No horse run

Postcard in a bush picturing a horse with a line through it and the printed text, 'Singapore No Horse Run'.

No horse run: both a dumpling bar and a saying meaning ‘one of a kind’ in Singapore.

I’ve been Postcrossing for a little over a year now. The postcards contain such interesting cultural morsels from exotic locations all around the world. There have even been some interesting dumpling insights.

I recently received this great postcard from Thomas in Singapore. It’s a fantastic combination of two of my favourite things: dumplings and unusual sayings. Thomas writes, “Hope you like this card about a dim sum bar in Singapore. ‘No horse run’ is a local lingo meaning ‘one of a kind’!”

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Happy National Apple Dumpling Day. Maybe.

Hand holding soap shaped like an apple dumpling.

Celebrating National Apple Dumpling Day with some sweet-scented soaps.

I’ll hand it to the United States, who may have come up with a particularly cheery sounding celebration: National Apple Dumpling Day. Although this event is mentioned in various places across the internet, I can’t find out much about it other than the date, 17 September. I’ve been digging around to find out more about the history, but haven’t turned over much. If anyone out there has a little more info, I’d be keen to hear it!

Whether the day is broadly celebrated or not, it’s a good opportunity to get stuck into some apple dumplings. At the moment I’m sick as a dog, so I won’t be making any myself. Instead I’m going to kick back and take a nice long soak in the bath with some adorable apple dumpling soaps! Postage of these gems to Australia is unfortunately a little hefty, so it’s taken me a little while to get around to putting in my order. But what a way to indulge, with sweet-smelling, vegan spa treats.

Zucchini balls

These days I’m living in a sulfur intolerant household. This wipes out the possibility of using a bunch of ingredients typically found in savoury dumplings, including egg, onion and garlic. This was my first attempt at dumpling we could all get stuck into.Balls of dough frying in a pan.

Ingredients

  • Large zucchini
  • No egg (natural egg replacer)
  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped mint
  • 175 g natural yoghurt
  • Oil for deep frying

Method

  1. Grate the zucchini.
  2. Make up one egg’s worth of No egg, as directed on the packet.
  3. Mix the zucchini, No egg, flour, cheese and milk.
  4. Pour enough oil into a frying pan to shallow fry the balls.
  5. Make 2-3 cm balls from the mix and carefully place them in the hot oil, turning them as they cook to make sure they brown evenly.
  6. Drain the zucchini balls on paper towel.
  7. Mix the mint through the yoghurt.
  8. Serve the zucchini balls while hot, with mint yoghurt for dipping.

Broccoli-Cheddar Hushpuppies

Jasmine Leong:

These look amazing! I’m definitely going to have to give these a go. They look like the perfect comfort food.

Originally posted on Katie at the Kitchen Door:

Broccoli-Cheddar Hushpuppies with Sriracha Aioli {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

Happy April, everyone! I’m so glad we’re done with all that January-February-March-extended winter business. I spent the weekend celebrating the warm weather (and Easter!) with some serious gardening and some playing with my new camera and some scalloped potatoes and ham. It was a much-needed break from being indoors stuck in front of a computer screen.

March Garden Collage (800x1200)

I’ve got another recipe from The Chef’s Collaborative Cookbook today (check out my full review – and a recipe for Thai Pork Sliders – here). Hushpuppies are a treat that I haven’t had in a while, so I was stoked to see a recipe for them in The Chef’s Collaborative. I’d never really heard of them before moving to North Carolina, but while I lived there they were a staple side order with my pulled pork sandwiches. The greasy BBQ-joint version of hushpuppies (like the ones from Bullock’s that my roommate always drove…

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Crispy wontons

Hand holding crispy wonton

Golden ingot shaped crispy wontons!

Not so long ago, I held a “dumpling extravaganza” to celebrate Chinese New Year with friends. When I was young, we would go to my grandma’s for a big family dinner at this time of year. Her crispy wontons were always my favourite. As such, I had a go at my own recipe this year. Not as good as grandma’s but not bad!

