Everyone knows that dumplings are a quintessential part of Chinese cuisine. Unfortunately, most dumplings in Southern China are filled with steamed pork or duck. However, our gracious hosts have done everything possible to make us feel at home and comfortable. For example, Davi’s mother and grandmother made two delicious varieties that were fit for herbivores.
On my birthday, Davi also taught one of the recipes to me. It’s a fantastic vegetarian dish with filling made from local ingredients! Boiled dumplings are soft and translucent, unlike panfried dumplings that have skins that are crisp on the bottom and chewy on the top. K made a pretty sweet video that demonstrates our efforts; here’s the video, and the recipe follows below.
-1 pound premade flour dumpling wraps OR
-500g all-purpose flour
-1 cup slightly warm water
-1 tsp vegetable oil
-1/2 tsp salt
1. Mix until dough gets sticky and wrap in saran-wrap.
2. Let sit for 10-15 minutes
3. Knead until dough is no longer lumpy and dry, adding extra water and flour as needed.
4. Roll out dough into a thin, flat sheet. Use cookie cutters to cut out circular wrappers. Sprinkle flour on top, so wraps do not stick together. Aim for wraps that are about 3 1/4 inch in diameter. You should have enough dough for about 16.
*Note: Be sure not to roll wraps too thinly, or they won’t support the weight of the filling.
-4 large shiitake mushrooms, stemmed (1/2 cup)
-1/2 cup green onions (green parts)
-1 large orange carrot, peeled
-2 large stalks lemongrass, peeled
-2 tablespoons sesame oil
-1 tablespoon canola oil
-1 cup soy sauce
-2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
-salt to taste
-Bamboo shoots, boiled until soft, and chopped as finely as possible
-Taro root, peeled and mashed
1. Chop all of the solid ingredients as finely as possible. The filling is sautéed first to allow veggies to bind together in a cohesive magic that makes it easier to control when wrapping the dumplings.
2. In a wok or large skillet, heat the canola oil over medium heat. Add chopped vegetables. Stir to combine and pour in flavoring sauce (mixture of sesame oil, soy sauce, and red wine vinegar). Allow to cook for about 2 minutes, or until there is a slight amount of bubbling liquid in the skillet. Give the mixture a final stir, and pour in green onions and a pinch of salt before turning off heat.
3. You should have 2 cups of filling. Transfer to a bowl and set aside and allow to cool completely before assembling dumplings. Filing can be refrigerated and stored up to one day in advance, but should be at room temperature for next step.
Assembly and Cooking:
1. Fill 16 wraps with about 1 teaspoon of filling apiece and fold and seal accordion-style, as demonstrated in the video. Make certain the tops are tightly pressed, so no filling escapes from the wrappers during cooking! Also, be sure not to overfill, as ruptures can be incredibly dangerous to the dumpling process.
2. Prepare 1 pot of lightly salted boiling water and another pot of cool water.
3. When the pot of water starts to boil, drop in dumplings and cook for about 4 minutes.
4. Scoop them up with a slotted spoon and plunge them into the pot of cool water for a few seconds until they can be touched comfortably.
5. Put them back in the boiling water again for a few more seconds and serve with Tangy Soy Dipping Sauce! They wraps should be translucent by this point, and can be refrigerated for several hours or frozen for days.
*Tip from Chinese grandmas: if you feel indigestion from dumplings, drip some of the water used to boil and it will help take away the feeling of bloating.
Tangy Soy Dipping Sauce:
Mix together 1/3 cup soy sauce, 2 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar, and one tablespoons of fresh shredded ginger or 2 teaspoons of finely minced garlic. Add a few teaspoons of chile jam for a spicy kick!
Anyways, it’s not my usual style, but these sure were fun to make. Let me know if you find them as tasty as we did! Be on the lookout for more recipe segments to come!
From our kitchen to yours,