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dumplings


shelora
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I love little parcels of food. Steamed, fried or poached, the variations on the theme of dumplings seem endless and figure in many cuisines of the world.

Lately I'm smitten with Chinese pork and watercress dumplings. I'd like to hear about your favourites, no matter what style, and if anyone has theories or facts as to where the first recorded dumpling might have come from. China? Japan? The Ukraine?

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-Poached Northern Chinese style dumplings where the wrapper is a bit chewy and filled with lots of vegetable and a bit of fatty pork. Served with lots of garlic

-Steamed Chiu Chow dumplings, the kind with the thick yet delicate and chewy wrappers with chives, pork, and other ingredients. Served with chili in hot oil

I don't think it is possible to have bad dumplings but my experience with dumplings are limited. I've had many kinds of Asian dumpling but the only non-Asian kind that I've had was the perogies and they were from the supermarket too. :shock:

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Friiiiiiiiiiiiiiied dumplings..........

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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I like 'em steamed with thin wrappers. You should be able to see the filling through a nice, thin translucent wrapper. I'm partial to a filling of ground pork, finely chopped shrimp, diced green onion, ginger, cilantro and a bit of garlic.

Sauce a mixture of soy sauce, brown vinegar, touch of fish sauce, touch of hot bean paste, diced chili peppers and cilantro. Make the sauce several hours ahead of time and stir it periodically, it really gets better with a little time.

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Dumplings...Yum!!!

Not in order...

Mandoo (korean dumplings), Fried or in soup. Most people do Turkey for Thanksgiving day. At our place it wouldn't be Thanksgiving without Mandoo.

Southern Chicken and dumplings (with noodles)

Chinese Crab dumplings.

Lobster Ravioli

Two thoughts as I think about dumplings. It is one of the worlds great comfort food. I think the chinease do dumplings better than anyone. Just go to any great dim sum resturant.

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MMmmm! Dumplings!

Gyoza, Sui mai, Spaetzle, Grandma's fluffy Chicken and Dumplings, My mother-in-law's, flat Arkansas dumplings, pot stickers, German potato dumplings with the crouton in the middle, I love them all.

The only dumpling I ever met that I didn't like were the ones made by a co-worker. They always had a hard core in the center. Never did figure out what she did to cause that.

Editted to add, Pierogies which I tasted for the first time in PA last fall.

Edited by BarbaraY (log)
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I've always loved Chinese dumplings, particularly steamed pork dumplings. Lately, I've been into manti, tiny Turkish dumplings filled with spiced lamb and served in a milky broth. Mmmmmm... :biggrin:

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

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Pierogi, filled with potato and cheese, from St. Stephen's Church here in town. They make them for their annual St. Stephen's Festival (in only a couple of weeks!) and also for the Fridays during Lent.

Is there any culture that doesn't do some form of dumpling?

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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Wondering about the definition of "dumpling." Must a dumpling be filled? Must it have a wrapper? Are those the same question?

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Wondering about the definition of "dumpling." Must a dumpling be filled? Must it have a wrapper? Are those the same question?

Good question, Fat Guy. (And apologies to shelora for hijacking the thread.)

I suspect the answer will depend on who you ask. I always thought of a dumpling as having stuff inside some kind of a wrapper. I guess by that definition, even a stuffed grape leaf would count as a dumpling, although I never thought of a stuffed grape leaf (or stuffed cabbage) as a dumpling. But just now I asked my husband what he thinks of when I say "dumpling" and his immediate answer was "flour and water mixed together and dropped on top of a pot of beef stew." He then went to his recipe box and pulled out a card with the recipe written by his mother:

1 1/2 c flour

3 tsp. Baking Powder

1 tsp salt

3/4 c milk

3 TBL oil

some dry parsley

Mix---it will be lumpy---drop by spoon fulls on bubbly stew---cover simmer 12-15 min covered---Do Not take off cover while dumplings are cooking

He also added that these might not be dumplings in everyone's book, but may be better referred to as pot biscuits.

My husband also reminded me of something available at every ice cream stand we visited in NE Ohio: apple dumplings, which consisted of an apple wrapped in pastry and baked till the pastry was done, then plopped into a bowl and served with a scoop of (usually) vanilla ice cream. I think the reason I never considered these as dumplings in my mind is the size: to me, a dumpling is small enough to eat in one or two bites. Therefore, stuffed grape leaves would still fit the definition.

Did you have something specific in mind without a wrapper, Fat Guy?

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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Actually I think its the opposite.

True dumplings are not filled, but are the thing itself. They are plain, although may have a small core, as in a potato dumpling with a crouton centre. True dumplings are boiled.

Others, all excellent, such as har gow, gyozu, pierogi need a different term.

Maybe there are seperate categories, filled and plain.

Alan Davidson devotes two pages in The Oxford Companion, but does not make it clearer, although he inclines to the Asian view of dumplings.

Larousse defines Dumplings as "A ball of dough" and remarks they are popular in Britain and the USA.

Apple dumplings, apples in pastry are an ancient recipe, as is fruit a la colbert, stuffed, then egg and breadcrumbed and fried, but we are verging on fritters...

