Easy dumplings stick to the pot and to the ‘Man’ while still tasting good

Taylor Richter and Taylor Richter

Most of the time, I live my life like the squirrels on campus live theirs.

I do what I have to get done, stick pretty much to myself and try to draw as little attention to myself as possible.

But there are other things I have in common with the squirrels. I spend most of my life looking for food to eat, and everyone knows that beneath my go-with-the-flow attitude, I’m really up to no good.

Think about the last time you spent a nice afternoon outside the Union, eating a sandwich, engaging in a staring contest with that innocent-looking squirrel. He seemed as though he was just enjoying sharing the common space of the world with his human brother or sister. But really, you knew he was sizing you up, weighing his chances to steal that meatball sub right out of your greasy fingers.

In my own subtle way, I’m always looking for ways to stick it to the Man. If you’re like me, less of an outright rabble-rouser and more of a sneak-extra-packets-of-Splenda-into-you-coat-pockets type of corporate Erin Brockovich, you’re going to love this week’s recipe.

STICK-IT-TO-THE-MAN DUMPLINGS

Homemade anything sounds all hoity-toity, not to mention extremely expensive. But never fear! You too can make “homemade” deep-fried Chinese dumplings out of the things that are in your fridge (and from a lot of things you can buy on campus). Consider it a tiny middle finger to those haughty culinary know-it-alls.

You’ll need:

Flour, water, meat, veggies, oil, seasonings and honey

Really. That’s it.

Pour about a cup of flour (one cup yields enough to feed two comfortably) into a bowl and start to add water. In the end you should get a ball of dough that isn’t hard or dry but isn’t sticky either. Cover with a wet paper towel and let sit.

The filling is your canvas for creativity. I like to use leftover chicken or pork (you can get chopped up grilled chicken at Outtakes in Offenhauer that work just perfectly for this) diced and mixed with whatever veggies I can find.

Put all your ingredients into a skillet, and sauté in butter and honey. If you like a little heat, now is the perfect time to add chili powder and pepper. Once cooked all the way through, put the filling onto a plate to cool.

In the same skillet, heat up about half an inch of oil. While the oil is heating, take tablespoon-sized pieces of dough, and flatten them into discs. You’ve got to make the dough as thin as possible, or you are going to have a thick and nasty failure on your hands.

Onto the thin circle of dough goes a tablespoon of filling. Fold the dough so you have a half-moon shaped dumpling, and crimp the edges closed with a fork.

Carefully drop the dumpling in the oil. Keep a close eye on the cooking because it will be perfect and brown and delicious in no time. Drain onto a plate with a paper towel to wick up the extra oil.

This perfectly easy and tasty meal can be finished with any number of things that can be bought on campus — Uncle Ben’s rice, Ramen noodles or bagged salads make delicious choices.