A weekly obsession

It’s fair to say that I have a bit of an obsessive gene. I’m either all in or all out and it’s rare for me to do something half-hearted.

So, when it comes to my current food obsession, the humble dumpling, I just can’t get enough of them. They are my go to for a quick any time meal. I cannot confirm or deny that we may have eaten them five nights in a row recently.

In the interests of time, I usually use pre-made dumpling skins (hush my mouth). I’ll definitely spend more time refining home-made skins when I get a tick but, in the meantime, the frozen ones are convenient and a means to an end (and they are made right here in Wellington).

Dumplings are super easy to make and fillings are only limited by your imagination. Here’s my “drinks with the mums” smoked chicken filling and the vegetarian version I made with the children this week.

What you’ll need

20160710_15093325 pre-bought dumpling skins

Cooking oil

Soy Sauce – for dipping


1 small red onion

2 cloves garlic

1 small/medium carrot

2 cups finely sliced shredded greens (eg, silverbeet, spinach, cabbage)

2 Tbsp parsley, finely chopped (measured when chopped)



Smoked Chicken

1 small red onion

2 cloves garlic

1 stalk celery (optional)

1 small/medium carrot

1/2 smoked chicken breast


What to do:


Finely chop the onion and saute until soft. Add the finely chopped garlic and cook for a further two minutes.

Add the shredded greens to the onion mixture, stir and cook for another few minutes until they have softened. Remove pan from the heat and transfer the vegetables to a bowl to cool down. Peel and grate the carrot. When the sautéed vegetables have cooled, add the carrot and parsley to the mixture. Grind in some salt and pepper and mix.

Smoked chicken

20160710_150844Sauté the onions, add the celery, then the garlic. Transfer to a bowl to cool down and add grated carrot. Finely chop the smoked chicken and mix in with the veges. Season with pepper – I don’t worry about salt as the chicken is salty enough.

Fill dumplings

Fill a cup with cold water.

20160710_151850Set out dumpling skins on the bench and put about a teaspoonful of mixture just below the centre.

20160710_153618Dip your finger in the water and run it around the outside of the dumpling skin. Then fold the skin over and seal the edges tightly with your fingertips (make sure there are no gaps). Repeat with remaining dumplings. If not cooking immediately, cover them with a damp cloth.

Cook dumplings

20160712_115517Heat a splash of cooking oil in a fry pan over a high heat. Put dumplings into the pan and fry for about two minutes until the underside turns golden.

Add about half a cup of water to the pan (depending on the size of the pan) and cover with the lid. Steam for about four minutes until most of the water has evaporated and the dumplings have cooked.

20160712_115717(0)Remove dumplings from the pan and serve with a soy sauce based dipping sauce.

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