Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Yellow Split Pea Dumplings

I love dumplings; those savory, versatile, portable, plump, little packages of deliciousness. Truly cross cultural, dumplings are found in traditional cuisines from all over the globe. From matzah balls, wontons, gnocchi and pierogi to empanadas, gyoza and samosas, I love them all. Here is a not so traditional but totally simple dumpling recipe you can make in an afternoon and enjoy all week long. Since they are delicious at room temperature too, they are great candidates for potlucks and party finger food. 

For the Dumplings:
1 package dumpling/potsticker wrappers (round)
1/4 cup vegetable oil (sunflower or canola)
1/2 cup chopped shallots
salt to taste
2 cups cooked yellow split peas
extra oil to fry dumpling in
sesame seeds for garnish, optional

For the Dipping Sauce:
1 serrano chile, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup tamari
1/4 cup water

Process the split peas in a food processor until they are light and fluffy. Set aside. To make the sauce combine the serrano, sugar, tamari and water in a bowl and set aside for serving with the finished dumplings.

Saute the shallots in the oil until golden brown. Add the split peas and salt and combine well. Check the texture, you want the filling to hold together when you pinch it. If it's too soupy cook off the excess water for a few minutes, or add a splash if it's too dry. Remove from heat.

Now it's time to make the dumplings. Lightly flour a clean counter or table top and keep a small bowl of water at hand to dip your fingers in. You want to work in batches otherwise you'll be at this for hours, so lay out a dozen wrappers to start. Drop a small spoonful of filling off center on each wrapper. Dip your fingers in the water bowl and run them along the outer edge of each wrapper. Fold them in half, trying to keep out air bubbles, then pinch with your fingers to seal. As you pinch the edges, press the dumplings lightly so that they have flat bottoms to stand on. The bottoms get nice and crunchy when you fry them! Do this until you either run out of filling or wrappers.

To fry the dumplings, heat one or two tablespoons of oil in a cast iron pan over medium high heat. Fry the dumplings seam sides up for a few minutes until the bottoms are golden brown and crunchy. Carefully pour 1/3 cup of water into the pan and immediately cover with a large lid, being careful not to burn yourself with flying hot oil and steam. Let the dumplings steam for a few more minutes until the water is mostly absorbed. You might need to reduce the heat so that the bottoms don't get too scorched. Cook the rest in batches (or freeze and fry later) and serve with the sauce and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.

Original recipe from