Sunday, June 14, 2009
Chinese Dumplings/Pot Stickers
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...The Daring Bakers' June challenge was chosen by Jen from use real butter. She proposed that we make dumplings, boiled, steamed or fried. This was intriguing, but due to time constraints I came down to the wire and almost missed the deadline. Fortunately, it was not a difficult challenge. I've used the dough recipe for many years, primarily as a wrapper for egg rolls, so creating the discs to hold the filling was not a problem. The only trick is allowing the gluten to relax before going at it with a rolling pin. Shaping the dumplings was another story. I did a quick scan of Jaden Hair's wonderful instructions for pleating dumplings to get some idea how this is done manually. I have a small gadget that I normally use for shaping dumplings. I couldn't use it for this challenge because the dumplings had to be made by hand. I decided to use the shrimp filling included in Jen's recipe breakdown for the challenge. The filling is very nice. I decided to steam the dumplings and serve them with a dipping sauce that we often use at our table. I hope you'll try making your own dumplings. It really is fun to do. Here's are the recipes used for this month's challenge.
Chinese Dumplings...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup warm water
flour for work surface
1/2 lb (225g) raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, and coarsely chopped
1/2 lb (225g) ground pork
3 stalks green onions, minced
1/4 cup (55g) ginger root, minced
1 cup (142g) water chestnuts, minced
1 tsp (5g) salt
3 tbsp (40g) sesame oil
2 tbsp (16g) corn starch
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup chopped scallions
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon sriracha or sambal
1) To make the dough: Place the flour in the work bowl of a food processor with the dough blade. Run the processor and pour the warm water in until incorporated. Pour the contents into a sturdy bowl or onto a work surface and knead until uniform and smooth. The dough should be firm and silky to the touch and not sticky.[Note: it’s better to have a moist dough and have to incorporate more flour than to have a dry and pilling dough and have to incorporate more water). Knead the dough about twenty strokes then cover with a damp towel for 15 minutes. Take the dough and form a flattened dome. Cut into strips about 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide. Shape the strips into rounded long cylinders. On a floured surface, cut the strips into 3/4 inch pieces. Press palm down on each piece to form a flat circle (you can shape the corners in with your fingers). With a rolling pin, roll out a circular wrapper from each flat disc. Take care not to roll out too thin or the dumplings will break during cooking - about 1/16th inch. Leave the centers slightly thicker than the edges. Place a tablespoon of filling in the center of each wrapper and fold the dough in half, pleating the edges along one side). Keep all unused dough under damp cloth.
2) To make the filling: Combine all filling ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly . Cover and refrigerate until ready to use (up to a day, but preferably within an hour or two).
3) To make the dipping sauce: Combine all the ingredients in a shaker jar. Shake to combine. For best results, prepare ahead of time to allow the flavors to blend. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator until ready to use. (Use within 3 to 4 days). Serve with dumplings.
4) To cook dumplings: If boiling, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add dumplings to pot. Boil the dumplings until they float. If steaming, place dumplings on a single layer of napa cabbage leaves or on a well-greased surface in a steamer basket with lid. Steam covered for about 6 minutes. If pan frying, place dumplings in a frying pan with 2-3 tbsp of vegetable oil. Heat on high and fry for a few minutes until bottoms are golden. Add 1/2 cup water and cover. Cook until the water has boiled away and then uncover and reduce heat to medium or medium low. Let the dumplings cook for another 2 minutes then remove from heat and serve. Yield: about 28 dumplings.