Crystal skin vegetable dumplings

Do you like chinese dumplings? If so, try this recipe.
It is a little fiddly, but worth all the effort. They look awesome and taste even better.
Makes about 24 dumplings
8 fresh shiitake mushrooms chopped finely (you can use dried, just soak them in hot water for 15 minutes)
1 Tbsp oil
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, crushed
50 g garlic or normal chives, chopped finely
50 g spring onions, chopped finely
100 g Chinese water spinach (kankong) or Kai lan, shredded
1/4 cup chicken stock
2 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 Tbsp cornflour
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp rice wine (shao shing) or dry sherry
1/4 cup water chestnuts, chopped finely
chilli sauce or soy sauce to serve
Crystal dumpling dough
200 g wheat starch (or wheaten cornflour)

1 teaspoon cornflour 
3/4 cup boiling water
oil for kneading

You can find wheat starch in asian grocery stores.
Wheaten corn flour contains gluten, unlike cornflour.
I researched the topic of “what to substitute wheat starch for” on the internet.
If you’re having trouble finding the wheat starch you can have a look for substitutes in this forum.

My dough ended up being pretty much similar to what you get at yum cha restaurants. 
A little more chewy, I’d say. I don’t think I rolled it quite thin enough.
Don’t wait too long – eat your dumplings straight away as the dough hardens as it cools down.

Chop the mushrooms and water chestnuts in a food processor. Not too fine though, you want to be able to see some small pieces. 
Heat the oil in a frying pan over high heat, add ginger, garlic, a pinch of salt and white pepper. 
Cook for 30 seconds.
Add the chives, spring onions and spinach and cook for 1 minute.
Add the mushrooms and water chestnuts and stir all together. 
Combine the stock, oyster sauce, cornflour, soy sauce and rice wine, and add to the spinach mixture.
Cook for 1 minute or until thickened, then cool completely.
To make the wrappers, combine the wheat starch and cornflour. Make a well and add the boiling water, a little at a time, bringing the mixture together with your hands.
Knead with lightly oiled hands until the dough forms a smooth ball.
It might seem like there isn’t enough water and there is still a lot of flour not bonding. Just keep trying  to bring the dough together with your hands and don’t add any more water.
Roll out a walnut-sized piece of dough between two sheets of parchment or baking paper until you have a very thin 8cm diameter circle. Use a  cookie cutter to make a perfect circle.

Keep the rest of the dough under a damp towel while you work.
My special dumpling-making gadget
Place 1 Tbsp of the filling in the centre of your circle, fold the circle over and crimp the sides together in a half-moon shape.
As you can see from the photos, I used my gadget to shape the dumplings.


You may need to wet the edge of your circle with some water to make it stick nicely.
Put the dumplings in a parchment or baking paper-lined bamboo steamer, leaving a gap between each dumpling.


Cover and steam for 7-8 minutes. 
While the dumplings are in the steamer the dough will remain opaque – as soon as you take them out they will become translucent.

Serve with chilli sauce or soy sauce.


Let me know how yours worked out. I’d love to hear from you!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s