These little Chinese dumplings are so TASTY you would never in a million years guess that not only are they packed full of protein and good nutrition, they are juicy with a crisp outer skin, yet not greasy like most pan fried dumplings. I know some people have an “issue” with calorie restricted food diets, and by no ways do I condone any kind of diet with severe calorie restrictions. I came up with this healthy style “crispy” dumpling concept in my twenties while trying to create a crispy pot sticker style of dumpling I could eat, which had lots of flavor minus all the grease. In this recipe I use 100 percent fat free ground turkey breast or chicken breast in the filling and combining it with chopped shrimp and Asian flavors. I then utilize a non stick skillet to pan “crisp” or brown the dumpling on both sides, later adding low fat or non fat chicken broth or stock to “steam fry” the dumpling. The “pan steaming” works to infuse flavor and moisture to the bland or “dry” ground poultry, while the “crisping” the dumpling wrapper on both sides providing the texture and taste you normally associate with greasy pot stickers. Since I just posted a Steamed Shrimp Shu Mai Style Dumpling a couple of weeks ago, for ease of translation, I use most of the same ingredients for the filling in this recipe at the same time demonstrating how just some little changes in ingredients and cooking method can create a completely different result.
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon mirin (found in the Asian section of your market, usually by the soy sauce. example here)
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger
- 1/2 lb of prawns/ shrimp peeled and deveined, chopped
- 1/2 lb of ground fat free chicken or turkey breast
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves finely chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped scallions, white parts only, chopped
- 1/2 to 1 can of water chestnuts for some crunch and texture, finely chopped
- package of gyoza or “round” Chinese dumpling skins
- optional: white pepper
- neutral oil spray for the pan to cook
- chicken broth or stock for “steam frying” the dumplings
- Very finely chop the shrimp by hand or pulse in food processor for a minute or two
- Combine soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil and ginger in a bowl and stir
- In a bowl combine the ground poultry, shrimp, scallions, cilantro, and sprinkle of the optional white pepper, water chestnuts and add 2 to 3 tablespoons of the soy sauce mixture from step 2 and mix with a fork, making sure the sauce is evenly distributed through out the mixture
- Let the mixture or “filling” sit in the fridge for about 1/2 an hour or more so the Asian flavors can really infuse throughout the shrimp and poultry aspect of the filling
- Place each dumpling skin on a work surface, moisten the edges with water and 1 teaspoon of the filling in the center. Fold over the skin at the median line to create a little “half moon” shape (see above photo at the top of this recipe). Use a fork to press in and indent around the corner to make sure the dumpling skin stay folded over and stuck together. Repeat with the remaining dumpling skins and filling until all filling is used. Note: Store any left over skins in an airtight zip lock bag or wrapped in plastic wrap in the fridge. Make sure its not exposed to any air or it will dry out
- To cook immediately: working in batches, spray the bottom of a non stick pan lightly to the pan and heat over medium high heat.
- When pan is nice and hot quickly place dumplings on the bottom of the pan, working in batches. Brown or “crisp” the dumpling on one side and then flip. Crisp the dumpling on the other side until lightly browned, making sure not to burn
- Add a 3 tablespoons or more, to the hot pan with the crisp dumplings and quickly put the lid on to steam. If necessary, add some more chicken broth when the first amount completely evaporates into the dumpling. You want to make sure the dumpling is cooked all the way through and the chicken is completely cooked.
- Repeat until all the dumplings are cooke
Serve with the soy dipping sauce and enjoy
**Note if making a big batch ahead: These freeze and store extremely well. If you want to make a large batch ahead of time and freeze, at step 5, instead of cooking, transfer the uncooked dumplings to a cooking sheet lightly dusted with corn starch and then when full immediately put in freezer and “flash freeze”. When dumplings are frozen, carefully remove them from the cookie sheet and transfer to a freezer zip lock bag, remove most of the air, and store. When you decide you want to eat them, just begin at step 6 and then make sure you steam a little longer, using a little extra chicken broth steaming steps to make sure they are cooked all the way through.