It’s summer here but most days are still very windy, rainy and cold……*sigh*. Soup is still what I like most on those days. One of my favourite soups is turkey soup. Over here in UK, turkey drumsticks, like chicken drumsticks or thighs, are much cheaper than breast meat. I am so happy that’s the case because I only like the thighs and drumsticks. I always buy 2 turkey drumsticks, sometimes 4. I just bake all 4 together to save electricity. You can freeze some if you don’t use all. I cooked this beef dumplings in turkey soup served with kimchi for dinner yesterday.
My family likes turkey drumsticks when they just come out from the oven…juicy and delicious. I only sprinkle it with some sea salt and pepper before baking. We like it dipped in some seasoned soya sauce or homemade chilli sauce. The bones are for making soup. Usually I use the bone of 1 turkey drumstick to make a medium pot of soup. To make it more nutritious, I added ginger, carrots, onions, leeks and celery. Then season with salt and pepper to taste. You can find out more about baking turkey drumsticks at Best Turkey Rice Porridge.
Dumplings is a real comfort food. I only learned how to make dumplings when I came to Scotland. I learned it from my Chinese friends from China. Ever since then, I make dumplings quite often at home. You can have them boiled and dipped in sauce, pan fry them (called pot stickers) or serve them in soup. It’s a very satisfying meal on it’s own. For those who have picky little/big eaters who don’t like vegetables, dumplings are a great way to hide vegetables.
My daughter hates vegetables. But she loves to eat dumplings. She didn’t see me make them UNTIL ONE FINE DAY she happened to drop by while I was making them. And there she went, “OH….MY…GOSH! You put in SO MUCH vegetables????’ I think she almost passed out…haha. I was so amused that she had been eating all along without knowing how much vegetables she actually ate. So thankful that she continues to enjoy them each time I cook.
Making dumplings is very easy. You can use whatever meat you like. I like to add in a lot of vegetables to the filling. For this beef dumplings, I added carrot, celery, leeks, ginger, garlic and coriander. I processed all the vegetables in a processor before adding to the minced meat. Then add some seasonings like salt, pepper and wine. You can find out more about making dumplings at:
Simple, Easy Chinese Dumplings To Make At Home (Part 1)
Simple, Easy Chinese Dumplings To Make at Home (Part 2)
Simple, Easy Chinese Dumplings To Make At Home (Part 3)
Easy To Cook - Crunchy Dumplings For Snack or Appetizer
A couple of weeks ago I was invited by a lovely Chinese friend for a dumpling dinner. It was a fun evening as all of us help out with the dumplings. We were amused that the dumplings came out in different shapes as some of us were still learning. Here are some of the pictures to show how dumplings are made. Well, until today, I still can’t roll out the dough like the real Chinese do…..*sigh*. I roll it out like rolling out pastry!! Of course no one at home dare to complain otherwise the cook will go on strike……*grin*.
Push a hole through a piece of dough and gently knead the dough around so that the ring becomes bigger and thinner. I don’t do this at home. I cut the dough into strips and then cut them into small pieces. I think this is a better way as the dough gets further kneading to get that chewy texture when you bite into the cooked dumplings.
Break the ring of dough and pinch off into small pieces like the size of marbles. I was told dumplings are not delicious if they are too big. I kept very quiet because my dumplings are usually big as I want to stuff in more filling and also want to save time…..*smile*. Well, as long as there is no master chef, I can get away with it….*wink*.
Press the dough pieces to make for easy rolling.
Roll out the dough pieces….one hand rolling and one hand turning the dough around. It looks easy but I just couldn’t do it. My hands tend to get in knots….haha. You can try that at home and let me know.
The wrap the filling with the dough pieces. We make lots of them….5 big plates! After 3 big plates we started the cooking. The rest we continue to make as we cook and eat. It was such a fun evening!!
Cooking dumplings is very easy if you have the soup ready. You can just boil the dumplings in boiling water like what my friends did and served with some nice sauce or you can do like what I did here. I added the dumplings to the boiling turkey soup. You can also boil the dumplings separately and then add to the soup. I just added to the soup to cook….less pots to wash….*wink*. The soup also taste much better. To make everyone eat more vegetables, I added more vegetables into the soup.
This dish is already very delicious on its own. But to make it even much better, serve it with kimchi. That’s a perfect combination. I am very thankful that a very close Korean friend, Sook, made a jar of kimchi for me last week. I was invited to her house for a lovely Korean meal and came home with a big jar of kimchi! So sweet of her! I was so touched by her friendliness and kindness. Sook’s kimchi has a little sour taste due to the fermentation which I really like. We added some into the soup….mmm….really delicious.
I was totally enjoying my bowl of beef dumplings that I almost forgot to take a picture of kimchi in the soup. Got it just in time before I licked the bowl clean……:*grin*. What a satisfying meal! Everyone was happy and satisfied……*big smiles*
When I first went to Korea, I didn’t like kimchi. One day my Korean friends cooked instant Korean noodles for me and served some kimchi with it, a very mild type, to start me off. They were smart…*big smiles*. I got hooked INSTANTLY! That was SO good. Later they taught me how to make kimchi. I still make whenever I have time but I must say Sook’s kimchi taste much better. To learn how to make kimchi, click How To Make Korean Kimchi.
Note : To make healthier dumplings, I used spelt flour instead of the normal plain flour to make the dumpling skin.
Hope you will try out making dumplings for a meal if you haven’t. You can make it a family affair where everyone helps. It’s fun to make and eat. But mind you, if you ask little kids to help, you need to make more dough because some will disappear and turned into play dough…….*grin*. You will probably end up with some dinosaur dough pieces in the soup!
Quote of the day……
“Most successful men have not achieved their distinction by having some new talent or opportunity presented to them. They have developed the opportunity that was at hand.”
- Bruce Barton
Keep Learning Keep Smiling