Turkey Cranberry Chinese Dumplings

Turkey Cranberry Chinese Dumplings

September 21, 2015


Turkey Cranberry Chinese Dumplings -- A fall twist on the traditional dumpling recipe! | wearenotmartha.com

Happy Monday! I hope that wherever you spent your weekend, the weather was as glorious as it was in the Boston-area. In many ways, it still felt like summer, but with a nice light fall breeze. I’m one of those people who never gets too hot and really prefers the weather to be 90+ degrees (I don’t even mind humidity… Except my hair definitely does. But that’s what braids are for). But even I have to admit that this is the best weather in the world. It makes me soo happy to be in New England. Which is probably the point… Mother Nature is basically saying, “here’s some glorious weather so you don’t all move to California. Please try to remember how awesome this is because the next 4-5 months are going to be doozies.”

Clearly, I already have Thanksgiving on my mind (but when do I not??) and am currently thinking of a zillion ways to incorporate my favorite flavors into recipes. I was invited to the NYC Dumpling Festival this Saturday, but sadly can’t make the trip from Boston. But since Saturday also happens to be the very first National Dumpling Day, I thought it would be fun to create my own dumpling recipe, including actually making my own dumpling wrappers!

But if you are in the NYC-area, you should definitely hit up the festival (it’s happening from 12:00-5:00 p.m. at Sara D. Roosevelt Park). Not only will you have the chance to try dumplings from around the world, but you’ll also get to experience a record-breaking “dumpling eating contest,” a giant dumpling cutting ceremony, a live cultural performances, and more! Plus, 100% of proceeds from tickets sales will be donated to the Food Bank for New York City.

If you can’t make it, you can hang out with me and make your own dumplings instead!

I did a lot of research before making my dumplings. And I even bought wonton wrappers from the grocery store… Just in case. You can most definitely use wonton wrappers to make dumplings; lots of people do! But in honor of the dumpling festival and National Dumpling Day, I really wanted to try from scratch. And guess what? It’s not that tough! The dough is simple enough and contains just flour, water, and salt.

Rolling Dumpling Dough | wearenotmartha.comAnd rolling out the rounds was actually really fun. You have to roll from the edge to the center and constantly turn the round. Basically, you want the wrapper to be thin around the outside and a little thicker in the middle, so they’re sturdy enough to hold the delicious filling.

Rolling Dumpling Dough | wearenotmartha.com

You can fill a dumpling with anything you want. Pork and cabbage seems to be the standard traditional version. But I decided to go a little bit outside of the traditional and gave my dumplings a Thanksgiving autumn-style flair with turkey and cranberries. I did add cabbage, too. Since cabbage holds a lot of water, you’ll need to get rid of some of it before adding it to your dumplings. I shredded mine in the food processor and then squeezed the water out of it. I was shocked by how much came out!

Preparing Dumpling Cabbage | wearenotmartha.com

Then I mixed the cabbage with ground turkey, cranberries, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and a little Sriracha for some kick!

I didn’t get very fancy with my dumpling design. I simply folded around the filling and sealed with a little bit of water. One of the reasons I’d love to attend the Dumpling Festival is to see all of the different dumpling designs! Maybe next time I’ll try some pleats, but for now, I was just happy that I was able to fold a decent-looking dumpling.

Filling Chinese Dumplings | wearenotmartha.com

I boiled some of my dumplings and pan fried others. Both were delicious, but my pan fried dumplings were definitely a whole lot prettier! Pan frying dumplings is definitely an art and took a little practice on my part. Adding water to oil is always scary, but I eventually got it down!

Pan Frying Chinese Dumplings | wearenotmartha.com

I also infused my soy sauce with a little bit of sage.

Sage-Infused Soy Sauce | wearenotmartha.com

And then I had my own little dumpling festival right in my kitchen!

Turkey Cranberry Chinese Dumplings -- A fall twist on the traditional dumpling recipe! | wearenotmartha.com

Hey, one variety of dumpling is better than none, right? But now that I have one variety down, I feel pretty confident that I could riff off it and make many more.

Turkey Cranberry Chinese Dumplings -- A fall twist on the traditional dumpling recipe! | wearenotmartha.com

One of the main reasons I’m sad to be missing the NYC Dumpling Festival is because I’d love to see the dumpling eating contest. Molly Schuyler holds the current record of 90 pieces in two minutes. 90 dumplings!!

Turkey Cranberry Chinese Dumplings -- A fall twist on the traditional dumpling recipe! | wearenotmartha.com

Here’s the scene from last year’s contest. Everyone has their game faces on!

2015 NYC Dumpling Festival | wearenotmartha.com

OK, but really? I could totally eat 90 of these dumplings. It might just take me a liiiittle bit longer than two minutes. Holy mackerel. 

Turkey Cranberry Chinese Dumplings -- A fall twist on the traditional dumpling recipe! | wearenotmartha.com

My recipe only makes about 24 dumplings, so I’d definitely have to get my rolling pin out again. But it would be worth it. Honestly, I’m so happy I didn’t end up having to use the store-bought wonton wrappers and made these dumplings with my own dough.

Turkey Cranberry Chinese Dumplings -- A fall twist on the traditional dumpling recipe! | wearenotmartha.com

So,  you’re probably wondering how the filling was…

Turkey Cranberry Chinese Dumplings -- A fall twist on the traditional dumpling recipe! | wearenotmartha.com

I absolutely loved it! 

Turkey Cranberry Chinese Dumplings -- A fall twist on the traditional dumpling recipe! | wearenotmartha.com

Those cranberries gave the dumplings a delightfully sweet tartness, while the Sriracha gave them a touch of heat. The turkey was the perfect backdrop for the flavors to all come together.

