Round, round, round… making meatballs is relaxation. My mind moves ’round from one topic to another, settling to meditate on an idea—how a compliment from a stranger can brighten a day. Oh, love sought is good, but given unsought, is better. A surprise is to be wondered at just because it is unexpected, and so…
Dumplings are amazing!
Of course putting a filling on a piece of dough isn’t a stretch of the imagination, but it does show that people do think alike, even when they live at different ends of the earth. I won’t get into the controversy about who “invented” dumplings! There are just so many varieties, and they are all good.
Dumplings make happy people all around the world.
After much searching, I found Oita. It is a rural area in the Kyushu region in southern Japan, well known for abundant onsen hot springs. It is also famous for its dumpling soup (dango jiru). This is a miso soup with vegetables, and often chicken or pork. What sets it apart are the dango. Oita dango are made with wheat flour. The dough is flattened and then stretched by hand into long noodles.
And BINGO!!! I also found this recipe! I used this as a guide for my exploration.
It appears that “Shinjo” is the name of a baseball player. It’s also a Japanese dumpling made with shrimp. Ms. Shimbo likens it to French fish-and-shellfish quenelles. This is the first recipe in this book that I cannot wholehearted say I enjoyed. Even Mr. Tess (who is usually most appreciative) admitted he didn’t care for them!!
It was dumpling day at la maison de Tess. This dish is adapted from Chinese kitchens: rounds of wheat dough stuffed with minced pork and cabbage then boiled or steamed. Once upon a time, servants of wealthy houses ate leftover food from the family table. Dumplings with cold noodle dough and congealed meat are not appealing, so clever servants devised a method of pan-frying the dumplings to get a pleasant crisp texture and additional flavor. This style of preparation became popular in Japan.
This is the second recipe that Pat, over at The Asian Grandmothers’ Cookbook, sent me to test. If testing new recipes sounds like fun to you let her know. This recipe is “Grandma Mivoshi’s Dango Jiru.” It’s a Japanese-Hawaiian soup with lots of greens, Spam ™, and dumplings. “Dango” refers to the dumplings, which in Japan are usually made with rice flour, but in this Hawaiian variation, the dumplings are made with all-purpose flour.