food for thought

by michelle

dumplings

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A cooking club is my latest venture. And what better way to start than with dumpling making? With our home-made dough and freshly minced meat the results were delicious, although a little tricky to keep from sticking together (I now realise they should be either cooked or frozen immediately). Many dumpling dough methods were researched before deciding to use plain unbleached white flour with a little gluten added for elasticity (2 teaspoons for 5 cups) and just enough hot water (cooled for a couple of minutes after boiling) to make a smooth elastic dough. We used a pasta machine to roll out the dough, cutting 12cm (4¾”) circles for the prawn and the pork dumplings. The vegetarian dumplings were made with the last of the dough cut into squares. Here and here are 2 useful instruction videos on how to shape dumplings.

Pork and chive:

pork-and-chive-dumplings

This filling was made with freshly minced pork sirloin. We added a large amount of finely chopped Chinese chives and seasoned with salt and white pepper. To serve these dumplings we pan-fried them in some peanut oil until brown then added 5 or 6 tablespoons of water, covered and steamed them until cooked.

Prawn and ginger:

prawn-and-ginger-dumplings

For this filling we processed half of the prawn meat into a smooth paste and hand cut the other half into chunks. We added finely processed water chestnuts (about 40% of the weight of the prawns) to add some texture, a generous amount of grated fresh ginger and salt and white pepper. These dumplings were steamed on bamboo leaves.

Shiitake mushroom and water chestnut:

shiitake-and-water-chestnut-dumplings

This filling was made with finely processed fresh shiitake mushrooms and water chestnuts in equal parts. To this we added finely chopped Chinese chives and for flavouring some Hoi Sin sauce, five spice powder, sesame oil, salt and white pepper. These dumplings were also pan-fried.

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