Saturday, 9 August 2014

Homemade Dumplings

I have this list of things I want to cook. Not simple, everyday recipes, but those which would give me joy to master (yes, I am aware this quite possibly sounds very lame to those of you who aren't as addicted to cooking as I am!). And so came about: dumpling day. My boyfriend and I bought the ingredients, watched youtube clips of how to form the dumpling 'pleats' (the folding pattern you use to seal the dumplings) and he panicked while, instead of following a recipe, I just made it all up as I went along! Then we sat and marvelled at the fact we had just made our very own dumplings (while shoving them in our gobs). This recipe is the result. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

If you don't need 45 dumplings, simply halve the recipe. You can also choose to just make the vegetable or chicken dumplings (to make the chicken dumplings without the vegetable mix, just add 1/4 C of mixed shredded cabbage and carrot, with some of the garlic, ginger and soy sauce.

Homemade dumplings

45 gow gee wrappers (found in the fridge section of the supermarket)
1 egg, lightly beaten

Vegetable Filling
1/8 cabbage (or ¼ Chinese wombok), finely shredded
½ large carrot, finely grated
2 spring onions, finely diced
150g tinned bamboo shoots, finely diced (found in the Asian section of the supermarket)
½ tsp minced garlic
½ tsp minced ginger
1 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp reduced salt soy sauce
1 Tbsp dry sherry (or Chinese rice wine)
Optional: replace half of the vegetables with silken tofu for more protein

Chicken Filling
150g lean chicken mince
1 Tbsp chives, chopped
¼ C ‘vegetable filling’ mix

Dipping sauce
¼ C reduced salt soy sauce
2 Tbsp dry sherry (or Chinese rice wine)
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp castor sugar
1 tsp minced ginger
¼ tsp Chinese five spice
½-1 tsp minced chilli, or fresh chilli sliced
1 tsp sesame seeds

      1. Cook vegetable filling in a large frypan over low-medium heat until veg is softened and liquid evaporated. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Transfer to a bowl.
2. Mix ¼ C of the ‘vegetable filling’ into the chicken mince and chives, in a separate bowl.
3. Divide beaten egg among both fillings (about 2/3 of the egg in with the vegetable mix and 1/3 in with the chicken mix) and stir to combine.

 4. Place 1 gow gee wrapper on the bench in front of you. Have the bowls of filling sitting close by, along with a small bowl or cup of water. Place 2 tsp of chicken or vegetable filling in the centre of the wrapper and, with your finger, trace a circle of water along the border of the wrapper (you only want enough water to stick the edges of the wrapper together, if it is too wet it will not stick).

5. Fold wrapper in half to form a semi-circle, pressing the opposite edges of the wrapper together. 

      6. Carefully fold over the edges of the wrapper to form pleats. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling mixtures.

7. Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of water to the boil. Line each level of a bamboo steamer basket with baking paper, place ~6 dumplings on each level (try not to let them touch as they will stick together when cooking), assemble steamer basket with lid on top and place over the boiling water. The steamer basket should sit neatly on top of the saucepan so that no steam is escaping and make sure the saucepan isn’t too full with water as you want to avoid the boiling water touching the base of the steamer basket.
8. Steam for ~15mins, then repeat steaming process until all dumplings are cooked.

9. Meanwhile, make dipping sauce: toast sesame seeds in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 3-5mins or until slightly thickened and sugar is dissolved. Cool before serving.

      Serves 7-8 (~6 dumplings per serve)

      Note: Leftover dumplings can be refrigerated and reheated at a later stage by steaming in the microwave in a covered bowl or container, with a small amount of water. 

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