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Rainbow Dumplings
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Recipe Intro From farmandapron

The beauty of dumplings is once you have a few basics down, it’s easy to play around with the fillings depending on what is in season or in your kitchen. They take a little time to make and are completely worth it. This recipe makes a bunch of dumplings with homemade food coloring using vegetables and spices. If you’re not up for that additional step, you can shop vegetable/spice food dyes and add those to the dumpling water to tint your dumpling skin. The recipe for the dumpling wrapper used here comes from Cynthia of Two Red Bowls’ new cookbook, A Common Table. I’ve included the proportions she recommends, but I highly recommend picking up a copy of her book because it’s filled with delicious recipes. Make her
red cooked pork – you’re welcome. The filling is a mélange of protein and vegetables, depending on your preference you can use ground pork, chicken, turkey or beef. Most dumplings call for pork which is delicious, but I’ve found turkey or chicken work equally well. To the meat, add finely chopped cabbage, scallions, and mushrooms, all of which will add lightness and flavor to the filling. And finally, a soy & sesame oil-based marinade to make sure each bite is seasoned well.

Happy New Year! 🐷🎉❤️🥟 . I hope your year is full of all the dumplings and steamed buns! #lunarnewyear #dumplingsfordays -@farmandapron

Details

Prep time 8hrs
Cook time 1hr
Serves or Makes: 30
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Recipe

For the Natural Red Food Dye

ingredients

  • 2/ 3 cups beet root powder
  • 1 1/ 2 cups water

For the Natural Yellow Food Dye

ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons ground turmeric
  • 1 1/ 2 cups water

For the Natural Green Food Dye

ingredients

  • 8 cups spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup water

For the Natural Blue Food Dye

ingredients

  • 4 cups purple cabbage, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/ 2 cups water

For Each Color of Dumpling Dough

ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus up to 1/4 cup more for kneading and rolling (13 1/2 cups total for 6 colors of dough)
  • 1/ 2 teaspoon salt, 3 teaspoons total for 6 colors of dough
  • 3/ 4 cups 4 1/2 cups total for 6 colors of dough boiling water
  • Natural food dyes, optional

For the Pork Filling (Enough for 20 Dumplings)

ingredients

  • 1/ 3 pound ground pork
  • 2/ 3 cups green cabbage, minced
  • 1/ 2 cup Cremini mushrooms, minced
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/ 4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon sweet rice wine
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/ 2 teaspoon salt

For the Vegetarian Filling (Enough for 20 Dumplings)

ingredients

  • 2 cups red kale, minced
  • 1 cup green cabbage, minced
  • 1/ 2 cup Cremini mushrooms, minced
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/ 4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/ 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds

To Make the Natural Red Food Dye

Method

  • Step 1

    Mix the beet powder and water in a bowl, stir to combine. Let set for 15 minutes and then strain to remove any beet solids. Set the tinted liquid aside in a mason jar until ready for use.

To Make the Natural Orange Food Dye

Method

  • Step 1

    Combine 1/4th cup of red natural food dye and ½ cup of yellow natural food dye to make about 3/4ths of a cup of orange natural food dye.

To Make the Natural Yellow Food Dye

Method

  • Step 1

    Add the ground turmeric and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let the turmeric steep for 5 minutes. Set aside in a mason jar until ready for use.

To Make the Natural Green Food Dye

Method

  • Step 1

    Combine the chopped spinach and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to wilt and incorporate all of the spinach into the water. Let boil for 5 minutes, then remove from heat, and strain the spinach solids out. Set the tinted liquid aside in a mason jar until ready for use.

To Make the Natural Blue Food Dye

Method

  • Step 1

    Combine the chopped purple cabbage and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to incorporate the cabbage into the water. Let boil for 5-10 minutes and then strain the cabbage solids out. Set the tinted liquid aside in a mason jar until ready for use.

To Make the Dumpling Dough

Method

  • Step 1

    Start by making each of your dumpling doughs. These can be made a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use them the following day.

  • Step 2

    In a medium sized bowl, add 2 cups of flour, ½ tsp salt, and stir to combine.

  • Step 3

    If you are making a colored dumpling dough, you want to use the naturally colored dye liquid in place of the water. In a measuring glass, add ¾ cup boiling water (or ¾ cup tinted coloring dye). Slowly pour the hot water into the flour and salt mixture and stir to combine until a shaggy dough starts to form. Turn the dough out onto the counter and knead for about 5-10 minutes until it becomes one mass and is smooth and elastic, sprinkling additional flour on your surface or the dough if either becomes too sticky. Place the dough in a plastic bag or completely wrapped in plastic wrap and let it rest for at least 15 minutes, up to 2 hours, or in the refrigerator for 1 day. Giving the dough time to rest will help the moisture soak into the flour which will make it an easier consistency to work with when you begin rolling your dumpling skins out.

  • Step 4

    Repeat the above step for each dumpling color you want to make, swapping out the ¾ cup of water for ¾ cup of natural colored dye liquid.

To Make the Dumpling Filling and Assemble

Method

  • Step 1

    Make sure you have all your ingredients ready. I recommend using a blender to prepare the vegetables because they’re best when fine and evenly minced. Then, in a separate bowl for each dumpling type, combine all the dumpling filling ingredients for the dumpling color you’re making and stir well. Prepare all the fillings needed for the dumplings you’re going to assemble. You can store them covered in the refrigerator while you make the next or until you’re ready to fill.

  • Step 2

    To prepare your dumpling skins: Take one color of dumpling dough and remove from the plastic bag or wrap. Slice the dough into four equal sections, setting one out to use and covering the remaining three with the plastic bag or wrap to keep from drying out. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface into a short cylinder, then cut into 5 even pieces. Use a small Chinese rolling pin, dowel, or even a small glass or bottle to roll each piece of dough into a small circle about 3 ½ to 4 inches in diameter. The goal is to use a bit more pressure on the outside edges and slightly less on the center to help create an even dumpling dough when it’s pleated. Flour lightly and set aside, covered.

  • Step 3

    To fill the dumplings: Place 2 to 3 tbsp of filling in the center of a dumpling wrapper. To pleat your dumplings, place the dumpling wrapper with filling into the palm of your non-dominant hand, using your dominant hand - pinch the side of the dumpling to itself on one edge and then begin making additional small folds along the same side to pleat, pressing every additional pleat into the unpleated dough edge. Continue crimping/pleating the seam of the dumpling until you reach the far corner. Set aside on a plate or cookie sheet, covered, as you fill all additional dumplings.

  • Step 4

    Once the dumplings are assembled, you can freeze them on a cookie sheet for 1 hour and then store in freezer bags for future serving.

  • Step 5

    To cook the dumplings, place the fresh or frozen dumplings in a bamboo steamer lined with parchment paper rounds with periodic holes cut into them (this will allow the steam to rise evenly throughout the basket but keep your dumplings from sticking to the bamboo). Add about 2-4 inches of water to a pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, place the bamboo steamer over the pot, and let steam for 15 minutes. Serve immediately alongside your favorite dipping sauce or hot sauce.