We go through A LOT of celery in our household. I'll nibble on two or three ribs (negative calories = WIN) but my boyfriend can devour nearly a whole head all by himself. Celery sticks are a daily staple in his lunch, so we buy about 3-4 heads a week. As a result, I'm left with a lot of celery hearts. There's only so much stir-fries a person can handle before dinner starts looking repetitive (and this was before Marcella Hazan's Genius Recipe for celery came out) so I looked for alternative ways to incorporate these leftovers. The dumplings came about because I'm kind of a dumpling maniac, and it was a no-brainer moment: substitute the usual cabbage for celery hearts.
This is a really flexible recipe so I encourage playing around with it and using whatever ingredients you have or deem acceptable, as I am giving a basic, pared-down recipe that contains the essentials. If you don't have green onion, feel free to throw in minced white onion. Or use both. Corn kernels could add color and texture, as would minced carrot. You could even swap out the pork for ground chicken (just make sure there's some fat in it). The only thing I'd stress is to mix the dumpling filling well, to ensure that it's an emulsified forcemeat. This way the filling won't fall apart after you've taken a bite into a dumpling. A stand mixer with a paddle attachment will get the job done the fastest, but if you're gadget-less like me, a spatula and a little patience will do the job just as well. —Elizabeth Rex
- Makes about 50 dumplings
1 1/2 cups
celery (heart), minced
green onions, thinly sliced or minced
1 1/2 tablespoons
white onion, minced (optional)
circular gyoza wrappers
- Place all ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Using a spatula, squish the vegetables into the meat a bit to prevent the veggies from flying around when you start mixing. Stir the filling in one direction as much as you can. This will make the fat and protein strands in the meat wind together and the filling will emulsify. Once the meat filling is mixed, wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days.
- To fill the dumplings: Wet the edge of a gyoza wrapper with water and place a teaspoon of filling in the middle. How you fold the dumpling is up to you, since there are multiple variations, but I like to fold creases on one side of the wrapper and join them to the other side, with the creases going in one direction or facing eachother. As long as the dumpling has a bottom to sit on, and you do not puncture the wrapper, and folding method is fine.
- To cook the dumplings: In a nonstick pan with a little oil over medium heat, place dumplings and cook until bottoms are light golden brown. Pour water (preferably hot) about halfway up the dumplings, cover, and turn down heat to medium low. Cook dumplings until water has nearly evaporated, about 15-20 minutes. Serve with dipping sauce of our choice.
- Dumplings can be frozen up to 2 months.