Windy’s Dumplings: Not Just a Food Trend

ON THE MENU: DUMPLINGS WITH WINDY CHEN 

Our latest cooking class on Monday April 9 focused on our theme of food trends. We cooked with students from the Guardian Scholars of Skyline College and featured the tantalizing food trend of dumplings! Here’s the latest on our guest chef Windy Chen and the awesome recipe for anyone wanting to learn more about how to make dumplings from scratch.

 

About Windy

Windy is in her second year at UC Berkeley majoring in Genetics and Plant Biology and Environmental Economics. She has always been very passionate about food and started cooking since she was in middle school. Windy is an active member of the Cal FoodInno Club which works with innovative food industry and ideas as well as Berkeley’s Student Organic Garden Association where she teaches a course about organic gardening and food security.

Like many of us, Windy believes that food is a very important, if not the most important part, of her daily life. One of her favorite ways of stress releasing is to chop up some meat and vegetables, cook them, and stress eat “healthily”. Going into college, her cooking skills have improved a lot, and one of these she has honed is to make dumplings.

Windy was born and grew up in Shenzhen, a city in Southern China, so making dumplings wasn’t a common practice. After coming to America people assumed that since she is Chinese, she knew how to make dumplings. A friend from Northern China, a region known for making dumplings, was able to teach Windy how to make it from scratch. Now whenever she goes home to China, she makes it with her mom for special occasions, plus it’s the perfect food to stock up for whenever she gets hungry but doesn’t have much time. She believes that dumplings are more than just a trendy food. It’s also one of the easiest things to reheat/cook once you have prepared it, especially if you have a busy schedule! 

Check out Windy’s instagram @windinparadise to see her personalized dumplings and various food creations!

Here is the recipe below for both meat and veggie friendly dumplings!

Recipe (yields about 60 dumplings)

2 bundles green onions; diced

1 piece ginger (thumb size); finely chopped

4 pcs carrots; chopped in vitamix

4 eggs

1 lb ground beef (60/40 lean meat to fat ratio)

3 packs of circle shaped dumpling wrappers

Soy sauce, sesame seed oil, oriental 5 spice mix, salt and pepper to taste

For Beef and Carrots Dumpling:

  1. Finely dice up 1 bundle of green onions and 1 piece of ginger; set aside.
  2. Cut carrots into 3 inch pieces, and place in Vitamix. Choose “chop” option on blender and chop carrots.
  3. Transfer the carrots from the blender into a strainer, with a bowl underneath the strainer. Make a fist and press into the carrots, so that the liquid falls into the bowl.  Try to squeeze out as much juice from the carrots as you can. Set the carrots aside.
  4. Place the ground beef in a separate bowl and add green onions, ginger and carrots. Add a bit  of soy sauce, sesame seed oil, oriental 5 spice mix, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour in carrot juice and mix the ground beef + veggies with a spoon until you get a muddy/moist consistency.  Add more water if you feel that it has not yet gotten a moist consistency.
  5. Place filling in dumpling wrapper, dip fingers in water and spread on edges of dumpling wrapper. Seal dumpling by pressing edges together with your finger to make folds in wrapper.
  6. For boiled dumplings: Boil water; reduce to medium heat once it has boiled. Add dumplings in water, wait for about 3-4 minutes, strain water and serve dumplings.
  7. For fried dumplings: heat up a non stick pan on high-medium heat with just a drizzle of oil (just enough to coat the pan).  Place the dumplings in the pan, until you see the bottom of the dumpling a bit seared (brown color). Add some water to the pan, just enough to coat about ⅛  of the bottom of the dumpling. Cover pan. Once water dissolves you can take dumplings off of the pan and serve.

For Egg and Green Onions Dumpling:

  1. Finely dice up 1 bundle of green onions;; set aside
  2. Scramble 4 eggs in bowl; fry in pan to make a scrambled egg
  3. Combine cooked scrambled egg and green onions in a bowl; add salt, pepper, sesame oil to taste
  4. Place filling in dumpling wrapper, dip fingers in water and spread on edges of dumpling wrapper. Seal dumpling by pressing edges together with your finger to make folds in wrapper.
  5. Boil water; reduce to medium heat once it has boiled. Add dumplings in water, wait for about 3-4 minutes, strain water and serve dumplings.

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