Fried Dumplings With Jamaican Fillings

When it comes to popular comfort foods, you cannot go wrong with dumplings. These mini bites of tastiness are often made for takeout or eating in at a restaurant. And while they are usually associated with Asian cuisine, it doesn’t have to stop there. Did you know that dumplings can be made with a Jamaican flair, too?

It comes down to the filling. After all, dumplings can be stuffed with anything your heart – or stomach – desires. This is the beauty of homemade food. And by using Caribbean ingredients, you can create something unique and delicious. Think curry, beef, and spices. You can even make a coconut sauce to complement the mouth-watering Jamaican flavors. Are you drooling yet?

How to Make Dumplings - Fried Dumplings with Jamaican Fillings

About Jamaican Cuisine

Jamaican food is all about rich and bold flavor. It is also quite healthy! This is because Caribbean cuisine does not depend on processed foods. Instead, it features fresh ingredients that can be found around the islands, including tons of fruits, vegetables, and seafood. Meat is also served in small portions, resulting in a wonderfully balanced diet.

Spices like curry powder and thyme are a big part of Jamaican food. They pack in so much flavor without the need for salt. The use of curry comes from the Indian immigrants who came to Jamaica in the 1800s. Many dishes also call for Scotch bonnet peppers. They are related to habaneros and can be found at Caribbean grocery stores.

Thanks to the tropical climate of Jamaica, coconuts are widely available, so it’s no wonder many recipes call for coconut milk or meat. The oil can even be used to sauté vegetables. Plantains, avocados, and sweet potatoes are also staples in Jamaican cuisine.

Jamaican Beef Dumpling Filling - Fried Dumplings with Jamaican Fillings

Jamaican Beef Dumplings

Inspired by Jamaican beef patties, these fried dumplings are savory and spicy. They can be eaten as a snack, appetizer, or meal. And if you don’t like beef? Try ground turkey or chicken. Yum.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Chop ½ of a medium onion and 2 scallion sprigs. Add the chopped onions and scallions with 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, ½ teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon curry powder. If you want an extra kick, add ½ teaspoon chopped Scotch bonnet peppers. Once the onions are soft, add the ground beef. Add enough water to barely cover the meat. Cook the mixture on low heat for 20 to 25 minutes. Once the meat has been thoroughly cooked, remove from the stove top.

To make your scrumptious dumplings, you will need 40 circle wrappers. The package may read “dumpling,” “wonton,” or “gyoza” wrappers. Add 1 tablespoon of filling to the center of each wrapper. And while it might be tempting, don’t overfill. Otherwise, your dumplings will probably fall apart. Use your fingers to add water along the edge of each wrapper. This will be the “glue” that holds it together. Keep a bowl of water nearby for ease and efficiency. Fold and press the dumpling into a half-moon shape. Press down along the edge to secure.

Now, here is the fun part. To cook the dumplings, heat oil in a clean pan, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the bottom is golden brown. Flip them over, and pour ½ cup water into the pan. Cover until the water has practically evaporated. This should take no more than 4 to 5 minutes. Uncover the pan until all of the water evaporates.

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Jamaican Cabbage Dumpling Filling - Fried Dumplings with Jamaican Fillings

Jamaican Cabbage Dumplings

Beef does not have to be the highlight of your Jamaican dumplings. You can also add a Caribbean touch with a spiced cabbage filling. Jerk chicken or pork can be added to the mixture if you’d like.

Heat olive oil over medium heat. Chop ½ a small onion. Turn up the heat to high, and cook the chopped onion. Add ½ teaspoon fresh thyme, ½ teaspoon curry powder, and a dash of salt and pepper. For a spicy kick, throw in ½ a Scotch bonnet pepper. Don’t bother chopping it because you will remove it later. Shred ½ a cabbage head, and add it to the mixture. Add ½ cup shredded carrots. Cover and reduce heat to medium until the cabbage is soft, about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Once the cabbage has softened, uncover and add 1 tablespoon white sugar and 1/8 cup white or apple cider vinegar. Continue cooking until the cabbage is tender. If you added the pepper, discard it now. Follow the instructions above to construct and cook the dumplings.

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Jamaican Coconut Dipping Sauce - Fried Dumplings with Jamaican Fillings

Jamaican Coconut Dipping Sauce

This rich and creamy sauce emphasizes the best of Caribbean flavors. Use it as a dip, or drizzle it on the dumplings. For a simpler option, you can use sour cream or plain yogurt. Add a sprinkling of curry powder or herbs, or eat it plain.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine:

  • ½ cup canned coconut milk
  • 4 peeled and chopped shallots
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

Stir and cook until the mixture has thickened. Once the shallots are soft, your sauce is ready to go.

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These recipes prove that cooking has no borders. Your taste buds will adore this unique fusion of cultures. Looking for even more Caribbean vibes? Wash down your dumplings with pineapple juice or rum punch.

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