Friday, June 26, 2009

beloved kimchee

I love kimchee. I love to eat
it with rice. But I also like to
think of ways to eat it almost
on its own, just so no one
thinks I'm too crazy. Gyoza, or
dumplings, are a perfect
kimchee delivery device.

As I'm all about convenience and
simplicity (and what parent isn't), I head to the Korean market and pick up some jumbo gyoza skins. They're about 3 inches in diameter, with simple ingredients: wheat flour, tapioca starch, salt. If you're vegan too, you may have to check a few packages to find some without eggs, because probably three-quarters of the gyoza skins I've seen contain egg white...Or you could make your own pretty easily. As for the kimchee, I buy mine at Whole Foods or a regular supermarket...saves me from combing through non-vegan bonito-laden kimchee at the asian markets that look delicious but alas contain one or more vegetarian un-friendly ingredients.

I usually thaw a package of frozen gyoza wrappers for an hour on the counter, then refrigerate overnight until I'm ready to use them. I often use half the package, then pop the rest back in the freezer. The re-freezing hasn't affected their quality in my opinion provided I use them with the month.

When making vegetable gyoza/dumplings, I prefer the health benefits of steaming or microwaving. But when dealing with my kimchee obsession, I recommend frying in peanut oil all the way!

Kimchee Dumplings

1/2 package jumbo gyoza skins
water for sealing
1/4 cup kimchee
peanut oil
soy sauce (optional)

First, lay out your thawed
gyoza circles on your work
surface. Next, place a small amount of drained kimchee in the lower half of each circle. Dip a finger in a small bowl of water and dab around half the edge (sort of like painting a smiley face wth watercolors). Fold down the top half of the gyoza skin. Then pick it up a crimp a few times--I usually start with one crimp in the middle, then do two more on each side.

Next, pour enough peanut
oil in to cover the bottom of
a non-stick skillet or wok.
Heat the oil over med-high.
Gently add your dumplings,
arranging them so they do
not touch (it usually takes me
two batches). Cook about 45
seconds, then turn over with
a pair of tongs (I use tempura tongs). Cook for another minute or so. Drain on a paper towel or tempura paper.

Serve with soy sauce for dipping (optional). The crunchy, spicy, vinegary taste of the kimchee combined with the crispy, savory fried gyoza skins is soooo tasty...and a quick dip in salty soy sauce is delish.
I love these with some cold soba noodles and sliced green onion...for breakfast. LOL.
And my pickiest son AJ will gladly eat them with me! Imagine!!

Of course he'd prefer to
follow that with his favourite
lunch of tofu-spinach stuffed
pasta shells!


Anonymous said...

Funny about your son! That's something I did often, have whatever was being made as a "starter" and then dive into my own staple fav. Your kimchee dumplings came out folded really well - every time I try to make a folded-over stuffed dish the folds seem to fall apart.

Barefoot Books said...

I can't use nut oils. What other oil would you recommend?

veganf said...

Won't taste exactly the same, but I'd go with canola or sunflower oil in lieu of nut oil.