Jen from use real butter chose Chinese Dumplings for the 2nd Daring Cooks Challenge. I had made them before, but had used wonton wrappers. The key to this challenge was to make the dough for the dumplings so that was definitely something new to me. It always amazes me how many different things you can make out of flour and water! I have to say that although I am glad I tried...I would just as soon use the wonton wrappers! It's quite a bit of trouble and not a huge difference in taste. Now I'm sure someone's grandmother from the old country could do a WAY better job!
Remember not to put too much filling!
I chose to use my rice cooker to steam (mainly because I was lazy!). Lesson learned...don't cram too many in or they stick together! I was afraid the purple cabbage would turn my dumplings purple but the staining was minimal.
They were pretty tasty though dipped in the sauce!
My pork filling:
1 lb (450g) ground pork
Shredded purple cabbage about a cup
Shredde carrots about a cup
Small bunch mixed garlic and regular chives, minced
1 small can mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup bamboo shoots, minced
2 Tblspoons grated fresh ginger
3 tbsp (40g) soy sauce
2 tbsp (28g) sesame oil
2 tbsp (16g) corn starch
(double this for the amount of filling, but easier to make it in 2 batches - or just halve the filling recipe)
2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (113g) warm water
flour for worksurfaceDipping sauce:
2 parts soy sauce
1 part vinegar (red wine or black)
a few drops of sesame oil
chili garlic paste (optional)
Combine all filling ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly (I mix by clean hand). Cover and refrigerate until ready to use (up to a day, but preferably within an hour or two).
Make the dough, Method 1: 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).
Make the dough, Method 2 (my mom’s instructions): 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 a firm dough that is barely sticky to the touch. (I chose method 2)
Both dough methods: 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.
To boil: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add dumplings to pot. Boil the dumplings until they float.
To steam: 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.