Ingredients

  • 500 g pork mince
  • 275 g water chestnuts, diced
  • 24 raw prawns, diced
  • 3 whole spring onions, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 tbsp chinese wine
  • 4 tsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • Wonton wrappers
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Method

  1. Mix the pork, water chestnuts, prawns, spring onions, garlic, wine, soy sauce, sesame oil and sugar in a bowl to make the filling. Leave to marinade for at least 2 hours.
  2. Place 1 tsp filling in a wonton wrapper and fold. (In half is fine with a little water to seal the wrapper shut, but I folded them like ingots for good luck!) Repeat for other dumplings.
  3. Heat oil in a pot. When the oil is hot, deep fry the dumplings for 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown.
  4. Drain the dumplings on paper towel to remove excess oil.
  5. Serve while hot!

Gombóc smacked

A gomboc dumpling served on a plate with sour cream.This is an eastern European plum dumpling recipe for gombóc. The version below has been adapted from Hungarian instructions.

Perhaps the plums I used weren’t ripe enough, but these dumplings were SOUR!  I used black plums, but many people use damson or Italian prune plums, which sound like they are sweeter. (Know more about it? Please leave a comment.)

I served these dumplings to some very forgiving friends who pulled the most amazing sour faces. It’s not an experience we’ll soon forget. The flavour was enhanced by ‘sprinkling’, more accurately ‘pouring’, sugar on top of the dumpling. The crust was a winner though, amazingly tasty. As such I might try making these dumplings again, but perhaps with apricots or nectarines, hoping for a sweeter finish.

Ingredients

  • 3 medium potatoes
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 6 ripe plums
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • sour cream

Method

  1. Peel and dice the potatoes and boil them in a pot until soft.
  2. Mash the potatoes and let them cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Combine the potatoes, eggs and salt in a large bowl.
  4. Add flour and knead the ingredients until a soft dough forms.
  5. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 mins.
  6. Boil a large pot of water.
  7. Roll dough to a little more than 0.5 cm thick. Cut into 6 x 6 cm squares.
  8. Remove pits from the plums by cutting each plum almost in two (but not all the way through). Fill the centre of the plums with cinnamon sugar.
  9. Place a plum in the centre of each dough square and fold the dough over the plum.
  10. Roll the dumpling into a ball, making sure edges are sealed.
  11. Carefully drop dumplings into boiling water.
  12. Cook until the dumplings float to the surface, then cook for an additional 10 minutes.
  13. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large frying pan, add bread crumbs and brown them.
  14. Use a slotted spoon to remove the dumplings from the pot, transferring them to the frying pan to coat them in bread crumbs.
  15. Serve with LOTS more cinnamon sugar and sour cream.

Christmas dumplings (for cheats)

Little biscuit that looks like a pudding.This is one of the easiest recipes ever. Actually, I’m not even sure you can all it a recipe. It’s more like a little embellishment … like when you say you made these yourself! It takes 10 minutes from opening the packets to finish. Merry Christmas!

Ingredients

  • 80 g white chocolate melts
  • 12 dark chocolate Royals biscuits
  • 12 Jaffas
  • 3 spearmint leaves

Method

  1. Cut each of the spearmint leaves into four smaller leaves.
  2. Place the white chocolate melts into a microwave-proof bowl. Microwave on medium, stirring every 30 seconds until fully melted.
  3. Pour the melted chocolate into a small plastic bag. Cut off one corner of the bag. Use the bag to pipe white chocolate on the biscuits. It should drip as if it were custard.
  4. Pop a Jaffa and a small spearmint leaf on top of the white chocolate on each biscuit.

Where did she go?

Biscuits shaped like hedgehogs

I haven’t been making quite as many dumplings as I’d like. Instead I’ve been writing 50 000 words as part of National Novel Writing Month! Now it’s all over and time to get stuck back into the dumpling making. I’m looking forward to trying out some Christmas recipes.

Here are some hedgehog shortbread biscuits I made recently from a recipe I found on Pinterest*. They are as cute as dumplings, but they don’t quite count according some dumpling definitions. Although they’re time consuming, they’re quite simple to make. I think they’d be great as gifts.

*Note that I swapped the walnuts in the recipe for blanched almonds.

12 days of Dumpling

Dog dressed as a tacoLooking for something adorably entertaining this Halloween? Here’s a French bulldog called Dumpling, who has been dressed up in 12 different food-themed Halloween costumes. Don’t worry, there’s more!

Do you know your dumplings?

Do you know your dumplings?

There are a few dumplings on this poster I haven’t tried. Time to investigate! Artwork by Eliza Stein.