

½ cup onion, peeled and finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated

1 teaspoon neutral-tasting cooking oil (such as sunflower seed oil)

½ cup Korean sweet potato starch noodles (당면 dang myeon)

½ cup garlic chive, ends trimmed and chopped (or substitute with equal amount of scallion)

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

2 teaspoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons rice vinegar

Pinch black pepper

1 egg

¼ cup all-purpose flour for dusting

½ cup water to seal dumplings

Procedure:

Dumpling wrappers from scratch

1. Mix flour, salt, and water together and knead it to make a dough. It should be a play dough consistency. Adjust water or flour amount as necessary, by adding a sprinkle of each.

2. Wrap in plastic and let it rest for 30 minutes at room temperature to overnight in the refrigerator.

3. Roll out the dough on a clean surface dusted with flour. Cut out circles with a cookie cutter. Keep the wrappers on a pan dusted with flour and cover with wet paper towel.

Kimchi filling

1. Soak Korean sweet potato starch noodles (당면 dang myeon) in enough lukewarm water to cover the glass noodles. When it's soft enough to bend, cook in boiling water until soft. Rinse in cold water, drain, and finely chop. Set aside.

2. Chop kimchi to small pieces. You can also cut kimchi with a pair of kitchen scissors, which will keep the cutting board clean.

3. On a skillet over medium heat, drizzle 1 teaspoon of cooking oil and sauté kimchi, onion, and garlic until most of the liquid is evaporated, about 5~10 minutes. Remove from heat, add to the prep bowl and let cool to room temperature.

4. Mix in chopped dangmyeon (glass noodles made with sweet potato starch), garlic chives, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and ground black pepper to the kimchi mix. Taste and adjust seasoning. Seasoning should be a degree stronger than your usual preference.

5. Mix an egg into the kimchi filling.

Dumpling assembly

1. Place about 2 teaspoons of the filling in the middle of the wrapper. Press to seal the edges to form a half-moon shape. Bring the tips together and press to create a ravioli shape. If it's a freshly-made wrapper you probably won't need water. If it's store-bought, use water as glue to seal the dumplings. Place the completed dumpling on a flour-dusted tray and repeat with the rest of the wrappers. Keep both the unused wrappers and completed dumplings covered with clean wet towel or wet paper towel to prevent them from drying out.

2. Drizzle cooking oil on a heated pan to coat the pan all around and place dumplings. Cook until bottom turns golden.

3. Carefully add water to the pan so that the water comes up about 1/3 of the dumpling height, about 1/4 cup. The water amount depends on the size of the pan. Cover and keep the heat at medium high. When the sizzling sound is almost gone, open the lid and check. If the wrappers turned translucent and soft, the dumplings are cooked. Dumplings with this kimchi filling have a pretty bold flavor and doesn't necessarily require a dipping sauce. But feel free to serve with a simple soy dipping sauce!

TIPS!

* Here are a few ideas for dumpling wrappers with different colors.

- For green color, add 1/2 teaspoon of green tea powder (matcha powder) or replace 2/3 cup of water with spinach juice or garlic chive juice. Blanch 1 cup of fresh spinach (or garlic chives) in boiling, salted water, then cool in ice water. Drain, and blend spinach with 2/3 cup of water. Strain through a fine sieve and use this liquid instead of 2/3 cup of water in the above recipe for the wrapper dough.

- For yellow color, add 1/8 teaspoon of turmeric powder to the above recipe.

- For red pepper wrappers, dd 1/2 teaspoon of Korean red pepper flakes in 2/3 cup of water to let it bloom for 30 minutes. Use the red pepper water instead of water in the above recipe.

* For these naturally colored dumpling wrappers, pan-frying will help preserve the colors better than boiling them for dumpling soup.

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