Blanched spinach is chopped and mixed with softened cream cheese to make the filling for these delicious fried dumplings. A splendid appetizer for the holidays.
It was my daughter, Sam, who first came up with the idea back in the summer of 2015. We were at the grocery and, at the vegetable section, Sam asked if we could buy spinach. How would we cook it, I asked. She said we’d mix the spinach with cream cheese and use the mixture as filling for fried dumplings.
Genius, I thought. The cream cheese would soften and turn gooey during frying, the wrappers would be crispy… We made the spinach and cream cheese dumplings per Sam’s suggestion. They were as good as I imagined. Better, even. I took photos and published the recipe.
We’ve made spinach and cream cheese dumplings countless times since 2015. Sam even came up with a variation with fresh mushrooms added. But it is only now, in 2021, that I decided to reshoot photos to go with the recipe.
In the past, the dumplings were formed into two-dimensional triangles. Time for an updated look — still triangular but three-dimensional this time like pyramids. Why is the three-dimensional shape better? Because there are more edges and that means more crunch.
My younger daughter, Alex, made the dumplings and took most of the step-by-step photos.
Spinach and Cream Cheese Dumplings
- 250 grams fresh spinach
- 125 grams cream cheese softened
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons dried onion
- 1 teaspoon dried garlic
- 18 four-inch square wonton skins (you'll need more if they are smaller)
- cooking oil
- Rinse the spinach well and drain.
- Blanch the drained spinach in boiling water just until wilted.
- Scoop out the spinach and dump into a bowl of cold water.
- Squeeze the spinach to remove as much water as you can.
- Chop the spinach.
- Place the cream cheese in a mixing bowl and add the salt, dried onion and dried garlic.
- Add the chopped spinach and mix until blended and the mixture has a homogenous appearance.
- Lay a wonton skin flat and drop a teaspoonful of the spinach-cheese filling at the center.
- Wet the edges of the wonton skin with water.
- Gather the corners of the wonton skin together, pressing the wet edges to seal the filling.
- Repeat until all the skins have been filled and sealed, or until you run out of filling.
- Heat enough oil in a wok or frying pan to reach a depth of at least two inches.
- When the oil temperature reaches 350F, fry the dumplings in batches.
- Drop in a few of the dumplings, flat side down, fry until the bottoms are lightly browned them flip them over to brown the tops.
- Scoop out and move to a rack.
- Repeat until all the dumplings have to fried to golden brown perfection.