Saturday, April 01, 2006

The Dumpling-ator

Every cook is fond of gadgets. We all have kitchen-draw graveyards full of the useless ones, we covet and praise the useful ones, and we lust after the expensive ones, in a never ending cycle of technological consumption.

This one costs $4. And it’s really useful. Now before all you Asian dumpling purists drum me out of the regiment (as one of my Chinese friends has already suggested) there are times when the whole dumpling making ceremony thing just gets too hard if you don’t have an army of similarly inspired enthusiasts who will pinch and crimp their way through enough pastry to make a decent serving for everyone at a dinner party. This gadget is perfect for your spontaneous, single person dumpling effort.

I can speak a little Japanese but can’t read kanji, so anyone with such impressive skills might be able to tell me what this little machine is really called from the label in the picture of the packet above. I’ve decided to call it The Dumpling-ator because it rapidly whips up a plate of gyoza-like delights in as little time as it takes Arnie to robotically mow down baddies.

You can turn a packet of gow gee wrappers and a bit of pork mince into a feast fit for a shogun in 10 minutes. For the filling for a pack of wrappers, use about 200 or so grams of minced pork (or a mixture of pork and prawn), and flavour it with:

1 large clove of chopped garlic
2 tsps grated fresh ginger
2 finely chopped spring onions (or equivalent of garlic chives)
2 tsps each of soy sauce and rice wine
1 tsp cornflour
Splash of sesame oil

Mix together well, massaging with your fingers to distribute the flavours.

Take the dumpling-ator in one hand (it boasts ‘one hand action’!) lay a wrapper on top, place a teaspoon of meat mixture in the middle, wet the inside edges with a little water and close it up to crimp the edges. Bingo.

You can then steam or poach them, or as I’ve done here, heat a non stick pan and add a fine film of peanut oil and let it get hot. Place each dumpling in, base down, so they are standing up. Leave to fry for a minute or so then sprinkle with about ¼ cup of water, put the lid on the pan and turn down the heat. When the water has evaporated, the bottoms will crisp up a bit more and they are ready to serve. Uncooked dumplings also freeze well.

“Pack” brand dumpling maker
$4.00 at Thai Kee Supermarket, Market City, Haymarket (in the same aisle as all the Chinese table crockery).


Blogger Ange said...

Think I need to rush out & buy one of these, anything that cuts down on manual labour is fine by me, dumplings look delicious too & at 11:48 am starving for lunch!

11:52 AM  
Blogger Julia said...

Oh. My. God. I have been after something like this for ages, but couldn't find a thing. Thank you!

3:52 PM  
Blogger Reb said...

It's become my fave gadget du jour. If you can't find one down south Ange, let me know and I can post one down.

Glad to help Julia - churn out those dumplings!

7:29 AM  
Anonymous helen said...

Ooh these are great. I have three in my cupboard for party prepping!

I can only make out the katakana (white text on red background) which says wan-ta-ttchi, presumably "one touch". But you're right - dumpling-ator sounds much more impressive.

12:53 PM  
Blogger Reb said...

Great to hear another fan of this little gem, Helen! Thanks for the translation, too.

8:18 AM  
Blogger kestypes said...

I thought I knew the Thai Kee inside out. Obviously not. Wonder if they're open Easter Sunday.

Thanks for the tip.

2:43 PM  
Blogger Reb said...

No worries kestypes! Hope you got to buy one over Easter.

2:20 PM  

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