Turkey Cranberry Chinese Dumplings -- A fall twist on the traditional dumpling recipe! | wearenotmartha.com

And the soy sauce just had the lightest touch of sage. Perfect for dunking.

Turkey Cranberry Chinese Dumplings -- A fall twist on the traditional dumpling recipe! | wearenotmartha.com

I’m SO happy my first real dumpling-making experience was a success. The next time I have a dinner party, it’s quite likely that I’ll be serving dumplings as an appetizer.  This Saturday, I’ll be following along with the #‎dumplingfest2015 hashtag and being sad I’m not at the festival. 

Let me know if you’re going to the Dumpling Festival and please send dumpling updates. And dumplings. Preferably 90 of them. Actually, make it 91 and the world record will be mine!

2015 NYC Dumpling Festival | wearenotmartha.com

Have you ever made your own dumplings?

Turkey Cranberry Chinese Dumplings -- A fall twist on the traditional dumpling recipe! | wearenotmartha.com


5.0 from 2 reviews
Turkey Cranberry Chinese Dumplings
These homemade Chinese dumplings are given an autumn-twist with turkey, cranberries, and a sage-infused soy sauce.
Recipe type: Appetizer
Makes: about 24 dumplings
Dumpling Wrappers:
  • 2 cups flour
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup very hot water
Dumpling Filling and Assembly:
  • 4 cups roughly chopped cabbage
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ pound ground turkey
  • ¾ C fresh cranberries
  • ½ tsp sesame oil
  • 1½ tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1½ Tbsp Sriracha
  • Salt and pepper
  • Canola or vegetable oil
Sage-Infused Soy Sauce:
  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • 6 torn sage leaves
Dumpling Wrappers:
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Stir in hot water.
  2. On a lightly-floured surface, knead dough for about 5 minutes, until smooth.
  3. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Separate dough into 3 equal size pieces.
  5. On a lightly-floured surface, roll one piece of dough into an 8-inch x 1-inch log. Slice into 8 1-inch discs.
  6. One disc at a time, flatten dough a bit with the palm of your hand. Then, using a small rolling pin, roll from edge of dough to center of dough. Rotate disc after each roll, continuing all the way around the round, until round is 3 inches in diameter and thicker in the middle than on the edges.
  7. Continue with remaining discs and other remaining two pieces of dough. Place rounds on a flour-covered baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap to prevent wrappers from drying out.
Dumpling Filling and Assembly:
  1. Put roughly chopped cabbage in a food processor and pulse until finely minced. If you don't have a food processor, you can finely mince by hand.
  2. Place cabbage in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Let rest for about 15 minutes.
  3. After 15 minutes, squeeze out as much water as you can from the cabbage.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix cabbage with ground turkey, cranberries, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, Sriracha, and salt and pepper.
  5. Place about 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of a dumpling wrapper and fold the wrapper in half to bring the two edges together. Wetting your finger a bit, seal edges of wrapper together. Place filled dumpling on a flour-covered baking sheet.
  6. To pan fry dumpling, place about a tablespoon of canola or vegetable oil in a non-stick saucepan over medium-high heat. Place dumplings in pan, making sure they're not touching each other. When they start to sizzle and get brown on the bottom, lower heat to medium and slowly pour about ½ cup water in the the pan. Cover saucepan and let steam for about 10 minutes, until water evaporates.
  7. Remove dumplings from pan and repeat for the next batch.
  8. If you'd prefer to boil your dumplings, bring a large pot of water to a boil and place dumplings in pot.
  9. When water comes back to a boil and dumplings rise to the surface of the water, add ½ cup-1 cup of cold water to the pot. This will allow the filling to continue to cook without overcooking the wrappers.
  10. Once the dumplings rise to the surface again, check one for doneness. If filling is cooked through, remove from water. If not, add another ½ cup-1 cup cold water to the pot and wait for dumplings to rise again.
Sage-Infused Soy Sauce:
  1. Stir together soy sauce and torn sage leaves and let sit in refrigerator for 24 hours.
  2. Remove sage leaves before serving.

Full disclosure: Thank you to Cyverasia for sponsoring this post in partnership with the NYC Dumpling Festival! I’m sorry I can’t attend and hope the event is a huge success!

9 Responses to "Turkey Cranberry Chinese Dumplings"

  1. I’ve never made my own dumplings but I’ve certainly eaten plenty of them! These look sooooo good!

  2. Rachel Cooks says:

    These are so fun – what a great idea!

  3. Justine says:

    I’ve never tried dumplings and think I would be scared to make the dough but you made it look so easy!

  4. oh wow you made them from scratch, how cool! and the combo is so creative, those cranberries look absolutely delicious with the turkey! love it!

  5. I’ve always been too scared to make my own dumplings but you make it look so easy!

  6. What a creative idea!! I love this. And I am so happy fall is here :). Pinned!

  7. Lexi says:

    These sound AMAZING!!!

  8. I have NEVER made my own dumplings but your post has definitely inspired me! I never would have thought of combining those flavors either but what a great idea right down to the sage in the soy sauce. My leftover Thanksgiving turkey & cranberry officially has plans – thanks for sharing your dumpling adventures & the delicious recipe ~ Cheers:)

  9. Victoria says:

    I’m so proud of you! You know I’m obsessed with homemade dumplings, and always telling people that it’s worth making the wrappers from scratch. They aren’t so hard to make, right? Totally worth it in my opinion. I love your creative filling. It’s a perfect fusion that really represents the season 🙂

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