We had a family birthday lunch for my big girl on the weekend. She'd asked for dumplings, so dumplings is what she got - I'm a sucker for cooking requests ;-) I spent all morning in the kitchen and prepared dumplings 3 different ways:
Firstly I made my usual mushroom, tofu and spring onion filling with store bought wrappers and put half of them into a simple soup with a base of vegetable stock, adding soy sauce, fresh ginger, chopped bok choy, snow peas, tofu and enoki mushrooms (found at my favourite local Asian food store).
With the other half I made Gyoza or 'potstickers'. I've steamed dumplings plenty of times before, but this time I wanted to try a few different things, so I followed these directions I found on the Herbivoracious blog where the dumplings are fried first and then water is added to the pan. When a lid is fitted it steams them, so they are cooked both ways.
And lastly I tried my hand at the bread-like steamed dumplings like we've had in our favourite cheap'n'cheerful restaurant down the road. They always looked complicated so I hadn't tackled them before, but when I read through the recipe I'd had tucked away in my cooking file for years it didn't sound too hard - and remarkably similar to making bread, which you may know I enjoy. So I gave them a go and they turned out great - phew! These had a filling of shredded chinese cabbage, carrot, ginger and glass noodles. I went with the suggestion of serving them with a dipping sauce of soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and sesame oil, which gave them a bit of a kick.
I was impressed that the steamed buns actually worked, but the most popular dumplings with the birthday girl (and everyone else) were the potstickers. I'd urge you to try making them if you're interested - fun to make and fun to eat ;-)