Tater Tot Dumplings

Do you feel that you're sophisticated, but also casual? Type A, yet many times Type B? Love trying new things, but also hate change? Ne...

Do you feel that you're sophisticated, but also casual? Type A, yet many times Type B? Love trying new things, but also hate change? Need things like sushi, bulgogi and dim sum in your life, but after a really long hard day, crave nothing other than mac and cheese? Maybe you're exactly like me... These dumplings have a lovely sophisticated look on the exterior, but inside, there's a crispy, crunchy, salty tater-tot. The essence of young America, at it's finest. 

I learned a very important lesson from Vegan Eats World by Terry Hope Romero, that American food is more now than ever a conglomeration of other nations' cuisines. I'm sure my kids will grow old one day with visions of homemade vegan sushi, tortellini, and Thai noodles as their great American pastime. American food is happening now. Let's make it everything we want it to be. First, let me stuff these tater tots inside these dumplings. 

Beer glasses make rather handy cookie/circular cutters.

Dumplings got a sweet view.

Not a better way to spend one's labor day. This might be the first one I've ever had off. Yay America. 

Tater Tot Dumplings:

4 large Russet potatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
canola oil, for frying
3 cups flour
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons oil

1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup sriracha
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice vinegar

Make the tots by slicing the russet potatoes either in half or in thirds, depending how large they are, and boil for 10 minutes. Then remove from water and let cool until handleable. Peel them, and using the large holes of a box grater, grate them. Add to a large bowl and mix with salt and pepper. 
With clean hands, roll them into a cylindrical, tater-tot shape. Once tots are formed, you can refrigerate them up to 2 hours or until ready to fry.
Make the dumpling dough by mixing together flour and salt, then adding the oil and water. mix and knead the dough until no longer sticky, about 3 minutes. Let it rest for about 30 minutes before you roll it out.
Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat and add canola oil until it comes about 1/4" up the sides of the pan. Carefully add tots to the oil. Let cook about 2 minutes on each side, until brown and crispy, then transfer to a baking rack lined with a paper towel.
Roll out your dough on a workspace. It should be pretty thin, maybe 1/4" or thinner. Using a beer glass or a 3 1/2" circular cutter, make as many circles as you can fit. When done, re-roll the scraps so no dough is wasted. 
Make sure your circles aren't sticking to the table, you can pick each one up carefully and sprinkle a little flour down and place them back on top of the flour, just in case you're worried about sticking. 
To assemble dumplings, place a tot in the middle of your circle, then bring the two ends together and press, enveloping your tot. Press along each part of the edges so the tot is secure. You can tug carefully on the sides of the circle to allow a little extra elasticity from the dough, to help you cover the tots easily. Careful, the tots are sharp enough to poke through.
Now, make a fin on your dumpling, by pinching the edge most towards the right, pulling your two pinched pairs of fingers just slightly apart, and then folding the dough so it is overlapping, like a pleat. Continue this pinch, pull, press method until you have a sweet little fin on the top of your dumpling. Set aside on a workspace or sheet pan dusted with a little flour to prevent sticking. Continue with the assembly until all tots are used up.
Heat a large cast-iron pan over medium, but more importantly, even heat. Add a few tablespoons of oil to the pan and roll the pan around to coat. Place the dumplings in the pan and make sure they don't touch. Let them cook about 3 minutes until their bottoms are nicely browned. Then steam the dumplings by carefully pouring about 1/2 cup or so of water into the pan and quickly covering it, so that the steam cooks the dumplings through. Once the water has been evaporated, the dumplings should be ready, probably about 5 minutes. If the water is evaporated but some dumplings still look doughy and not cooked, remove the cooked ones, and add a little more water to the pan, and cover. The rest of them should be done once the water evaporates.
Make the sriracha ketchup by whisking together ketchup, sriracha, rice vinegar, soy sauce and hoisin in a small mixing bowl. Now dunk your dumplings in it and eat them. the end. 

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  1. I can't believe how good those dumplings look - I find putting them together hard and when I saw you made your own tater tots - that is so impressive (as is your view)

    1. Thanks! It just takes a little practice to get the dumplings to look how you want. You don't have to make them crazy beautiful, as long as they get sealed, the rest is optional!

  2. There's nothing tater tots can't do!

  3. Tot dumplings! You took two of my most favourite things and combined them into something amazing!

    1. Two of my faves as well. Honestly, if someone doesn't like tots, and doesn't like dumplings, don't trust that person.

  4. It took me ages to realise that in Australia our tater tots are called potato gems. This is a gem of a recipe!

    1. Thanks! Potato gems, that's a cute term. A good euphemism for greasy fried potatoes!