June 15, 2009

Dumplings and Pineapple Fried Rice

I decided to try and participate in the Daring Cooks challenge this month, which was to make homemade dumplings. The challenge was put together by Jen of Use Real Butter. She has an awesome site and I've been a loyal follower for quite some time now. I was pretty excited that she picked dumplings, but was curious as to how difficult the process was going to be. I'll let you know right from the get-go I wasn't too thrilled that this would involve dough. The whole reason I never even contemplated doing Daring Bakers is because I'm a bit of a doughphobic. It's just sticky, finicky and destroys a clean kitchen. But this recipe only involved flour and water - how hard could that be? Ha.

Although time consuming, the pork filling was simple to make and smelled delicious. The dough also came together very easily and was pretty manageable to shape into little circles. Making those gash darn pleats were near impossible though. After throwing away like a whole dozen, I decided to scratch the original plan, and to fold them all like mini calzones. Way easier, and they worked fine in the cooking process.

I decided to try all three methods of cooking: steaming, boiling and frying. Steam and boiling were super easy, and yielded tender little pork filled pockets. Frying though, destroyed my kitchen. I've been cooking long enough to know that dumping water into hot oil is going to cause a serious (not to mention dangerous) mess. Not my brightest moment. Did you ever see that episode of The Newlyweds where Jessica Simpson was yelping as the oil burned her? Yeah, that was so me. Frying paid off though, as these were the tastiest of the three methods. No surprise, frying is always the tastiest. 

If you would like to a give these a shot for yourself, please visit Jen here for a step-by-step guide. Thanks Jen for a great challenge! 

I served these along side a fantastic pineapple fried rice, courtesy of Susan from Food Blogga. You can find that recipe here, and should definitely give it a try. It was the perfect mix of sweet and salty, and was devoured in no time!

31 comments:

Jamie said...

Yum yum yum! Those look like perfect dumplings. I love them! And that fried rice looks so good, too. Perfect meal, I say!

Megan said...

It was pretty difficult to pleat the dough on these -- I think you did a good workaround. These look great, and so does that fried rice!

Grace said...

round of applause for you! i love that you stuck it out and even tried all three preparations--you're a real trouper. that fried rice is a winner too.

finsmom said...

What a tasty sounding Asian inspired meal! Your dumplings look fabulous - I know how tricky they can be to fold!

Mary said...

You did a great job with your dumplings and the fried rice was a perfect accompaniment. It was a fun challenge.

A Feast for the Eyes said...

Ashley, I'm very impressed with how your food turned out. Asian food is a challenge for me, since I'm so new at it. Your solution was brilliant! I love Jen's site, as well. I've been a quiet lurker, because I'm so in awe of her talent. I'm bookmarking the pineapple fried rice. I LOVE pineapple, so thanks for sharing.

sugarlens said...

Homemade dumplings, including homemade dough?! You are a rockstar. They look delicious!

Even though frying takes the longeset and destroys my kitchen too, I like that method the best.

Elra said...

First of all I want to comment about that fried rice pineapple. It really make my mouth water. And the star is of course the dumpling ... perfect and delicious sounding. Yum!

5 Star Foodie said...

Those dumplings sound delicious in all preparations! And the pineapple fried rice is excellent!

Scate said...

Investing in a 'frying splatter gaurd' is worth it. It's shaped like a flat tennis raquet - and you just place it over the top of the pan with oil in it. Not only will it save your skin - it keeps the oven MUCH cleaner by blocking all of the splattering oil with a little mesh. these look GREAT!

Stacey Snacks said...

I made pineapple fried lice the other day too! with pork and other goodies.......yours looks very good!
Hey, nice dumplings!

Helene said...

That dish looks so good. I like fried rice.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

I've never made these little dumplings. Looks like a lot of fun. Fried rice looks yummy too.
Sam

Junglefrog said...

I think it doesn't really matter how you fold or pleat them as long as they stay together. The pleating was a pain indeed...:) I love your description of the frying part... We so had the same thing happen when I added the water! The wall was covered in oil.... Thankfully the washable part of the wall...:) I think yours look good though!

Calm In The Kitchen said...

These look perfect!

I am such a slacker, the daring cooks challenge just crept right past me.

I do want to try this, though. They look so good!

Maria said...

Love the dumplings and rice. Great meal!!

Chef Fresco said...

Nice work! That pineapple fried rice looks amazing too!

Sara said...

The dumplings look so good! And I love the sound of pineapple in fried rice.

Kerstin said...

I'm impressed - they look great! And so perfect with pineapple fried rice, yum!

Maris said...

Pineapple fried rice sounds riiight up my alley. I love these summer flavors!

Katrina said...

Great looking food! Good job on the dumplings. Definitely more daring than I.

Jenn@slim-shoppin said...

I wish I would have known about that challenge. I LOVE dumplings and make them all the time.

You can also make a great soup, using chicken broth as a base, chili paste, veggies, and the dumplings to make a dumpling soup. It's so good!

You did a great job!

Jen Yu said...

Oh hon, I'm sorry the frying was a mess (it does get messy). But so glad that you liked the challenge. You fold them ANY WAY YOU LIKE :) They look great and I'm impressed that you cooked them three ways! Nice looking fried rice there too!

Emily said...

Ohhh this is my kind of meal. I LOVE dumplings and fried rice. It looks awesome!

Sophie said...

waw,...i am amazed: this meal looks so tasty! I want it all,...
Great job you did!

Juliana said...

Great job with the dumplings...they look very yummie! The rice with pineapple looks as good as the dumplings...yummie! Great pictures!

Sara said...

That pineapple fried rice looks delicious! My hubby would love it. Can't wait to try it out.

melissa said...

sounds delicious! i've always been afraid of dumplings. they look so hard to make.

EAT! said...

Love making Asian foods at home. Everything looks fantastic - especially the dumplings. I see some fried rice very near in our future.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Hi Ashley! I was leaving a comment on pineapple fried post and just saw your link. Many belated thanks! And may I say your dumplings look fantastic! I love those little pockets of goodness.

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