Friday, November 23, 2012

Golden Fried Kimchee Wontons

Fried kimchee dumplings made with Italian sausage and lean ground beef
On Thanksgiving morning I got up early and made 51 Golden Fried Kimchee Wontons for appetizers. Do fried dumplings go with Turkey and mashed potatoes? Of course they do. Most of all they travel and reheat well. Thanksgiving morning... the supermarket was low in the meat department, so I used Italian sausage instead of ground pork to mix in with the ground beef and fermented radish kimchee (kkadugi). Along with fresh ginger, scallion, garlic and a few other spices, the filling came together in about five minutes. Dumplings always need a little fat, even if they are vegetarian. Otherwise they quickly turn into rubber bullets after frying or steaming.

Frozen dumplings for soup
Commercially pre-made wrappers come in frozen packs of 50 and once they are defrosted they’re only usable for a about a week. It only makes sense to make a large batch to freeze for future use. Fresh dumplings (not cooked) freeze well and can be kept for up to three months. They make for a quick meal when you’re on the go.

The trick is to freeze them individually first. I freeze freshly made dumplings on a cutting board for about an hour, making sure that none of them touch. Then I wrap batches of ten in foil and store them in a large freezer bag. This way they don’t freeze into an unbreakable boulder of pot stickers and you can use what you need. There’s no need to defrost, frozen dumplings fry up in about four minutes. Drain them well and serve them hot topped with toasted sesame seeds and minced scallions. Make a few dipping sauces like ginger soy sauce, sriracha (Rooster chili sauce) and ketchup, or honey mustard... etc. If you plan to steam them or use them in soup, let them thaw for about ten minutes before cooking for twelve minutes.

A variety of traditional dumplings with a ginger garlic dipping sauce

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