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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Chinese Dumplings

When I first tasted Chinese Dumplings in Dublin I immediately fell in love with them. I come from a “dumpling” country but our traditional dumplings are very different! I found a great recipe on the internet and made about 30 dumplings.


To make the dough takes almost no time and you can make whatever filling you desire. There are several fillings and ways how to make them, I decided to make chicken filling with mushrooms, carrots and spring onions. It took some time to get the grip at first, but the more dumplings I made the quicker it went.


I learnt how to make lovely pleats so the dumplings not only tasted amazing, they also looked very cute! If you want to serve your dumplings as a starter, I recommend you to make easy dipping sauce. You can also use them for Steamboat that I posted earlier in February.


What is also great is that you can freeze the dumplings that you didn’t manage to eat and keep them for unexpected visitors or yourself for later on. Hope you will like them as much as I did :)


Chicken Filling:
1 lb ground chicken
3 stalks green onions, chopped
7 mushrooms, minced
1/2 cup carrots, grated
1/4 cup ginger root, minced
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp corn starch

Combine all filling ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Dough:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup warm water
flour for work surface


Method:
In a large bowl mix flour with 1/4 cup of water and stir until water is absorbed. Continue adding water one teaspoon at a time and mixing thoroughly until dough pulls away from sides of bowl. We want firm dough that isn’t sticky.

You can divide the dough in half and shape each half into a roll and cut each roll into ½ -inch slices. Then roll 1 slice of dough into a 3 inch circle and place 1 tablespoon of chicken mixture in the centre of the circle. Or what I found easier you can roll half of the dough into a big thin circle and cut out 3 inch circles with a glass. Then all your dumplings will look the same and it doesn’t take as long as if you make individual circles with a kitchen pin. Lift up the edges of the circle and pinch 5 pleats up to create a pouch to encase the mixture.
 Pinch the top together. Repeat with the remaining slices of dough and filling.

Place the finished dumplings onto a plate which you can brush with some oil. Then put them into a pot of boiling water for about 7 minutes.

TO BOIL: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add dumplings to pot. Boil the dumplings until they float.

TO FRY: 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.

Dipping Sauce:
2 parts soy sauce
1 part vinegar
a few drops of sesame oil
minced ginger
minced garlic
a few drops of lime juice

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, add sugar or more sesame oil if needed.

TO FREEZE:
Place dumplings on a baking sheet so they are not touching. Freeze for 20-30 minutes until dumplings are no longer soft. Place in a plastic bag and freeze for up to a couple of months.