Does dumpling meat filling have to be raw before wrapping?

To make the dumpling filling stick to the wrapper, it has to be sticky. That’s really the main reason why the meat is minced and a little flour or starch is optionally added as a binder. If the filling is wet (i.e., watery) rather than sticky, as is the case with already cooked meat, the filling will pull away from the wrapper during steaming or frying.

There are, of course, exceptions to the rule. When the meat is gelatinous, it is possible to mince it after cooking and use it as dumpling filling. This, we were able to prove to ourselves last week when Speedy wanted to make fried wonton using cooked beef tripe. Oh, and this is the part where I say that Speedy made the dumplings, pleating and all. He does the pleating better than I do. Seriously.

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Speedy started with cooked tripe that had been chilled overnight in the fridge. He minced it, added chopped vegetables, stuffed the mixture into the wrappers and fried the dumplings. Perfectly executed but the filling turned out bland.

So, he made a second batch. There was about a cup of leftover spicy tofu and shiitake mushrooms with miso sauce from our lunch. He minced the leftover, stirred in the minced tripe, used the mixture as dumpling filling and… success!!!

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And this is the part where I should say that, in cooking, you don’t always need a tried-and-tested recipe. Sometimes, you just need imagination.

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Comments

  1. says

    I do like mixing different flavors for an experimental dish, actually kung ano lang ang at hand ingredients ko.

    I added fried saba in my “sweet n sour” fried chicken, ayos, and with bell pepper and onion din.

  2. says

    Ayy, Ms. Connie, sorry itong comment ko above is for your post regarding the Strings beans with saba and chile.

    But anyway, ngayon ko lang nalaman ang reason why my meat sometimes does not adhere to my wrapper, yun pala yun. Akala ko, dahil sometimes eh sobrang masahe ko sa meat mixture, kaya ayun, matigas at talagang parang solid yung filling ko. Talagang humihiwalay siya.

    Thanks sa post na ito, I learned another tip na naman.

  3. Crisma says

    “…sometimes you just need imagination.” That is true, Connie. Cooks who merely depend on what they find in the books and the tried and tested recipes cannot find the path to the real joy of cooking.

    Great job, Speedy!

    • says

      It doesn’t help people’s confidence that TV cooking shows are more focused on “pretty” food, and food magazines and cookbooks have all those photoshopped images. It’s like aspiring for the unreal.

  4. Ernest says

    Hello Connie,

    I am happy that I found this website. I was curious, do you have a cookbook out for all these recipes? I would love to purchase it if there is one.

    On this recipe, do you use store bought wrappers or do you make these from scratch as well? Are these egg roll style wrappers? I was reading your lumpia wrapper recipe and decided to look at the other recipes you have. I lived in the Philippines when younger and miss the native foods. I didn’t find it, but did you ever post a recipe for Lumpia as well?

    Thank you for sharing these recipes. I am finally getting a small taste of the Philippines in the U.S.

    • says

      Hi Ernest, there was a cookbook on Tastebook.com (print as you order style) but the price was rather steep for most so I discontinued it.

      Store-bought wonton wrappers were used in this recipe, not lumpia wrapper.

      Lumpia recipes, I have lots of, from the usual to the unusual. See the spring rolls archive.

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