You guys! Why did this not occur to me sooner? A couple of years ago, I had the bright idea of making Pho Burgers, by grinding the spices I used for making Pho Bo (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup) and adding them to ground beef. You'd figure that after making Pho Burgers with Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup Spices and Banh Mi Pho Bo (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup-Spiced Sandwiches), it would have dawned on me that I could use the spiced meat to make dumplings too...
But it wasn't until last fall when I stumbled upon this Gothamist article about Phumplings in Brooklyn that the pho-spiced dumplings started to take shape. Phumplings are larger and filled with soup, closer to xiao long bao (Shanghai soup dumplings). A bit too much work for lazy old me. Not that I probably won't try that at some point.
Instead, I decided to make regular dumplings with pho spices. I had a rather lean cut of beef, but if you use fattier ground beef, you can get juicier dumplings. I used the same proportion of spices and aromatics as my Pho Burgers -- pureed onion, garlic, and ginger with ground cinnamon, cloves, and star anise spices. Then topped the dumplings with green onions (actually, chives from the garden) and basil, small squirts of Hoisin Sauce and Sriracha, and squeezed a bit of lime. With all the components in place, it was like eating pho in one bite.
Pho-mplings (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup-Spiced Dumplings)
For about 50 pho-mplings, or 4 to 6 servings, you'll need:
1 package round potsticker wrappers
1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion, pureed
1-inch knob ginger, pureed
2 cloves garlic, pureed
1 tsp Nuoc Mam (Vietnamese Fish Sauce)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground star anise
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
Garnish with basil leaves, green onions, Hoisin Sauce, Sriracha, squeeze of lime
The fattier the ground beef you use, the juicier the dumplings will be. Pureeing the onion will also add some moisture in case you choose a leaner cut like I did.
Puree 1 medium onion, a 1-inch knob of ginger, and 2 cloves of garlic until almost liquified.
Add the pureed aromatics into a bowl with 1 lb ground beef. Add 1 tsp fish sauce, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp ground star anise, 1/2 tsp ground cloves, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, and 1/2 tsp sugar. Mix thoroughly.
Pop a small piece in the microwave for 30 seconds. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
I used round potsticker wrappers, but you can use square wonton ones if you wish. Set up your folding station, with the bowl of spiced beef, a bowl of water, the wrappers, and an empty plate.
Add a spoonful of the pho-spiced beef into the center of the wrapper. Dip a finger into the bowl of water and wet the edges of the potsticker.
Then close up the ends and form a little pouch like so.
Or, if you'd like to fold the potstickers, after wetting the edges, fold the potsticker in half, but don't crimp the edges.
Crimp one side of the potsticker and press the fold.
Crimp another side and press that fold flat too.
Repeat on the opposite side until the potsticker is folded like so. You can make as many folds as you wish, but I find four or five to be sufficient.
Line a steamer with cabbage leaves if you'd like to steam the dumplings.
Set a pot of water to boil and add the steamer of dumplings on top.
Steam for about 20 minutes.
If you're making just the potsticker shapes though, you can just boil the dumplings for ease.
At first, I photographed them plain with just some chives and basil from the garden.
Do you like the focus on the second dumpling?
Or the first?
Needs hoisin sauce and Sriracha!
And a squeeze of lime, but you can't see that in photos.
I was debating whether to blanch some bean sprouts too, so you can add that if you'd like.
A little bit of pho.
Just one last group shot.
And a picture of the potsticker-shaped pho-mplings.
I brought the pho-mplings to my youngest aunt's house for my paternal great-grandfather's death anniversary dinner a few nights ago, but it was lost amongst all the other delicious food. No one realized they were pho-mplings and thought they were just regular dumplings. Too subtle perhaps?
Happy Pho-rth of July everyone! :)
Other dumpling recipes:
Chinese Chili Wontons
Hoanh Thanh Thit Heo Bam, Dau Hu, Hanh La (Vietnamese Wontons with Ground Pork, Tofu, and Green Onions)
Potstickers Stuffed with Ground Pork and Turkey, Bamboo Shoots, and Cabbage
Shanghai-style Sticky Rice Siu Mai Dumplings
Siu Mai (Chinese Meatball Dumpling)
Wontons Stuffed with Ground Pork and Turkey, Bamboo Shoots, and Cabbage
1 year ago today, Red, White, and Blue Sangria.
2 years ago today, Red (Lingonberry), White (Brie), and Blue(berry) Puff Pastry Mini Tarts.
3 years ago today,
4 years ago today,
5 years ago today,
6 years ago today, La Boulange Cafe & Bakery - San Francisco (Cow Hollow).
7 years ago today, Independence Day barbeque.
8 years ago today, guess where I've been?