Monday, January 24, 2011

Fried Sweet Potato Dumplings

Oh, where has the time gone by?  There has been so much going on in my household that I have not updating this blog recently.  My parents have finally settled in their house, while the transition has not been as easy and smooth as we have expected it, the life routine has caught up with them.  Moving across the state is tiring and chaotic, there is a lot of phone calls to make, and a trail of paperwork for everything new.  I am just thankful that I did not get sick while helping them organize their house.  I feel like the older they get the more I actually take care of them; the role is reversed without one of us asking it.

Since there are two households now, most of the cooking has been relegated to my mom.  She makes Chinese-Indonesian food very often and honestly, tastier than mine.  My role is to occasionally cook anything other than that, and one of her first requests is for me to make lasagna so that is probably what I will write next time.  My mom is very happy now that there are three other people to share her cooking.  Dad has had gallbladder surgeries twice so my mom used to cook everything very bland and restricted; now she does not mind cooking for him and for us because it means she can enjoy normal food again.
Fried sweet potato dumplings

With that mission to feed us plenty of goodies, she has also started to bake or make typical Indonesian snacks.  One of her recent offerings was fried sweet potato dumplings.  This type of snack is actually harder to find in Indonesia because it is considered to be an old-fashioned style snack.  As a result, unless it is made homemade, you would not find it so easily in store.  I can not remember how long ago since the last time I eat this.  The filling is basically chopped onions and a bit of garlic, ground pork or chicken, sweet soy sauce, sugar, salt, and pepper.  To thicken the filling, sometimes all-purpose flour is used.  The color of the filling must be quite brown, from the sweet soy sauce, and the flavor is a combination of sweet, salty and a little pungent, the outside texture is crisp-chewy especially just after being fried.  The skin is made from mashing ground sweet potato that has been boiled until soft.  It is then mixed with sweet glutinous flour, a bit of salt, sugar, and warm water until the dough has a consistency of playdough.  Fill each ball with the filling and fry one by one in hot oil until the outside is crispy and the inside is done.  The orange color of the dumpling can be shocking though the sweet potato flavor is quite discernible and actually pleasant.  If you have had mochi or Chinese sesame seed balls, this is similar to that in terms of the dough texture.

Yes, the process seems quite a bit tedious, but the end result is totally worth the trouble.  And when it is made with a mother's love, I can taste the memory of my childhood every time I bite into one.