Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Diversity through dumplings!

Since everyone, everywhere has to eat a great way to get kid jazzed about cultures other than there own is to cook food from different cultures with them! Before you go screaming into the hills-it is not necessary to be a gourmet chef to cook with your kids. It does take a little planning, though.

When you cook anything with kids, you have to follow some basic rules:
1. Your kitchen and everything in it will be dirty

2. The recipes have to be kid-friendly-they will get bored and cranky if there are too many steps or the recipe is complicated.

3. The kids have to be 'hands-on' with the entire process.

4. You will probably end up cleaning the kitchen yourself while the kids slink off to watch TV.

5. To really be fun for kids-and less frustrating for you-have everything you
will need close at hand.

Last night we made jiaoze (Chinese dumplings). It was a messy and fun experience-and the dumplings were delicious. It gave us the opportunity to talk about dumplings from all over the world-ravioli, pirogi, kreplach, etc. Everyone was amazed at how many people ate dumplings. It really illustrated how similar we all are....and with that, we created one less bias.

In all-it was a home run!

Here is Min's Shanghai Dumplings-you can find all of the ingredients at your local grocery store:

In a large bowl mix together (preferably with your hands)
1. 1 lb ground pork
2. 1 small bag (1/2 pound) of fine shredded coleslaw
3. 1/2 lb baby shrimp (cut them into pieces if they aren't small enough)
4. 1/4 Cup of Sherry or cooking wine
5. Ginger root juice-smash some fresh ginger with the back of a knife and then squeeze the juice into the bowl
6. 2 tsp Salt (or one chicken bullion cube
7. 2 T soy sauce
8. 1 T sugar
9. 1 T sesame oil
10. Won ton wraps (you will need to trim the edges to make them round for dumplings)

Making the dumpling:
Take a tsp of filling and put in the middle of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper in half. Dip your finger into water and use the water to seal the dumplings.

To Cook:
Boil water
Put dumplings into the water and cook until they puff up-about two minutes.

Let me know how they turn out.

With respect:

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