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.
INGREDIENTS
 
Makes about 24 dumplings
 
Filling 
 
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.



METHOD
 
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!


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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