Edited by jackal10 (log)
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If you grew up anywhere near, or south of, the Mason-Dixon Line, you know that "chicken & dumplings" doesn't fill the dumplings, it fills you!

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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I invariably think of filled dumplings.

Blobs of dough (pot biscuits) can be delicious but, like spaetzle, never occur to me as "dumplings".

But then the first thing I think of when I hear "dumpling" is "gyoza" ("mandu").

Then shui ma, har gow and so on.

Down the list would eventually be pierogies and even ravioli.

However, if I have been thinking about dumplings that long I will have gone off to make some or pull some from the freezer and eat them and this is probably why pot biscuits don't enter into it for me.

In other words, the term refers to what you know best by that word though other people might mean something else.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Wondering about the definition of "dumpling." Must a dumpling be filled? Must it have a wrapper? Are those the same question?

My answer is referring only to European dumplings.

The problem, if you make a distinction between filling or without a filling, is that the two categories can blur into one another. About a year ago, I had this book out of the library.

It has 125 recipes for dumplings, most of them from southern Germany. It includes dumplings based on wheat flour, semolina, stale bread, potatoes, etc., as well as numerous doughs where these ingredients are combined in some form (for example, cooked potato mixed with grated uncooked potato, stale bread soaked in milk). Some are filled, others not. However, often the dough for filled and unfilled dumplings is identical.

Dumplings in the past were often prepared by poor families who were trying to feed many people at minimal cost. Therefore, whether the dumpling was filled or unfilled depended not just on its intended role in the meal or on the view of what 'dumplings' ought to be or ought to contain (or not contain) but relied to a great extent on cost and availability of ingredients.

To take an example, if one takes a dough made from flour and cooked potato, molds it around a piece of fruit - such as apricot or plum, boils it, and serves it in a browned breadcrumbs, then certainly most people in Germany, Austria, or Hungary would consider these to be dumplings.

If you take the same dough - unfilled - boil it, then serve it in soup, or with a stew, or let it grow cold, slice it, then serve it fried lightly with fried onion and bacon, I don't see what one would call it if one were NOT to calll the same food a dumpling. It is, after all, the same dough prepared in the same way, but with different accompaniments.

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So it would seem that the one definition that we could hold as standard for a dumpling is that it has to include a starchy dough, and most likely a flour-based dough?

Odd, because while I'm thinking of it now, with as many different types of dumplings I've tried, I don't think I've had a dumpling I didn't like.

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Just read something from a site on dumplings, replete with some recipes which I might try, namely, this one from Austria ...

A few tips may be helpful, particularly for less experienced dumpling makers who are exhorted not to give up at the first miscooked, collapsed dumpling.
Misshapen dumplings I am familiar with ... :hmmm: and my matzo balls do often appear to have cellulite .. :laugh:

Cool recipe for MARILLENKNÖDEL Apricot Dumplings here!

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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I am basically with jackal10 here (and Daniel Rogov, tho quenelles are unaccountably rare in the US in recent decades, given their frequency in French books, and given that they are not all that hard to make). But I am from the US, where many mainstream cookery traditions and book recipes are European-derived, which means that "dumplings" have meant, traditionally, blobs, not things with wrappers -- though I probably eat vastly more of the latter.

Which brings us inevitably to Knödel. That word comes from Central Europe, specifically Austria, Bavaria, and Bohemia. Knödel embrace a continuum from basically pastas (Spätzle) to filled dumplings and napkin dumplings (Serviettenknödel), likely called savoury steamed puddings in Britain: dough with flavorings is rolled in a cloth napkin, tied at the ends, and steamed or poached. (If that's too much trouble, Knorr-Swiss sells an instant napkin-dumpling kit in a box. Add water.) These simple foods have been developed over the centuries to a high craft in the region, where I've encountered remarkably savory dumpling accompaniments to wild mushrooms, game, fruit, etc. The US "chicken and dumplings," when well made, is in that direction. Knödel are a pillar in the Pantheon of comfort foods.

Anzu and Gifted Gourmet mentioned some of this also. An outstanding book on Knödel culture comes from Austria: Helmreich and Staudinger's Nur Knödel (Just Knödel), 1993, ISBN 3854474350. Stylish monochrome photos and tongue-in-cheek philosophy ("Is the dumpling a Catholic phenomenon?"). I just Googled the ISBN to check it and found that the only hits were from me, but it's a popular book and conveniently bilingual (English and German).

Blob dumplings are said to be one of the oldest classes of prepared cooked foods (another, their cousins, being the pancakes in various forms).

Cheers -- Max

--

max@tdl.com

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So it would seem that the one definition that we could hold as standard for a dumpling is that it has to include a starchy dough, and most likely a flour-based dough?

Absolutely not. Daniel Rogov mentioned quenelle. I would add Royale (set custard decorations for soup).

Potato based dumplings figure in central Europe, Matzo Kleis/ Kneidlach are not flour based, by definition.

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Apple dumpling (apple cored, filled with apricot preserve or dried friut), covered in shortcrust pastry and baked, then glazed with Demerara sugar and served with custard.

They are called Apple in a Sleeping bag (Apfel im Schlafsack) in German. I fill my with Grand Marnier-flavoured pastry cream, cover in puff pastry and serve with a creme anglaise. Yum!

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