Another dumpling recipe to share today, albeit this one from the opposite side of the world. Today’s recipe is a dim sum favorite, I’ve never before attempted to make from scratch at home. Tender-moist, translucent, and dripping with sweet-salty flavor, we scarffed these dumplings along side a meal of steamed sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaves and mugs of steaming jasmine green tea.
Like so many Asian recipes, the vegetable here (lanky green Chinese chives) takes center stage, and the shrimp play a more supporting roll. If Chinese chives are hard to find in your area, I can imagine a version done with fresh ramps or even green garlic would be fantastic.
As a side note, I’ve tried a few times now to make my own chili sauce by whizzing hot red chilis, garlic, salt, and rice vinegar in the food processor. Vibrant red (see above), homemade chili sauce reminds me Vietnamese street markets. I used bird chilies this time, which yielded an *extremely* spicy condiment, not for the faint-of-pallet. If you go this route, I warn you: inhale with caution while you’re blending – airborne chilies are rather unpleasant in the sinuses.
One Year Ago: Hot Cross Buns & The Rabbit of Easter.
Makes 18 dumplings & serves 4-6.
Shrimp & Chinese Chive Dumpling
Adapted from Andrea Nguyen’s Asian Dumplings
For the Filling
- ½ tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp sherry or rice wine
- 3 tsp cornstarch, divided
- 4 ½ oz peeled & deveined shrimp, cut into pea sized pieces
- ½ tsp sugar
- 2 pinches white pepper
- 2 tsp oyster sauce
- ½ tsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 6 oz Chinese chives (also called garlic chives), trimmed and cut into ½ inch pieces (about 1 medium bunch)
Combine the soy sauce, sherry or rice wine, 1 tsp cornstarch, and shrimp in a small bowl. Set aside to marinate while you prepare the other ingredients.
In another bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 tsp cornstarch, sugar, white pepper, oyster sauce, sesame oil, and water. Set aside.
Heat a wok or large skillet over medium high heat and add the canola oil. Add the chives – stir and cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Add the shrimp and the cornstarch, sugar, oyster sauce mixture and cook about 1 minute more until they have just turned pink. Transfer to a bowl and chill.
For the Wheat Starch Dough
- 4 ½ oz, 1 cup wheat starch (available in Asian supermarkets)
- 2 ¼ oz, ½ cup tapioca starch (available in Asian supermarkets)
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 cup just boiled water
- 4 tsp vegetable oil
While the filling is chilling, prepare the dough. Whisk together the wheat starch, tapioca starch, and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in almost all the water. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, gradually incorporate the water into the starches – it should be white, mottled looking, but coherent. If it looks dry, add the remaining water (I added the full cup.) At this point, add the oil, and using your hands, form into a rough, slightly bouncy, ball.
Transfer to an unfloured work surface and kneed 1-2 minutes. The dough should not crack when squeezed – if it does, lightly oil one hand and kneed into the dough. Divide the dough in thirds and set aside to rest in a plastic bag.
Forming and Steaming the Dumplings
To shape the dumplings, you’ll need two 6-7 inch sheets of plastic lightly oiled on one side and a heavy plate or skillet for pressing. I cut a zip top bag to use as the plastic sheets.
For cooking, you’ll need an Asian-style bamboo steamer set over a large pot or wok of simmering water. Line the steamer trays with parchment paper circles cut just slightly smaller than the trays and lightly oiled.
Working with one section of dough at a time, roll into a cylinder and cut into 6 even pieces. Form each into a disk. One at a time, place a disc between the sheets of oiled plastic – oiled side in contact with the dough. Using the skillet or plate, firmly press the dough into a thin circle, 1/8-1/4 inch in thickness. Repeat with the remaining discs.
Place about 1 tbsp chilled filling on each piece of pressed dough. Fold into a half-moon, pinch the edges closed and crimp or flute decoratively. Set the formed dumplings on the prepared steamer trays.
Steam about 7 minutes until puffed and somewhat translucent.
- 2 tbsp soy sauce mixed with 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- bought chili garlic sauce
- vegetable oil for pan frying (optional)
Serve the dumplings steamed with soy & vinegar + chili garlic sauce for dipping. Or, cool the dumplings and pan fry in a small skillet of hot vegetable oil. (Hot dumplings spatter horribly – don’t try to pan fry them!)
These dumplings don’t freeze well but can be kept refrigerated up to 3 days – reheat by pan frying or lightly steaming.