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Photos, Recipes & CookTales For Those Who Enjoy Cooking


A CookTale

Cathie’s wonderful dad is 99 years old, actually in his 100th year, and as full of vim and vigor as a yearling. Yesterday was her day to visit. Left to my own devices, I squirreled through the freezer and came up with a bag of dumplings that I recently made.
That along with braised Napa Cabbage constituted my simple supper. For some odd reason, the pleasure I derive from making my own vs the simplicity of store bought continually drags me back to the kitchen counter. Actually with easily available dumpling wrappers, the preparation is quite easy.


12 oz of ground Beef or Pork
1 TB of Soy sauce
1 TB of Cornstarch
1 tsp of minced fresh Ginger
3/4 cup of Scallions minced (green & white parts)
1/2 tsp of Sugar
2 tsp of Sesame Oil
Pinch of Salt
About 36 round Dumpling wrappers (purchased premade)
3 tTB of Vegetable Oil
3/4 cup of Water

1 cup Chinese Rice Vinegar
1/2 tsp of minced fresh Ginger
1 tsp of Sesame Oil
1 TB of minced fresh Cilantro
1/4 cup of Soy Sauce
1 TB of Sugar


1. To make the dipping sauce, whisk together the Rice Vinegar, Ginger, Sesame Oil, Cilantro, Soy Sauce & Sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.

2. To make the Dumplings, combine the Meat, Soy Sauce, Cornstarch, Ginger, Scallions, Sugar, Sesame Oil & Salt in a bowl. Stir with a chopstick until just mixed. Fill a small bowl with a little water. Hold a Dumpling Wrapper in the palm of your hand & place 1 tsp of filling in the center. Dip your finger in the bowl of water& run it around the edge to help make a good seal. Lightly fold the wrapper over on itself, but don’t touch the edges together. Starting at one end, use your fingers to make a small pleat on the side of the wrapper closest to you, then press the pleat into the other side & pinch together firmly. Keep making pleats down the dumpling opening in this way until completely sealed. Repeat this process with the remaining filling and wrappers. Freeze any dumplings that you don’t intend to cook.

3. Heat 1 TB of the vegetable oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place as many Dumplings as you can, pleat side up in the pan so that they are just touching each other. Cover & cook for 1 minute. Decrease the heat to medium-low, pour 1/4 cup of Water into the pan, & cook covered, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until all the Water is absorbed by the Dumplings & their bottoms have lightly browned. Repeat this if necessary with the remaining Dumplings, Oil, & Water. 

4. Serve the dumplings with a side of the dipping sauce.

RECIPE Napa Cabbage

Napa Cabbage (Half a head)
1 small Onion (thinly sliced)
Chicken Broth
Kosher Salt & Pepper
1 tsp of a Chinese hot oil
Soy Sauce
1 TB of Vegetable Oil


1. Ina large bowl, shred the Cabbage, Slice the Onion & combine.

2. Ina large saute pan, add the TB of Vegetable Oil. Add the Cabbage & Onion, saute until beginning to soften, add the Salt, Pepper & Chinese hot oil. Mix together. Cover & cook until the mixture is completely softened. Adding a splash of Soy Sauce is optional.

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