Juicy chicken, flavorful vegetables and aromatic garlic and ginger in every bite! The perfect hors d’oeuvre or appetizer that you won’t be able to stop eating!My 10-year-old came downstairs recently with tears in his eyes, saying we had to help the red pandas. They’re in danger of becoming endangered.
When I asked him to explain, he said that he was googling red panda facts, because he thinks they’re cute. He discovered that their habitat in the Eastern Himalayas is in decline – and he really wanted to help. I may be biased, but certainly this is one of the sweetest souls around. He then googled, “How can I help the red pandas?” and found the Red Panda Network. After confirming this was a good organization, we symbolically adopted a red panda.What does any of this have to do with dumplings, you ask?
Well, here’s what came next . . .
My son felt good about the little we’d done for the red pandas, but it wasn’t enough. He wanted to spread the word, and came up with a great (delicious) idea!
On his own, he began searching for “foods from Nepal,” where a great percentage of the red pandas live. He said we should come up with a typical Nepalese recipe that I could put on Cooking On The Weekends, and that, that would be a great segue for me to tell my readers how to help the red pandas. Brilliant, I tell you! Momo is a traditional delicacy in Nepal — it’s a bite-size dumpling with a meat or vegetable filling, wrapped in a dough and accompanied by spicy sauce. I hope you like our Momo recipe, which is by no means authentic, but I’m hoping you’ll find it incredibly delicious. Please check out the Red Panda Network and learn more about red pandas and their situation.
Believe me, I know there are dozens upon dozens of animals – and other causes that need our help. We can all only do what we can, and today I’m honoring my son, and his desire to help red pandas.
Whatever you do, please make this recipe — it’s so tasty!
- 1-pound ground chicken
- ⅓ cup finely grated, peeled carrots
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped, fresh cilantro, washed and dried
- 2½ tablespoons Mirin (sweet rice wine)
- 2 finely chopped green onions
- 2 tablespoons ginger pulp
- 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
- 1½ tablespoons grape seed oil, plus more for the pan
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- a few turns freshly ground black pepper
- about 4 dozen round (3½-inch) gyoza/potsticker wrappers
- ¼ cup water
- In a small dish, combine the black vinegar with the honey and chile paste. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the gyoza/potsticker wrappers. Mix only long enough to evenly combine the ingredients.
- Place several of the gyoza/potsticker wrappers on a clean, dry surface and drop about 1½ teaspoons of the chicken mixture in the center of each one. (If you have a cookie scoop this size, that's perfect.)
- Next, wet your fingertip with water and run it along the entire edge of the wrappers (one at a time) -- this will work as glue. Now carefully, bring all of the edges together, to wrap up the chicken mixture, into a little bundle, and then gently pinch the top so it adheres together.
- Coat the bottom of a medium-sized sauté pan (about 10-inch) generously with grape seed oil and place it over medium-high heat. Once it's sizzling hot, add as many of the dumplings as you can without crowding the pan -- there should be about an inch between them. (You will do this in a few batches.) Let them sauté for about 1 minute, to brown the bottoms. Then add about ¼ cup of water to the bottom of the pan, turn the heat to the lowest setting, and cover the pan with a lid or foil. Let the dumplings steam for about 3 minutes, just long enough to cook the chicken. Use a small metal spatula to lift them from the pan. Repeat this until all of the dumplings are cooked.
- While they're still hot, serve them with the sauce on the side.