Monday, July 20, 2009
Boiled Chinese Dumplings & Deep Fried Goat's Cheese Dumplings
Shui Jiao or boiled Chinese Meat Dumplings are really mid-winter fare and not something you really want to eat in the summer - but we turned on the air conditioner and made them anyway. We had some leftover wrappers so we wrapped some goat's cheese in them and deep fried them.
Shui Jiao (Boiled Chinese Meat Dumplings)
Wrapper - Buy some ready made ones or make your own like we do. We use Yohana's recipe.
300 g AP Flour
3/4 Cup Boiling Water
1/4 Cup Cold Water - but you probably won't be using all of this!
1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil - we use extra virgin olive oil because we're in Spain
250 g Ground Pork
2 Leeks (finely chopped)
4 Cloves Garlic (crushed)
1.5- 2 Inch Knob of Ginger (grated)
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Dry Sherry* or Shao Hsing Wine
1 Tbsp Dark Sesame Seed Oil - if your pork is very lean add more
Chili Bean Paste
Soy Sauce - I prefer Japanese soy sauce
*I use ALFONSO Oloroso Seco Palomino from Gonzalez Byass, because this contains the right notes in it similar to Shao Hsing wine.
Step 1: Put the AP flour into a bowl and then pour the boiling water over it. Stir vigorously until it's all blended. Mine always looks like when I'm making pie crust or something. You'll see lumps of dough. It won't have a smooth consistency nor will it be gluey.
Step 2: Add a little cold water (but not all of it!) and mix some more until you think it's cooled down enough to handle with your hands.
Step 3: Knead the dough with your hands a bit and add 1 Tbsp oil and keep kneading it until it's a smooth resilient ball. If you absolutely think the dough needs more water add a little bit again. You have to be careful about the amount of water you add, because if you add too much water, it will increase kneading time exponentially. I once had to knead the dough while watching Prison Break because I added too much water and you don't want to do that. This is the only part of this recipe where you need to exercise good judgment. The rest is really easy.
Step 4: Once you have a smooth ball of resilient dough, wrap it up in plastic and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. I usually let mine sit for a few hours. This means you can make this a few hours in advance so that you have less work to do later on in the evening.
Step 5: When you're ready to start boiling the dumplings, use the big pot you use to boil pasta in normally and fill it up with water and put the heat on. While waiting for this to heat up you can start preparing the filling and rolling-up the wrappers.
Step 6: In a medium sized bowl, mix the ground pork, chopped leeks, crushed garlic, grated ginger, soysauce, salt, black pepper, dry sherry and dark sesame seed oil. Mix this using a kitchen utensil or your hands if you're brave. If your ground beef is very lean add more sesame seed oil. Go easy with the soysauce and sherry because you don't want the filling to be soggy. Set this aside.
Step 7: Now roll the wrapper dough into a log (4cm diameter) and cut it up into 35 or so portions. Basically each piece of dough when rolled out should be the size of a commerical dumpling wrapper. You don't have to be too fussy about the wrappers not being perfect circles because freshly made wrappers are much easier to handle and you can pull them into shape as you make your little dumplings. Here's a tutorial on how to do it on Jaden Hair's site.
Step 8: When the water is boiling I like to throw in leftover pieces of leftover ginger (from when you grated the ginger - you know how you end-up with a piece you can't grate without grating the skin off your fingers?) in the water to flavor it nicely - you can boil your dumplings. Boiling time is supposed to be shorter than with commercial wrappers but I'm paranoid so I boil mine for 15 minutes. If you think the raw pork will cook faster, then you can shorten this time to 5-10 minutes.
Step 9: Remove them and serve with Chili Bean Paste, soy sauce and chopped cilantro (and maybe thinly sliced scallions or leeks if you want).
We had the deep fried goat's cheese dumplings as a starter. These are great for cocktail parties because they make great finger food.