Friday, January 17, 2014

Beef and Orange Dumplings

My faith in humanity is often challenged.  Occasionally to the point of being nonexistent.  From the lack of action on climate change to the lack of a truly universal health care system, I find myself in despair.

These spirals of despair, however, are punctuated with little bursts of light that shine on the goodness in this world.  One such light is the existence of dumplings.  We, as a species, did good there.

Dumplings are little edible presents.  However, instead of being unwrapped with fingers and hands, with bows and papers being flung in the air with wild abandon, one’s mouth tears apart a dough to get to the delectable combination that awaits inside – be it vegetables, meats, or something sweet.

Are not dumplings some of the absolute best food?  Indeed, the answer would be yes.  Yes, they are absolutely wonderful.  Yes, they are absolutely delicious.  How can the answer to this question be anything but an emphatic and resounding YES!

Our love of biting into dumplings knows no bounds, so we were so ridiculously excited to get this month's Creative Cooking Crew Challenge  - dumplings! This month's challenge is hosted by Joan from Foodalogue, so be sure to check back here later in the month for the link to the round-up!

Here we filled wonton wrappers with minced Kobe beef, 5-spice powder, and a bit of orange flavor. The dumplings were boiled and then coated with a serving sauce spiked with a hint of orange blossom water. Heaps of freshness were added before serving as well - mint leaves, scallions, and slices of jalapenos (for those who have a taste for spicy).  A restoration of faith in the good.

Note: I adore the book Asian Dumplings by Andrea Nguyen - her book has been a huge influence on any dumpling prowess I may possess.  I wholeheartedly suggest picking up her book if you are interested in dumpling  making!

For the dumplings:
5-6 ounces Kobe beef, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice wine
1/2 teaspoon 5-spice powder
pinch kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon cara cara orange juice
splash orange blossom water
1 teaspoon coconut oil, melted

For assembling the dumplings:
25-30 wonton wrappers
beef mixture
small bowl of water

For the serving sauce:
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water
2 tablespoons cara cara orange juice
pinch 5-spice powder
1 tablespoon sesame oil
handful sliced jalapenos
2 garlic cloves, minced
torn scallions
generous handful of torn mint leaves

To make the filling:
In a medium bowl, mix the beef with the garlic and ginger.  In a small bowl, whisk soy sauce, rice wine, 5-spice, salt, pepper, orange juice, orange blossom water, and oil.  Pour the mixture over the beef mixture.  Set aside, allowing the flavors to come together for at least 30 minutes.

To assemble the dumplings:
Take a wonton wrapper and place in the palm of your hand. Place ½ tablespoon of the mixture in the middle. Dab water around 3 adjacent edges and fold into a rectangle shape.  Then bring the ends together to make a round-ish sort of shape.  Repeat until the mixture has been used up (makes 25-30 dumplings).

Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Drop 6 or 7 dumplings into the water.  Once the dumplings float to the top, allow them to cook for three more minutes.  Use a slotted spoon to remove the dumplings.  

To make the serving sauce:
Place dumplings in shallow serving dish. Stir together soy sauce, canola oil, orange blossom water, orange juice, 5-spice powder, and sesame oil.  Pour mixture over dumplings.  Scatter jalapenos, garlic, scallions, and mint leaves on top.


  1. i'm loving the cara cars oranges this year, these dumplings look awesome!

  2. Yes, dumplings are wonderful! I'm not brave enough to try making my own but this recipe looks doable. :D

  3. Yum, these dumplings sound amazeballs. And they look so pretty too!

  4. I so agree with you Jenn, I LoVE dumplings !
    These look especially yummy with wonderful Kobe beef and orange flavor mixture.

  5. What fantastic looking dumplings!

  6. I love dumplings and i hate our health care disaster. These do help ease that pain.

  7. These dumplings look mouthwatering, Jenn.

  8. Such delicious dumplings, bursting with such fragrance :D


  9. what a unique flavor combination and if thats thai basil I see I can only imagine how it helped to enhance the flavors.

  10. Dumplings are definitely the best food, especially now that I'll forever see them as presents. could totally freeze these and mail them my way right? :)

  11. Yum! How good does that sound! The combination of beer and orange sounds amazing.

  12. Its funny but after any trip the first thing I do is go for dumplings. I love this recipe of yours...

  13. There is nothing as good as orange with meat, I am a huge fan and love it madly. These are great dumplings.

  14. I agree with you on the lack of any faith in humanity. These fantastic little bundles of joy are a winner.

  15. Asian Dumplings is one of my cooking bibles as well and I am so glad to see that it has inspired your lovely dumplings here! I love the flavors and can't wait to try this out someday. Pinned it :-D

  16. Sounds and looks really good. I love orange and beef, esp cara cara oranges, so sweet! My hat goes off to anyone that takes the time to make filled dumplings, they are so time consuming! Yours are pretty too. And thanks for the tip on Nguyen, I will check her out (need dumpling help!)

  17. Beef, orang end jalapeño. Yes please! Nice!

  18. Really stunning dumplings, very appetizing. Love the orange blossom water touch.

  19. I adore dumplings and these ones look absolutely fantastic! So much flavor in every bite. Yum!! :)

  20. Mmmmm this looks delish!! This pregnancy I have been LOVING dumplings… just might have to try this!

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