Butternut Squash and Turkey Dumplings 南瓜火雞水餃

Having lived in the West for more than half of my life, strangely, Chinese New Year seems less and less significant for me these days, not to mention that I'm already not someone who's very accustomed to celebrating holidays. Also, you don't get days off like they do in Taiwan (somewhere around 6-8 days). Here, I feel lucky if the Chinese New Year's Eve is on the weekend!

As I was growing up, my parents used to take us back to their families' homes in the southern part of Taiwan every Chinese New Year. It's the tradition for family to get together on this major holiday. We would first worship and give offerings to our ancestors to ask for their blessings and protection for the New Year. Then, all the women would be in the kitchen preparing for the feast, while the men talked and the kids played. Frankly, because of all the firecrackers that used to scare me, I never really cared much about the Chinese New Year, except that I was happy to get the days off and to get to eat a lot of delicious food.

I used dried shredded wood ear mushrooms, but feel free to use whole wood ear mushrooms.


Even though I don't always have a big gathering on the Chinese New Year, I've always tried nonetheless to make something traditional, such as braised lion's head (It's not what you think!), turnip cakes, or red bean cakes, etc., just to add a little festive spirit. One of the things my family often ate on Chinese New Year's Eve was dumplings. It symbolizes wealth since the shape of the dumplings resembles ancient silver and gold ingots. Typically, the dumplings I grew up with were made with ground pork and Chinese chives or with Chinese cabbage. I thought, since there is already plenty of traditional Chinese dumpling recipes out there, why not do something a little different and more creative... like turkey! It's less fatty, and with the butternut squash and bok choy, you get plenty of vitamin A, antioxidants and more! Also, for those of you who have trouble finding some Chinese ingredients like me, you don't have to worry about having to miss out on homemade dumplings!

Butternut Squash and Turkey Dumplings (Makes About 40-50 Dumplings)

For the Filling:

1/2 C dried shredded wood ear mushrooms (you can also use whole wood ear mushrooms or other kind of mushrooms, like shiitake)

2 bok choy

A: 300 g     ground turkey (a little less than 11 lbs)
    2 C        shredded butternut squash
    1/4 C     chopped scallions
    1/2 t      finely grated ginger
    1           egg
    1 1/2 T   rice wine
    2 t         soy sauce (since every brand has a different salt content, 
                 I would start with 1 1/2 t first)
    1 t         amino sauce (If you don't have amino sauce, no worries, 
                 just add 1 more teaspoon of soy sauce instead)
    1 t         extra virgin olive oil (if your turkey is kind of lean, I would 
                 add an extra teaspoon of oil)
    1/4 t      sesame oil
    1/2 t      sea salt
    1/8 t      ground white pepper

1 recipe of homemade whole wheat dumpling wrappers (to see the recipe, please click here) or 1 package of store-bought dumpling wrappers

For the sauce:

soy sauce
a little bit of Chinese black vinegar
some chopped scallions (optional)
a little bit of sesame oil or chili oil
*I do not give amounts for the sauce because everybody likes to mix it to their own proportions.

To Make the Filling: 
1. Soak the mushrooms. Bring about 1 quart of water to a boil.

2. Trim off the bottom of the bok choy; rinse off the dirt.

3. When the water is boiling, add the bok choy and blanch for about 30 seconds, then strain it and set aside to cool.

4. Coarsely chop the soaked mushrooms.

5. When the bok choy is cool enough to handle, squeeze out the extra liquid from it and finely chop it.

6. Add the bok choy and wood ear mushrooms to ingredients A in a large-sized bowl.

7. Using a fork, stir constantly in the same direction for about a minute or until the mixture gets a little sticky, but not dry.

To Make the Dumplings:

1. Spoon about 1 1/2 teaspoons of the filling in the center. Bring together the opposite ends of the wrapper and press together. (See photos below.) *If you're using store-bought wrappers, you may have to use your finger or a brush to moisten the edge of the wrapper to seal it since they're not as sticky as homemade ones. 

2. You can simply seal the rest of the edges that way and leave it as it is, or if you want to be fancy, you can try to create some pleats. (See photos below.)

3. Place your finished dumplings onto a well floured plate or tray and cover with plastic wrap.


To Cook the Dumplings:
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. *Make sure you have enough water to cover all the dumplings you're making.

2. Add the dumplings to the boiling water. *Use a spatula or a spider to move them around for 30 seconds, so they won't stick together or stick to the bottom of the pot.

3. Make your dipping sauce.

4. When it comes to a boil and all the dumplings float to the surface, add 1/2 cup of water to the pot.

5. When it comes to a reboil, let the dumplings boil for 1-2 minutes. Take them out with a spider and enjoy right away with the sauce! *When boiling the dumplings, don't bring them to a hard boil; it may cause the dumpling skins to break.

                                                                                               - Yvonne





南瓜火雞水餃 (40-50顆)


乾木耳絲 1/3 杯 也可以使用整朵的木耳

青江菜     2 顆 

A: 火雞絞肉       300 (11)
    南瓜  2
    切碎的蔥       1/4
    磨碎的薑       1/2
    蛋               1小顆
    米酒            1 1/2 大匙
    醬油            1 (醬油的鹹度因不同廠牌而異,不要一開使就加太多)
    橄欖油         1小匙 (若您的火雞肉比較瘦,可以多加1小匙的橄欖油)
    香油            1/4
    海鹽            1/2
    白胡椒         1/8

自製全麥水餃皮 (閱讀食譜請按這裡) 或水餃皮一包


一點蔥花 (可以不使用)


1. 將乾木耳浸泡在水裡。另外,將4杯水煮開。

2. 將青江菜底部切除並洗淨。

3. 水煮滾後,放入青江菜燙30秒至1分鐘;瀝乾水,放一旁冷卻。

4. 將木耳從水拿出,稍微切碎。

5. 將青江菜水份擠出並切碎。

6. 將切好的青江菜及木耳與A料放入一個中型容器中。

7. 用叉子攪拌至有點黏,但又不太乾即可。


1. 將水餃皮的中間放上適量的餡料,在水餃皮邊緣抹上一點水,然後將兩邊拉起來捏緊。

2. 將包好的水餃放置撒有麵粉的盤上,稍微蓋上保鮮膜。


1. 將水煮滾。*水量必需要能淹過水餃。

2. 將水餃放入滾水中,並稍微翻動它們以免黏在一起。

3. 水餃浮上水面後,加入半杯的水繼續煮。

4. 當水再度滾開,讓水餃稍微滾1-2分鐘即可撈出食用。*注意不要把火開太大,若讓水餃滾的太劇烈,皮有可能會破。

                                                                                               - Yvonne

You can simply seal all edges of the dumpling and leave it as it is.

If you're a beginner but would like to do the pleats, here's a way to cheat and still look like the traditional pleats: 
Left: 1. After sealing all the edges of the dumpling, fold the middle of the seam to create a pleat. 
Right: 2. Working outward from the middle toward the edge of the dumpling, fold one or two more pleats. 
左圖:1. 在所有的邊都捏合之後,從中間摺一個褶。
右圖:2. 從中間往外再繼續摺一個或兩個褶。

3. Return to the middle of the seam and repeat in the opposite direction to finish.
3. 在另一端重複之前的動作完成。


To Store the Dumplings:

If you're not using them or all of them right away, transfer the plate or tray with the finished dumplings to the freezer for 1 hour until they're partly frozen and hard. Then transfer them again into a large gallon size plastic bag or a large container. Store them in the freezer. 



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