Wrap It Up: How To Make Duck Dumplings

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These dumplings can be made with any of your favorite birds, but I believe duck is especially good. You can use either wild or domestic duck. This Chinese-inspired recipe no doubt has a long history because the Chinese were the first to domesticate duck and other birds.

Reprinted with permission from Cooking Wild

Wrap It Up: How To Make Duck Dumplings
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  • 2 cups loosely packed, finely shredded napa cabbage
  • About 1/2 cup ground duck meat
  • 1 green onion
  • About 4 medium fresh Shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/4 bunch chives
  • 1 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sake
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot chili oil
  • 20 round Asian dumpling wrappers (3-inch) diameter
  • canola oil
  • sesame oil
  1. :::filling:::
  2. In a bowl, combine the 2 cups cabbage, duck meat, green onion, mushrooms, chives, ginger, sesame oil, sake, garlic, and soy sauce. Gently mix until just combined. Do not overmix.
  3. :::sauce:::
  4. In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, vinegar, and hot chili oil. Set aside.
  5. :::dumplings:::
  6. Place the dumpling wrappers on a work surface and keep covered with a clean, slightly damp kitchen or paper towel. Line a sheet pan with waxed or parchment paper for the assembled dumplings, and place a small bowl with water next to the work surface.
  7. Holding a wrapper on the palm of one hand, place about 1 teaspoon of the filling in the center of the wrap­per. With a fingertip, swipe one half of the edge of the wrapper with a little water, then fold over the other edge to meet the dampened edge, enclosing the filling and pinching to seal securely. With your fingers, make three or four evenly placed pleats along the sealed edge and place the dumpling flat-side down (pleats facing upward) on the prepared pan. Repeat until all of the filling has been used.
  8. Heat a large sauté pan with a lid over medium heat. Once hot, add enough canola and sesame oil (2 parts canola to 1 part sesame) to coat the bottom of the pan. Swirl to distribute and allow the oil to heat. Test the oil temperature by flicking just a drop of water into the pan. If it sizzles instantly, the pan is ready. You will need to work in batches of 10 dumplings in the pan at a time.
  9. Place the dumplings in the pan flat-side down as they were on the sheet pan, lining them up neatly to prevent touching. Cook undisturbed, until the bottoms are lightly browned, about 3 minutes. You may need to adjust your heat, possibly turning it down, to attain the right color in 3 minutes, so keep your eye on them.
  10. Move the pan off the heat to a cool part of your range for 1 minute. NOTE: If the oil is too hot when you add the water, it can ignite and splatter. Stand back and add about ⅛ inch of water, cover, and return the pan heat to medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes. Uncover and cook a few minutes longer to evaporate the water and crisp the bottom of the dumplings. The dumplings should be a deep golden brown. Carefully remove from the heat, being careful not to tear the wrappers. Repeat with the remaining dumplings until all are cooked.
  11. Arrange a little bit of shredded cabbage on a serving plate. Add the dumplings browned-side up. Serve with the dipping sauce.
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