Ohh, Wednesday already!  Check out my cute kitchen bunny!  She seemed to enjoy lying against the oven…until I turned it on.  Then back in the litter box she hopped.

I must say that I am very much enjoying her new house bunny-ness.  Girlfriend has an exact internal clock, and it brings me so much joy to feel the dainty brushings of bunny feet on mine while I prepare a little plate of veggies for her.  Sometimes she even follows me around when she thinks I have food for her.  Now if I could only train her to respond to her name…a task for another day I suppose.  Today, we’re making dumplings.

I should back up a second.  These dumplings are a fabulous fusion of Korean and Chinese cuisine.  You might have read the title and wondered to yourself, ‘Hmmm…what is bulgogi?’ (bull-gah-gee)  Well, I’m glad you asked.  I was first introduced to this dish by a Korean friend of mine who said he’d only give the recipe to the girl he would marry.  So I never got that recipe.

That being said, I’ve found some pretty good recipes on the Internet.  Bulgogi is a beef dish characterized by super thin slices of flank steak (or a similar cut) marinated in a sweet, yet savory sauce.  You have to try it to understand the true flavor of bulgogi.

I would absolutely recommend searching out a Korean restaurant if you want to give it a try.  Bulgogi is amazing.  Seriously.  Amazing.  And when you stuff the flavors of bulgogi inside a dumpling wrapper, things get even more amazing.

Added to the mix are also chopped scallions (of course) and chopped up bits of cooked vermicelli noodles (thin bean thread noodles).  The end result is umm…amazing.  I have made these twice now, and have been incredibly happy with the results both times.  Dust off those dumpling crimping skills and get to it!

Bulgogi Dumplings
Prep time: 45 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 1 hour
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 bundle bean thread vermicelli (available at your local Asian market)
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 3 scallions, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup bulgogi marinade (also available at Asian markets or online)
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 package dumpling wrappers
Instructions
  1. Soak the bean thread vermicelli in a bowl filled with hot water for 15 minutes. While the vermicelli is soaking, use a food processor to mince the scallions. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Squeeze the excess water out of the vermicelli and use the food processor to chop into about 1/2″ pieces. Add to the mixing bowl.
  2. Add the ground beef, marinade, and sesame oil and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Get your dumpling wrappers and a small bowl of water out. Wet your finger and trace the edges of the wrapper. Put a spoonful of the filling in the middle and fold in half. Seal center portion of the joined edges. Pleat the edges together from right to left, making sure that the whole thing is totally sealed and place on the tray. Repeat this process until the filling is gone.
  4. To pan-fry the dumplings, heat a frying pan on high and add a Tbsp of vegetable oil once it is hot. Once the oil is hot, add the dumplings one at a time so that they are sitting upright. Once the bottoms are browned, add about a cup of water to the pan and cover it. Let cook for a few minutes until the water is almost all gone. Remove the lid and let the rest of the water cook off. Transfer the dumplings to a serving plate using tongs, and serve alongside soy sauce.

Adapted from The Cooking of Joy