Chicken Dumplings

Tori Dango

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes

    40–50

Appears in

An American Taste of Japan

An American Taste of Japan

By Elizabeth Andoh

Published 1985

  • About

When I’m faced with feeding a large crowd, these wonderful meatballs become part of my menu. It’s a simple matter to make a large quantity—you could double the recipe for a really large gathering—and they’re delicious either piping hot or at room temperature. They can be made hours in advance of your party and frozen for up to 1 month, which makes them ideal for home entertaining. A platter of Crisp Vegetables with Sesame Dip often shares the buffet table with these chicken dumplings.

Ingredients

Dumplings

  • 4-5 ounces onion, about ¼ cup minced
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • ½ tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ¾ pound boneless, skinless breast of chicken
  • ¾ pound boneless, skinless thigh and/or leg of chicken
  • 2 tablespoons shiro miso (light fermented bean paste)
  • 1 yolk from large egg
  • 2 tablespoons (all-purpose) flour

Poaching Liquid

  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 tablespoon saké (Japanese rice wine)

Simmering

  • ¾ cup soy sauce

Sauce

  • cup sugar
  • ¼ cup saké (Japanese rice wine)
  • 2 tablespoons mirin (syrupy rice wine)
  • 2 cups dashi (basic sea stock) OR water

Thickening Agent

  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • cup cold water

Method

Mince the onion and garlic, and sauté in the vegetable oil over low heat for 4–5 minutes. They should be wilted, but not browned. Let the vegetables cool to room temperature.

Place the light and dark chicken meats in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and pulse-process just long enough to chop the meats. Add the light fermented bean paste and egg yolk to the mixture in the processor. Pulse-process to incorporate, and make a fairly smooth paste. Add the minced and sautéed onions and garlic, then sprinkle the flour onto the mixture and process to distribute well.

In a wide-mouthed (9-inch, -quart) pot, combine the poaching-liquid ingredients. Bring to a rolling boil. In another pot of the same dimensions, combine the simmering-sauce ingredients and, over low heat, stir and bring to a simmer.

Moisten your hands with water and form the chicken mixture into forty to fifty spheres, each about 1 inch in diameter. Poach twenty to twenty-five of them at a time (two batches) in the boiling poaching liquid. They’ll rise to the surface in about 1 ½–2 minutes. Remove them with a slotted spoon to the simmering liquid. (While this first batch of chicken balls is simmering, a second batch can be poaching.) Simmer the chicken balls for 5 minutes. Remove these to a separate plate and simmer the second batch of poached chicken balls. (The amount of simmering sauce given here is the minimum required for cooking this recipe. If you’re doubling the recipe, though, there’s no need to double the simmering sauce, too.)

Mix the cornstarch and cold water to make a smooth paste. Pour this into the remaining simmering liquid, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens. Serve the chicken balls warm or at room temperature, in their sauce.