Kimchi Dumplings and Twinkies
Kimchi dumplings and Twinkies are at opposite extremes on the prepared-foods tastiness-spectrum.

A friend has mentioned kimchi dumplings several times, so I finally took her advice and gave them a try. Verdict: very good! After making a cauldron of pork bones and chicken wings, a fast and easy dinner was just the ticket! I had a package of kimchi gyoza (made in the U.S.) in the freezer. My big frying pan was in use, so I made kakejiru (broth for hot noodles) and we had soup. Mr. Tess picked the meat off the bones and with cucumbers and green onions we had most of the necessary food groups.

Hot Broth for Noodles
page 66

  • 1 quart ichiban dashi
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons sugar
  • ½ Tablespoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon shoyu
  • ½ Tablespoon usukuchi shoyu (light-colored soy sauce)

In a medium pot, bring all ingredients to a very slow boil over low to medium heat. Go slow and low—you don’t want the dashi to become bitter and cloudy, nor do you want the sugar and shoyu to burn.

Don’t tell Mr. Tess, but we had a treat two weeks ago at work. There was a meeting of neighborhood businesses at our store. My favorite neighbor is of course Zingerman’s (Bakehouse and Creamery, and I guess candy too). They make sour cream cakes, lemon sponge cakes, cookies, tarts, pies—if you have dreamed of an amazing baked dessert, then they have made it! It was a breakfast meeting, so everyone brought things to eat. It was an early breakfast meeting so I was dreaming away at home while they were filling their faces. This was no surprise but by the time I got to work, all that was left was a tray of melons, pineapple, and grapes, almost untouched. And there was an unopened package of Twinkies.

I haven’t had a Twinkie for decades! After lunch, a volunteer and I broke open the package to have a taste. It must be kids have a different sort of taste buds. C. had one bite. I took two, remembering how my siblings and I would plead with our mom to buy Twinkies for our lunches like all the other kids had…

By the way, that package of Twinkies has survived a couple of weeks of the usual afternoon sugar cravings of at least a dozen people, including some college kids. It’s prominently displayed on the window sill: I have heard they can last for years.


4 thoughts on “Kimchi Dumplings and Twinkies

  1. Tess, would you believe I’ve never had a Twinkie or Hostess cupcake, either? Not so my children, but not at home. Our son would trade anything for what he called a Hosted cupcake when he was two. Sigh. I gave him such healthy meals.

    We adore kimchee and used to live near Asian stores where many types were available. I see fresh in some regular markets now. Were the gyoza spicy? I don’t remember seeing them, but I spotted a new, small Asian grocery not too far from home and will try it when the pollen dies down.

    And not a word to Mr. Tess. ;-)

    • I would believe! My mom would cave-in once in a while, but they were rare treats.

      I should confess here that I did make Twinkies once. The public library had a “copy-cat” recipe book (keep in mind this was before home computers), so the recipe described making a light sponge-cake sort of cupcake. The ‘creme’ filling was made by whipping Crisco with sugar and vanilla for (maybe) 20 minutes. Well, despite having a nice Kitchen Aide with a very efficient whisk, my ‘creme’ was still very, um, flat and white and stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth Crisco-like.

      My memory is unclear, but I think my young daughter alerted me to a cat emergency and I ran out of the kitchen to take care of it. Forty-five minutes later, my mixer was still spinning, very hot, and the ‘creme’ did resemble a cream filling.

      Brought the homemade Twinkie cupcakes to her class and kids loved them. They tasted okay. But I never did try another “copy-cat” recipe!

      • Tess, I’ll bet the “Twinkies” would have been delicious if butter had been subbed for the Crisco. And in spite of the “cat emergency”. LOL
        Crisco is good for greasing pans and nothing else, IMO, and I have a feeling that you no longer use it, either.

    • Marcia,

      These kimchi gyoza were very mild. In fact I’d been afraid to try them because they might have been too spicy. The other night, we had some that were round like balls pinched on top, quite small. The instructions were to steam them. Very spicy!

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