I learned a few things over the past few days. On Wednesday of last week, I pressed publish on a post about crackers. Those humble little simple snacks and next thing you know, “crackergate” was in full effect.
The background to my posting was this: as a relatively new user to Snapchat, in my feed over a week or so prior, I had noticed two food items being made from scratch doing the rounds – people were hard out making seeded crackers and Gyoza. The dumplings were as a result of me making some for my family several weeks prior and snapping them and the crackers, well, I wasn’t aware of where they got their origins.
I’m not going to go into the details of that here, but my posting about them and posing of the question to you about whether it’s possible to claim ownership on a recipe (or a make up look, or a fashion item or anything) nowadays given the nature of the internet was simply that – a question. I used the example I did as a generalisation on this topic. And what got me thinking about it was mostly that I had zero intention of suggesting people credit me for getting on the dumpling bandwagon, despite the fact that I got a real sense of joy when seeing how many of my lovely followers and friends were making them for their own families, because we all know that I didn’t create the age old Japanese Gyoza.
When I need help with a parenting issue, experience a fashion dilemma, am on the hunt for a new concealer or just want some plain old advice – I come to my blog and my social media channels. This is my place to speak my mind, talk aloud and reach out to you. And I consider you all my friends.
What I did not intend to do in that particular post was to shame anyone. I did not intend to criticise anyone’s character, and beyond all of that, I did not intend to make someone feel bullied. I am NOT a keyboard warrior. I am NOT a horrible person and I would NEVER intentionally hurt someone’s feelings. I perhaps foolishly didn’t think about the cross over of followers that the other person and I have, and I didn’t expect for one second that there would be people that could read what I wrote and take the opinion that I was shaming and bullying her. I composed my post with what I thought was care and was genuinely shocked that it was received the way it was by some people.
I lost followers and I received hurtful messages and I was honestly like “Whaaaaat has happened here?”. In reading over and over my post, I really couldn’t see how I had caused such offense but you know what – that was irrelevant because the fact is that it had. A couple of days later I was directed to a post on another Instagram page that was addressing me and this crazy cracker incident and it really upset me. I did not hesitate to sit and compose emails to both the parties concerned and explain my heart and apologise.
I said “I am Sorry”
There was history to this issue that I was not aware of. I didn’t know there was a background to this entire story that meant that my post was simply the straw that broke the camel’s back. I didn’t know all that and there is no way I could have or should have. But the point is that we never know what’s going on for someone else. We never know what issues people are dealing with in the privacy of their homes. We never know what has happened in someone’s past that has caused them to react in the way they do. My intention was never to bully or cause hurt. But that is how my words were received. And for that I have said sorry.
I know it already of course, but I re-learned the power of those three small words. Because the response I received from the recipients was graciousness and understanding and for that I was grateful. I had done all I could to make amends. I concluded reading both those reply emails with a much lighter heart and much less weight on my shoulders. I have amended my original cracker post to remove the portions that caused upset. I can not undo the belief that others who read it have about my intentions, all I can do is explain and move on.
Which brings me to the second part of this post. This is a recipe I never intended to share, because it’s not mine. But the requests for it have been outrageous so I’m going to share it with you. I’ve been playing around with filling ideas but this one is my go to at the moment and it’s pretty spectacularly delicious!
The link to the dough recipe is below** so you can read more about the process if you like.
- 480 grams plain flour, sifted
- 1 C boiling water
- 1 t salt
- Cornflour for rolling & dusting
- 500g chicken mince
- 250g raw prawn meat
- 3-4 large cabbage leaves
- 1 carrot, grated
- 1 spring onion, finely chopped
- 2 t finely grated fresh ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- handful of corinder, roughly chopped
- 1 T rice wine vinegar
- 1 T sesame oil
- 2 t soy sauce
- 1/2 t salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 T rice vinegar
- 1 T soy sauce
- Olive oil to fry and sesame oil to drizzle
- In a medium sized bowl, sift your flour. Dissolve the salt in the boiled water and add to the flour. Mix with a rubber spatula until combined. Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes. * I tried to do this in mixer with the dough hook but found the dough much tougher than when done by hand
- Once it is ready, it will be soft and elastic. Cut into 4 equal sized pieces, roll into a log shape and wrap in plastic wrap. Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- During this time, make your filling.
- Microwave your cabbage leaves for 1 minute to soften or if you don't have a microwave (like me), just place cabbage leaves in a bowl and cover with boiling water for 1 minute to soften.
- Chop cabbage finely and place back into medium sized bowl. Add all other filling ingredients as well as the soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, salt and pepper.
- Mix well to combine, using your hands to really get the mixture fully amalgamated.
- Take one of your four pieces of gyoza dough and roll onto a floured surface.
- Cut into 12 equal sized pieces.
- Take a rolling pin and roll each of the pieces into a circular shape. You can use a cutter if you wish to have even sized pieces or you can be like me (lazy) and have mismatched circles.
- As you complete rolling each one, sprinkle the top with some cornflour and then place the next wrapper on top until you have a stack.
- Repeat with the other three logs of dough. Make sure you dust between each wrapper so they don't stick.
- Have a small ramekin of cold water beside you.
- Take a gyoza wrapper and place a teaspoonful (or slightly more depending on the size of your wrapper) of filling and place in the centre. Using your finger, dip in water bowl and wet half of the circumference of the wrapper.
- Bring the top two pieces of dough together and pinch and fold to seal. Repeat the pinch and fold all the way down one side and alongside the other.
- Once your dumpling is completely sealed, sit on a plate.
- Repeat until all your wrappers are filled. Be careful to not let the dumplings touch as they will stick together if they are too close.
- Heat a large fry pan over medium heat and add 1-2 T olive oil. Place dumplings into the pan ensuring they are carefully spaced and not overcrowded.
- Cook for 5 minutes, and use chopsticks to pick up the dumplings to check the colour on the bottom.
- When the base is golden brown, pour 1/4 C cold water over the dumplings and cover with a lid. Allow to hiss and roar as the dumplings steam for a couple of minutes before lifting the lid and allowing the rest of the water to evaporate.
- Quickly drizzle sesame oil quickly around the outside perimeter of the pan.
- Allow gyoza to cook for another couple of minutes until crisp on the bottom and until a dumpling filling feels firm when you squeeze the sides.
- When you can gently shake the pan and the dumplings move freely, they are ready.
- Transfer to a plate and serve or place them in a lightly heated oven until the rest of the batch are ready.
- Serve with the dipping sauce and stir fried vegetables.
- Play around with your quantities of filling to dough ratio. The recipe I followed made 1/2 this quantity of dough but it didn't make enough gyoza for my family, so I now make a double batch which is the quantity I have shared here.
- If you make a double batch and don't want to cook them all, place the on baking paper on a baking tray and freeze immediately. Once they are frozen, transfer to a freezer bag. When you are ready to cook them, simply cook as instructed above. They will take just a little longer to get the initial browning.
I hope you enjoy these as much as my family do and all the snappers out there loving them too! There you have it, Dumplings & a debrief!