The Grumpy Dumpling.
This is the name of my local dumpling house. Catchy huh!
It’s a great place to hang with loved ones, friends, kids or by yourself to gorge on awesome house-made dumplings until you burst.
The Grumpy’s menu is suited to all comers and tastes. The hand folded dumplings come steamed, fried, pan fried or in soup. Impeccable, friendly service is dolled out by the trolley load.
There are comfy seats, sweet tunes from local musos, screens and games for kids, the coldest of beers, ample dipping solutions on the tables, forks for the co-ordinatedly challenged, stays open late AND HAS MORE THAN ONE TOKEN VEGETARIAN DUMPLING ON OFFER.
‘Wow!’ I hear you say. ‘You’re like, sooo lucky. I’d love to go there sometime’
Well, I’m sorry, you can’t.
I made it up.
Grumpy’s is my dream local dumpling joint. Sometimes the Doctor has severe dumpling urges and in sweet little Brisbane town you are lucky to find that one token vego gesture if any at all.
Maybe where you live there is a Grumpy’s? I’d like to hear about it.
So, if you haven’t guessed already, today Kid and I are filling the void by filling some dumpling pastry. Vegetarian like, although carnivores will enjoy these as well.
Fresh shiitake mushrooms – 1 punnet, 4 dried shitake mushrooms, 1/2 a punnet silken tofu, 3-4 garlic sprouts.
Soak the dried mushrooms for 3-4hrs and drain well. Slice all the mushrooms and saute on a good heat with a light oil until they get a nice colour. Add the chopped garlic sprouts and cook a little longer. Cool and fold through the tofu. Silken tofu will smoosh easily. Wrap in dumpling pastry. To cook, brown one side in a pan with a little oil. Add water to cover them by 1/3 and put a lid on top. In 2-3 minutes you are ready. Makes about 30 dumplings.
1 small eggplant, 1/2 a cup kim-chi (we used a store bought), 2 spring onions.
Slice and grill the eggplant in a little oil. Chill. Drain the kim chi a little and chop along with the spring onions. Now chop the eggplant and mix it all together. Fold in wonton pastry and pan fry or deep fry until crispy. Steaming is good also. Makes about 20 wontons.
1 small piece of pumpkin, 1 tablespoon Korean bean paste, 1/2 cup chopped coriander.
This way everyone can mix their own dipping sauce on their own plate. Use a light soy, find plum or apple vinegar and use your favourite chilli sauce if that’s what you like. Or use this recipe here. A little hoi-sin is a nice dipping option as well.
All of these ingredients or something similar are available in your local China Town, Asian grocers or even some supermarkets. Dumpling pastry is very easy to make too, just a little time-consuming, so don’t put extra pressure on yourself if you don’t need to. It’s basically just boiling water and flour. Wonton pastry has egg added. My recipes are just ideas. Each filling will go well in any dumpling pastry in any shape or cooking style.
What Kid DidKid pretty much rolled all of these dumplings. After an initial instruction and with the occasional follow-up, Kid had a good time being left to do these on her own. There was also help with picking herbs, grating pumpkin and mixing the fillings. From the outset I made it clear that it doesn’t matter what they look like as long as the seems are secure. This is fun stuff for kids to do, particularly when they know they’ll be scoffing them very shortly.I think she did an ace job, don’t you?We three sat around the kitchen bench, chatting whist waiting for each batch to cook. Well, those two sat while I cooked but you get the idea. A great communal activity and dumplings for dinner. Can’t go wrong!
See you at Grumpy’s sometime 😉