YES, I WANT TO CALL IT MOJO. NOT SAUCE. MOJO.
Ooops, am I too late? Have you already laid out your master game-plan for this sunday, unregrettably I hope, from this really awesome list I put together? And now you could really kick yourself (or just kick me…)?
Well, that’s the thing about braving a crazy idea. It needs to overcome a bit of hesitation-lag. A crazily messy ideas like this that leads to moments of me staring at the final photographs, and doesn’t know what the hell I’m looking at. An idea that I hallucinated about on Tuesday, doubted on Wednesday, gave up on Thursday, then on Friday… I thought, fuck it. Life is too short – especially when it involves pork – not to make me a deep fried pork dumpling nachos, with kimchi salsa and gochujang and sour cream nacho-mojo (yes, I want to call it mojo, not sauce, mojo). So here we are. Kicking ourselves.
I know we are short on time, so I’ll spare the pornographic description that I usually paint you, and jump straight to the points. Crispy blistered doughs with salty fish-saucy pork fillings. Spicy, garlicky and crunchy kimchi salsa over a blanket of melted cheese. Then in a finale-squirt of spicy, tangy and creamy gochujang nacho-mojo. Here listen, I don’t call stuff mojo for nothin’ al’right?
So we still got a couple days. Let’s get to it.
Serves: 6 people
OK, I assume the first thing most of you would be tempted to think is, can I use store-bought frozen pork dumplings instead of making my own? Well, I tried that. Besides not having the more flat chips-like shape which I’m very fond of, I found that frozen dumplings often have cracks on the wrappers, which will leak juice during frying that leads to splatters. Also, they don’t get as puffy and blistered as fresh dumplings. So here’s what I suggest, if you can, buy freshly made dumplings that aren’t frozen as the first choice of substitute. If you absolutely must use frozen, leave them on the counter for 20 min to thaw first before frying, and watch out for splatters.
Then of course, this kimchi salsa… and this gochujang nacho sauce… guys, plain old boring tortilla chips will likee, too.
- 60 Chinese dumpling wrappers
- 8 oz (230 grams) fatty ground pork
- 1/4 cup (20 grams) finely diced scallions
- 2 tsp fish sauce
- 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 1/2 tsp cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 3 tbsp (55 grams) sour cream
- 2 tbsp (50 grams) gochujang/Korean chili paste
- 3/4 tsp rice vinegar
- 1/4 tsp honey
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp kimchi juice to thin out, if needed
- 1 1/2 cup (250 grams) kimchi without juice, finely diced
- 2 shallot, finely minced
- 1 medium-size tomato
- 1/2 cup (40 grams) diced scallion, green parts only
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- Shredded gouda cheese and cheddar cheese to your heart's content
- TO MAKE THE FRIED PORK DUMPLINGS: Evenly mix fatty ground pork, finely diced scallions, fish sauce, toasted sesame oil, grated ginger, cornstarch and ground white pepper. Put about 2 tsp of the pork-filling in the center of a dumpling wrapper, then wet the edges with a bit of water. Place another dumpling wrapper over the top, and seal the edges tightly. Repeat until you're done with all the dumplings. Can be done the night before (Keep the dumpings well floured and plastic-wrapped in the fridge. Do not freeze or the wrapper might crack).
- Add enough vegetable oil in a frying-pot until it reaches 2" deep. Set over medium-high heat until the oil reaches 330F/165C, or until it bubbles up quickly around the edges of an inserted wooden chopstick. Without crowding the pot, fry the dumpling for about 2 min on each sides, until puffed and golden browned. Let drain over a baking-rack, and repeat with the rest. You can fry the dumpling up to 1 hour before serving.
- TO MAKE THE GOCHUJANG MOJO : Evenly mix sour cream, gochujang/Korean chili paste, rice vinegar, honey and freshly ground black pepper together. If the sauce is too thick, thin it out with a bit of kimchi juice. Set aside.
- TO MAKE THE KIMCHI SALSA: Halve the tomato and squeeze out any excess juice, then finely dice. Mix it with the finely diced kimchi (without juice), minced shallot, diced scallion and chopped cilantro. Set aside.
- TO PUT IT TOGETHER: Preheat the oven on 450F/230C. Layer fried pork dumplings and generous amount of shredded cheese on an oven-proof serving-platter (I wouldn't do more than 2 layers). Bake in the oven until the cheese has full melted and bubbly. Top it with the kimchi salsa, and squeeze the gochujang nacho mojo all over (I put it in a small plastic bag with a small cut-out hole). Serve immediately.