Okay guys. DUMPLINGS ARE JUST LEGIT. If we could eat one thing (god forbid though) while stuck on an island, it would be THIS. Two things we can’t get enough of, is the chives and chilli.
Can you remember when the first time you’ve had dumplings? Our first memories are around 8 years (Enna) and 7 years (May) old, wrapping dumplings reluctantly. We would spend hours, or the whole day wrapping dumplings.
The best thing about Dumplings is that you literally can put anything in your filling and it will taste good! The key thing to a great dumpling filling is: cornstarch, a bit of water and your hands to mix the mixture.
We do get a wee snobby about dumplings as we’ve had our fair share of underfilled dumplings. Sometimes you don’t know what goes in those fillings :-(.
TIP: The fattier the pork you can get, the juicier the filling will be. Better, buy whole chunks of pork and blitz in your food processor to make the mince.
Let us tell you about Chinese Chives, aka Garlic Chives 韭菜. In Cantonese we pronounce them as “Gou Choy”. You won’t be able to get these at your regular supermarkets, but they are a staple at your local Asian grocer. They are DELICIOUS in just about anything. It’s commonly paired with pork or egg. WARNING: they do “smell” once they’ve been left out in the open or on the reheat. Too many a times, we had to hide out back to eat these in secrecy. When you hear your colleague say “What’s that garbage smell?” you know you have to vacate the building.
Who doesn’t like Dumplings? Even better when you have time to make fresh dumpling wrappers. Set aside your Sunday morning making these dumplings, freeze them in advance and you have dumplings that would last you for a couple of weekend dinners.
- 500 g fatty pork mince we use free range
- 1 cup rehydrated Shiitake Mushrooms
- 1 cup napa cabbage
- 1/4 cup water chestnuts
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 2 tbsp Shaoxing wine
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp shiitake mushroom broth
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1/2 tbsp white pepper
- 1 tsp neutral oil
- 1/2 cup Chicken broth
- 1 tbsp Chiu Chow Chilli oil
- 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1 tbsp Ginger grated
- 1 tbsp Garlic grated
- 1/2 tbsp Chinkiang Vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp Toasted sesame oil
- 480 g All Purpose flour
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 cup water just boiled
- corn or potato starch for dusting
If you use dehydrated mushrooms, first wash the mushrooms in cold water, then soak in hot water in a pot with a lid on. Ideally for at least a few hours or overnight.
Dice up chives, napa cabbage, mushroom and water chestnuts.
Place pork mince in a large mixing bowl.
Place Shaoxing wine, Rice Cooking wine, sesame oil, canola oil, mushroom broth, sugar, white and black pepper, salt, soy sauce together with the pork.
Squeeze the mixture with your hands and thoroughly mix together. Once it is mixed together, start taking a palm sized amount and throw it against the wall of your bowl. Keep “splatting” the meat against the side for another 2-3 minutes while squeezing the meat through your hands and fingers. By using this squeezing and throwing motion, we are creating a more “spongy” meat texture generally seen in Siu Mai.
Add in all the vegetables and continue to mix thoroughly for at least another 2-3 minutes.
Cover and set aside in the fridge for 30 minutes.
While the pork is resting, you can make the dumpling wrappers. Sift flour twice in a bowl.
Place salt in water and mix together until dissolved.
Slowly add the water to the flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula. If the dough is not sticking together, wet your hands to knead the dough until it forms in a dough consistency.
Take the dough out and start kneading for 10minutes.
Shape into a ball and cut in fours.
Roll into a long cylinder, roughly 2 cm in diameter. Wrap in plastic wrap and repeat with the remaining dough. Place in the fridge to rest for 30minutes.
Take the dough out and cut into equal pieces (should be around 12 or more depending how long your roll is).
Prepare your work surface and sprinkle some corn or potato starch. Place any unused dough under a damp tea towel to prevent from drying.
Take your freshly cut dough and roll in a ball. Place on your worktable and use a rolling pin to roll out once into a nice circular shape. Flip 90 degrees and roll out until you get a circular shape.
If you have a cookie cutter (8cm wide), you can cut the wrapper out for consistency. Once you have your circular shape, start rolling the edges of the wrapper towards the center. The idea is that you’d want your edges thinner and the base slightly thicker, so the edges stick and the base is thick enough to support your filling.
Start filling the wrappers with the pork filling. Heat up a wok or large saucepan and wait for it to boil. Drop the dumplings and boil for a few minutes until the dumplings rise up or translucent.
In a bowl, add the chilli oil, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, sesame and mix. Then add your chicken broth. Taste to adjust to your liking – if you want it more sour, add more vinegar. If you want it more spicy, add more chilli.
Garnish with toasted peanuts, spring onions and coriander.