May the (dumpling) Force be with You – Part 1

Jedi Gochugaru and Young Padawan Gochugaru have gone to the cinema.

This leaves me time to write up a recipe for dumpling wrappers.

Making dumplings was not what I had in mind for a Saturday night but that’s what happened at Scout camp last weekend.

The boys were cooking dinner and home-made dumplings was on the menu. A trip to the large supermarket near the campsite didn’t yield any dumpling wrappers but this did not deter them. They decided to make the wrappers themselves.

I really admire their attitude. They had set out to make dumplings and not making dumplings was not an option. So they put fresh prawns, ginger, chilli, garlic, spring onions and a large bag of plain flour in their basket.

Mr Gochugaru loves quoting this line from Master Yoda (in The Empire Strikes Back):

Do. Or do not. There is no try.

Recipe? There was no need because a) they knew what dumpling wrappers should look like and b) they said they could ask me. Since I am ethnically Chinese they may have thought I have some sort of inherent Dumpling Force coursing through my entire being.




After chopping the filling ingredients, it was dumpling wrapper time. I have only made dumpling wrappers twice in 25 years. However once was with a native Beijinger and the other was with a native Shanghainese. So really, I can be considered an expert if put next to anyone who has never made them before.

To make the dumpling wrappers, I poured an amount of flour into a large metal bowl, added a decent amount of water, some oil, and the boys worked the dough until it was pliable. Then we poured some flour onto a metal work surface and rolled out the dough. There being no rolling pin, the boys used a plastic squash bottle. When this proved to be too heavy handed they swapped to a soya sauce bottle. A plastic cup was used to cut out individual wrappers.





After filling the wrappers, the dumplings were placed in an oiled pan. They were initially fried, then a little water was added to steam and finish cooking them. There was no pan cover so we upturned another frying pan which became the lid.




Here are the results. Actually, we didn’t have a serving plate either so a pan lined with foil made for a good substitute. Every year, Masterchef sends its contestants to cook in a field as one of the challenges. They really should film a sequence feeding, say, 150 Scouts in a camp with nothing but the most basic of equipment.





In the next post I will write down some recipes for dumpling wrappers taken from my trusted Chinese cookbooks. The Force will certainly be with us!