I’m a planner. I’ve done the psychometric tests to prove it and everything. I don’t like to just jump into things; I have to be prepared for every eventuality. And this personality trait definitely crosses into my blogging process.
I’ll write out big lists of post ideas for the month ahead – dishes to cook, strange ingredients that have been lurking in my cupboard. I’ve even got a list of new cookbook releases that have caught my attention through to August! Of course, half of these posts never see the light of day. Sometimes you have to just take the plunge with an idea or the more you stare at it, the more likely you are to think it’s a bad one. This however isn’t a recipe that I’ve been sitting on for ages – it’s one that I came up with just deciding what to cook for myself one evening to use up a few leftovers and thought it was worth sharing. So I thought best to break the planning habit and get this written straight away. Idea to bowl to blog in under 72 hours.
Whatever you want to call the dumplings themselves, serving them in a hot broth is common across Asia but in the UK it’s probably the deep-fried varieties we’re most likely to eat in restaurants and takeaways. You could use dumplings from China, Japan or Korea for this dish – mine were Korean mandu but the flavour of the filling and the shape is really the main difference between dumplings, not the language on the packet. I found bags for sale in the frozen section of my local supermarket, and they are quite nice to have in the freezer for a quick lunch or accompaniment to an Asian meal; they weren’t too expensive either. Whatever flavour dumplings you buy (or you can try making your own), this is a pretty flexible dish, but I’d recommend a home-made and unsalted stock for the best results.
In a saucepan, combine the stock and garlic and bring to a simmer. Season with the soy sauce and add the dumplings and courgette. Leave to cook for about 5-10 minutes until the dumplings are fully cooked and the courgette is tender. Add the spring onion and cook for a minute more. Serve allowing 5 gyoza per person (or use fewer if not serving as a main dish) and top each bowl with a large pinch of sesame seeds, the chilli oil and some of the pickled ginger. Serves 2.