Brussels Sprouts And Bacon Dumplings From Dumplings All Day Wong

Brussels sprouts and bacon dumplings from Dumplings All Day Wong

I have a really fun cookbook to share with you guys today. It's called Dumplings All Day Wong: A Cookbook of Asian Delights from a Top Chef, and it's written by former Top Chef contestant Lee Anne Wong. As the title would suggest, the book is full of dumpling recipes.

I love dumplings and have made them at home before, sometimes from scratch, mostly with store-bought wrappers. With Lee Anne's book, you can choose whether to make your own wrappers or use store-bought ones, and she often suggests what works best with a particular recipe.

The book begins with tools and techniques you need for dumpling making and moves into dumpling dough recipes. From there, the book is divided by the different folds and includes recipes using each type. The recipes range from simple pork and chive dumplings to paella shumai to chicken truffle soup dumplings, and there are even dessert versions like yuzu blintz dumplings.

Brussels sprouts and bacon dumplings

I tackled the brussels sprouts and bacon dumplings and went with premade dumpling wrappers because Lee Anne noted that she prefers them in the recipe. Unfortunately, I couldn't find round wrappers anywhere (I went to four different stores), but I improvised by purchasing the square ones and using a biscuit cutter to cut circles.

Brussels sprouts and bacon dumplings

I loved the filling in these dumplings, which is a mixture of blanched and deep-fried brussels sprouts, crispy bacon, and flavor-packed garlic, fish sauce, and vinegar, with a little brown sugar for sweetness and cornstarch for binding.

Fish sauce caramel

With each recipe there's also a preferred cooking method listed, though there's a section on all the cooking techniques and you can choose which you want to try for each recipe. I like my dumplings pan-fried and that was also the preferred method listed for these, so I followed the instructions to pan-fry them. You get the best of both worlds, with that nice crispy side and a softer steamed side.

Brussels sprouts and bacon dumplings

And while the dumplings are plenty flavorful on their own, Lee Anne includes a recipe for fish sauce caramel for serving them with. Just as she describes it, it's a little sweet, a little sour, and a little salty, and it's just the thing to take the dumplings up a notch.

Brussels sprouts and bacon dumplings

Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Dumplings
Recipe from Dumplings All Day Wong by Lee Anne Wong
(Page Street Publishing; 2014) Printed with permission

This dumpling pays homage to the fried brussels sprouts and pork craze. Forget the soggy, overcooked brussels sprouts that make you wrinkle your nose in disdain. The deep-fried brussels sprout leaves develop a caramelized nutty flavor that pairs beautifully with the salty, smoky bacon. This tasty filling is great any way you decide to cook your dumplings.


Preferred Cooking Method: Panfried

1 lb (450 g) bacon, diced into ¼” (0.6 cm) pieces
Oil for deep-frying
2 pints (11⁄2 lb) fresh brussels sprouts
Salt and black pepper
3 tbsp (30 g) minced garlic
3 tbsp (40 g) brown sugar
2 tbsp (20 g) cornstarch
2 tbsp (30 ml) fish sauce
2 tbsp (30 ml) black vinegar or balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp (30 ml) reserved bacon fat
60 round dumpling wrappers
Fish Sauce Caramel (page 226)

In a large sauté pan, render the bacon over medium-high heat until it is completely cooked and crispy. Strain and cool the cooked bacon on a paper towel–lined plate. Reserve the bacon fat.

Preheat a small pot of oil to 375°F/190°C. Trim the bottom ends and old leaves from the brussels sprouts. Reserve any fresh leaves that may have fallen. Quarter the brussels sprouts, leaving the root ends intact.

Divide the trimmed brussels sprouts in half. Deep-fry half of the brussels sprouts in small batches, cooking each batch for 2 to 3 minutes until the leaves are caramelized and brown. Drain on paper towels and season lightly with salt. Once cool, chop the fried brussels sprouts into small pieces or pulse in a food processor.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch the remaining brussels sprouts until tender, about 3 minutes. Refresh in ice water to stop the cooking and then drain on paper towels. Dry the blanched brussels sprouts well with paper towels and then chop finely (or pulse in the food processor).

Combine the cooked bacon, fried chopped brussels sprouts, blanched chopped brussels sprouts and minced garlic in a large bowl. In a small bowl, sift together the brown sugar and cornstarch until it is well mixed. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the filling, add the fish sauce, vinegar and bacon fat and mix until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate the filling for at least an hour.

Fill and form the dumplings in the classic pleat style. I prefer using premade wrappers for this dumpling. Heat a wok or large nonstick frying pan over high heat. Add ½ tablespoon (7.5 ml) of oil to the hot pan, tilting the pan to coat the bottom. Place the dumplings in a single layer in the hot pan and cook until the bottoms are golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add ½ cup (125 ml) of water and immediately cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid. Cook until all of the water has been absorbed and the dumpling skins have cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes. Repeat with the remaining dumplings. Serve with the Fish Sauce Caramel.

Fish Sauce Caramel
Recipe from Dumplings All Day Wong by Lee Anne Wong
(Page Street Publishing; 2014) Printed with permission

You can add dried spices such as a piece of star anise, a cinnamon stick or a slice of ginger to scent this sweet-sour-salty condiment.

MAKES 3/4 CUP (175 ML)

1/2 cup (120 ml) rice vinegar
1/2 cup (120g) brown sugar
1/4 cup (60 g) granulated sugar
2 tbsp (30 ml) soy sauce
2 tbsp (30 ml) fish sauce

Combine the rice vinegar, brown sugar, granulated sugar and soy sauce in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar dissolves. Remove the pan from the heat and add the fish sauce. Allow the sauce to cool to room temperature before serving. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to 3 months.

For more recipes from Dumplings All Day Wong, enter to win a copy!

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I received a complimentary copy of Dumplings All Day Wong, but as always, all opinions are my own. The giveaway is open to residents of the United States and Canada.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links to Dumplings All Day Wong. If you follow the links to purchase the cookbook or make other purchases, I'll earn a few cents.