Good Things Come in Small Packages

People love eating me all around the world.  I am like a warm, cozy blanket for your taste buds and tummy.  You can fill me with all sorts of goodies, meat, and veggies.  What am I?  No, I am not a calzone.  Go smaller and Asian….you got it – Dumplings!  Kale and I can eat them every day if we could.  We aren’t sure if it’s in our blood, but there is just something in those small puffy pillows of savoury meat and veggies that calls to us.  A few years ago, Kale and I took a dumpling making class and loved it.  Ironically, it was taught by a very knowledgeable non-Asian guy.  Making dumplings at home is ideally a social activity; therefore, Kale and I took off to the Granville Island Public Market to shop for the ingredients, then headed back to her place to make them.

But before we dove into making the dumplings, we fortified ourselves with a late breakfast of tea and scones.   It felt like we had stepped back in time to when we were kids playing with our tea sets.  Although now, we drank fragrant lavender rooibos tea and nibbled on blueberry-lemon-oat scones using Kale’s sophisticated fine china.

Superfoods in our dumplings:
Turkey – This meat is lean, high in protein and has a good amount of iron, phosphorous, zinc , potassium and vitamin B’s. We selected the free-run and non-medicated turkey.
Prawns – Good protein with Omega-3’s, B vitamins, and is also high in iron, as well as zinc, selenium, copper, magnesium and phosphorous.
Shitake mushrooms – Has a particularly high amount of copper, which may be beneficial to heart health.  These mushrooms are also high in B vitamins and selenium.  It contains lentinan which has anti-fungal properties and can also protect against cancer.
Chives – A good source of vitamin K which is important for the production of osteocalcin, a bone protein.
Ginger – An anti-inflammatory and is full of antioxidants to support its antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-parasitic properties.

Granville Island Kake2Kale

Tea and scones in preparation for our dumpling making party.

Tea Time Kake2Kale

My Little Dumpling makes about 65 dumplings


  • 1 lb. ground turkey*
  • ½ cup water
  • 15 good size prawns (coarsely chopped)
  • 6 medium shitake mushrooms
  • ½ cup chopped chives
  • 2 T minced ginger
  • 2 t sesame oil
  • 1 ½ t salt
  • 1 t sugar
  • 1 pkg dumpling wrappers (these are round, not square like wonton wrappers)

* We made our dumplings with turkey as we wanted to have a leaner meat, but please feel free to substitute with chicken or pork.


  • Mix the ¼ cup of the water into the meat, keep adding until the meat mixture is sticky.
  • Then add the prawns to the meat.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients into the meat mixture and stir well.

Dumplings 1 Kake2Kale

Wrapping the dumplings:

  • Have a bowl of water handy when wrapping the dumplings.
  • Take a round of wrapper, dip your finger into the bowl of water and run the finger all around the edge of the wrapper.
  • Take about a tablespoon of filling and plop it in the centre, then fold the wrapper in half.
  • Method #1 Simply press the edge together to seal.  Or Method #2 starting with one side you could make pleats on the side closest to you and press them into the back edge of the dumpling, continue making the pleats until you reach the other side.

Dumplings 2 Kake2Kale

To Boil:

  • Bring a large pot of water to boil.
  • Add the dumplings, then let the water come to a boil.
  • Then add 1 or two cups of cold water.
  • Then let the water come to another boil, then add another cup of water.  Once it comes to a boil again, the dumplings will be ready.

*Simpler boil method.  Add the dumplings to boiling water, bring back to a boil and then turn the heat down to simmer for and cook for 10 minutes longer.
Bring a pot of water to boil.  Put in the dumplings and boil until they float.

Dumplings 3 Kake2Kale

To Fry:

  • Heat 1 T vegetable oil in a non-stick frying pan on medium high heat.
  • Then add the dumplings, leave them alone for about 4-5 minutes until they are golden brown on the bottom.
  • Then add 1/3 cup of water to the pan and cover.  Cook for about another 5 minutes.
  • Then uncover and let the water evaporate (will take about 3). Serve with dipping sauce.

Dipping Sauce:

  • 2 T Chinese black vinegar (or balsamic vinegar will do nicely)
  • ½ knob of ginger julienned. Put the ginger in a small dish and pour the vinegar over it.

Dumplings 4 Kake2Kale

Dumplings are better than flowers – Japanese Proverb

Eat well, live great! {Kake}

Dumplings 5 Kake2Kale