Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sweet Potato Dumplings

My life is really pretty simple most of the time. I get up in the morning, go to work, work, come home from work, cook dinner, watch Netflix, read the Kindle, and go to bed. With no Derek on the continent, my life has gotten even simpler. No one cooks complicated meals for themselves, me included. If they say they do, they are lying.

Then sometimes (okay, a lot of times) I go away for work. As I have mentioned before, October was really complicated. I was on the road.

When I get home, I just want vegetables and home cooked food. My friends want to see me and they want to go out (very flattering). Sometimes, I make them come over and cook them my vegetables, the more the merrier. Right?

My recipes have been gathering dust at home. This might be because every time I get home I have about 4 things going bad in the refrigerator. You could say mold and decay are inspiring me to figure out recipes to use decaying food. This is my real life.

Last week I made my friend come over, and I made dumplings. Inspired by the sweet potatoes under my counter. I am proud of this recipe. These were real good. They are vegan too. That was not on purpose, they just did not need animal protein. True.

Sweet Potato Dumplings
Makes about 20 dumplings

3 small sweet potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and diced into 1 inch cubes
1 jalepeno, minced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon red chile powder
squirt of sriaracha sauce (to taste)
dash of soy sauce (to taste)
dash of fish sauce (just do it, leave out if you really want to be vegan)
1/4 teaspoon of salt (I used a little less)
Wanton wrappers (your grocery store probably sells these)

1/4 cup soy sauce
1 heavy squirt of sriarcha (to taste)
2 tablespoons (approximately) sesame oil

1. Boil a large pot of salted water. Add the sweet potatoes to the boiling water. Boil until they are soft (about 10 minutes). Drain the water.

2. In a large bowl, combine the cooked sweet potatoes, garlic, jalepeno, red chile powder, sriaracha sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Mash the potatoes using a fork, potato masher, or pastry blender (if you are me).

3. Open the wanton wrappers, cover the open package with a damp paper towel so they do not dry out. Fill up a small bowl with water. Remove one wrapper, put a large dollop of the potato mixture on the wanton.

4. Wet a finger and coat the edges of the wanton wrapper. Bring all four of the corners of the wrapper together and pinch it closed.

5. This is where you have to make a decision. Do you want your dumplings steamed or pan fried? If you want the dumplings steamed it is now time to heat up your steaming apparatus. If you want to fry them heat up your frying pan to medium with about a tablespoon of canola oil in it.

6. When you have finished making all of your desired dumplings (this should make about 20 dumplings), add the dumplings to the frying pan for about 1 minute. Then decrease the heat to medium low, add about 1/4 cup of water to the pan and cover it. Cook with the lid on for about 5 minutes. Remove the lid and finishing browning the dumplings. I like to rotate them to get all of the sides crispy. You can also just eat them with one side browned.

7. If you are steaming the dumplings, put them in the steamer for 5 to 10 minutes.

To make sauce: Combine soy sauce, sriaracha sauce, and sesame oil.


  1. Oh, I wouldn't say that no one makes complicated meals for him/herself. ;) My bachelor dinners prior to B's arrival in Japan varied between pesto and veggies on toast and homemade pumpkin curry with raisin naan.

    I would kill for an orange sweet potato to make these!

  2. What's in the jar?
    Very clever little dumplings! I know just where I can get awesome wonton wrappers to make these with.

  3. The jar has tasty red chile powder from New Mexico, specially imported from Jennie to me.