Chives are the lowest maintenance garden herb and they grow back every year in full force. It was only this year that it dawned on me—are the purple flowers that grow on them edible too? I took it to Google and everyone said yes. I tried it out and I’m still alive, so there’s my answer. While in my search I found lots of recipes for tempura chive flowers and salads where the flowers are used as a garnish, but not many dumplings. The flavour isn’t over bearing or anything, but it adds a nice light chive flavour and they look so damn pretty.
I have been staring at the steamer attachment for my rice cooker for years, and it’s just sat in the furnace room of my basement, untouched, the entire time. I finally decided to use it for this recipe and it was really handy. Though I will admit in photos the steamed dumplings don’t look as appetizing as the fried ones, they are equally as good if not better. I know there are ways of putting together makeshift steamers with pots and colanders, so if you don’t have a rice cooker not to worry.
This recipe can easily be doubled for larger crowds. They also freeze very well if you have leftovers.
Makes 24 dumplings
- 1/2 large red onion, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp. fresh ginger root, minced
- 1 cup button mushrooms, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and grated
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. Chinese five-spice powder
- 2 tsp. sesame seeds
- Generous drizzle of Sriracha hot sauce
- 1/2 tsp. soy sauce
- 1/2 cup chives, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup chives flowers, stems removed and chopped
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 200g package of square wonton wrappers
- A small bowl of water
- A clean damp tea towel
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat; add a small amount of oil. Add onion and ginger, stirring until strong aromas begin to come off the pan. Add mushrooms and carrot, continuing to stir until all the ingredients have softened. Shake in salt, five-spice powder, sesame seeds, hot sauce and soy sauce. Add chives and chive flowers, making sure everything is well mixed, cooking for another 1-2 minutes. Turn off heat and place mixture in a colander to strain excess liquid. Once slightly cooled, add cilantro and sesame oil.
Now for the fun part! Open up your package of wonton wrappers and take out 3-4 wrappers, leaving the rest of the wrappers in the packaging to ensure they don’t dry out. Dip your finger in a small amount of water and trace it along the edges of your wrapper—this will act as glue to hold everything together. Place 1 teaspoon of your mixture in the centre of the wrapper, and fold over one corner onto the opposite one, creating a triangle. Pinch the edges tightly to ensure no leaking will happen when cooking. Once this is done, set your dumpling aside in a clean, dry spot and cover with a slightly damp tea towel so the edges don’t harden and crack. Repeat this process until all of your mixture is used up.
To steam: Lightly coat a steaming attachment for a rice cooker with sesame oil and fill the bowl of the cooker with 1 1/2 cups of water. Place a single layer of dumplings on the greased steaming tray, close the lid, and let the rice cooker do it’s magic. When they’re finished, they should be see-through and soft. This will take roughly 20 minutes.
To pan fry: Heat a skillet over high heat. Add a generous amount of vegetable oil with a few drops of sesame oil in the mix. Once the pan is hot, cook 4-5 dumplings at a time, turning over after roughly 60 seconds. You should have a nice golden brown finish and crispy, bubbled edges.