gluten free asian dumplings

it is a well known fact by my close friends that i love asian food (all kinds) with a passion! i especially tend to crave the things i can’t have … funny how that works. my latest craving for something i can’t have has been asian dumplings … steamed or pan fried with delicious, flavorful pork inside dipped in a slightly sweet soy sauce laced with ginger and garlic.

before moving i found a cookbook called “The Gluten Free Asian Kitchen” written by Laura B. Russell. upon seeing several recipes for gluten free asian dumplings i IMMEDIATELY purchased it! my craving was going to be satisfied at long last! and a masterful job she has done!

well, 6 months later and 2 moves (one of those being to halfway across the country) and a recent conversation with friends inspired me to do something about it! thus, dumpling day was born! this past weekend i finally got a chance to try the recipes out and oh my goodness was it amazing! even the non-gluten free eaters in our midst agreed they were delicious!

i will provide fair warning … this is not a quick process. so settle in and enjoy the process and the fruit of your hard work! also, i tweaked the recipe a bit which i will note below.

Meat Filling:
1 pound ground pork
1-2 tablespoons grated ginger (it depends on how much you like this flavor)
2 teaspoons gluten free soy sauce (tamari is my favorite brand, great flavor! i also prefer low sodium to help cut down on the salt)
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chinese five spice powder
a few turns of fresh ground pepper

put the ground pork in a mixing bowl and add the ingrediants. mix together until combined. to test for flavoring create a small meatball and sautee’ing in a bit of olive oil. Add more spices as needed. set aside and let marinate until it’s time to assemble the dumplings. if it will be a lengthy amount of time, put in the fridge.

Dipping Sauce:
1/2 cup gluten free soy sauce (again, i like tamari low sodium)
2 tablespoons grated ginger (again, depends in the amount of this flavor you prefer)
1 tablespoon minced or grated garlic
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons honey (i prefer to taste the sweet … this is dependent on how sweet you like it)
1/2 teaspoon chinese five spice

combine all the ingrediants and whisk together. taste and adjust as needed. set aside and let the flavors combine.

1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup millet flour (i substituted potato flour for this as I could not find millet flour)
1/2 cup sweet rice flour (plus more for rolling out the dough)
1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons cold water (i used closer to 4 tablespoons to make the dough come together)

stir together all the flours, salt and xanthan gum, add the boiling water and cold water until the dough starts to form. knead the dough and form into a ball. wrap the ball in a damp papertowl if use will be fairly imminent. (if it is going to be a while before it’s used, wrap dough in damp paper town and place dough in resealable bag) dust the counter & rolling pin with additional rice flour and break off small balls. roll into a 3-3.5 inch circle, turning the dough periodically so it doesn’t stick and so it stays pretty round. the dough should be fairly thin. i found it was easiest to work in batches, keeping the unused dough in a damp papertowl if i wasn’t using it.


to assemble dumplings:
ensure all the dough circles, meat and a small bowl of water are ready to assemble. it is also helpful to have a cookie sheet with a damp paper towel laid down nearby to place the dumplings on as they are assembled.

place a small amount of the meat mixture in the middle of the dough circle. dip your fingers in the bowl of water and dampen the edges of the dough circle. lift the sides, forming a half-moon shape around the filling; keep the bottom flat against your hand or the counter. pinch the dough together and ensure it’s sealed. if you can, form two to three pleats along each side, i wasn’t able to accomplish that bit of artistry.


to cook:
dumplings can be steamed using a bamboo steamer or pan fried. i love them both ways, but i found this recipe worked better as pan fried dumplings.

place a small amount of olive oil in a saute pan and heat to medium. when the oil is hot and not quite smoking place the dumplings in the pan being careful not to overcrowd. if the pan becomes overcrowded the dumplings will become mushy. pan fry on each side until brown … 2-3 minutes on each side. i would test one to see about how long it takes … we found about 10 minutes or so did the trick.

serve hot with the dipping sauce! ENJOY!!!


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