Sunday, June 14, 2009

Daring Cooks: Potstickers or Chinese Dumplings

Jenyu of Use Real Butter picked out this months challenge, "Potstickers". I visit Use Real Butter daily as I always love to read Jen's posts and gawk at her amazingly beautiful photography. It's an eye candy excursion for me.

As you may already know, Daring Bakers started a new chapter, called the Daring Cooks. I gladly jumped at the opportunity to be a part of this group. While I have made "potstcikers" before, I always welcome the opportunity to make them again. I decided to give myself an added challenge of trying to make shu mai. I buy these delicate little shrimp shu mai's at this Korean restaurant near our house. They are very expensive. So I thought I would try my hand at it. I did okay but it is one of those things where practice makes you so much better. Notice I did not say perfect.

Here is my try at Shu Mai. What a poet.

Chinese Dumplings/Potstickers

pork filling:
1 lb (450g) ground pork
4 large napa cabbage leaves, minced
3 stalks green onions, minced
7 shitake mushrooms, minced (if dried - rehydrated and rinsed carefully)
1/2 cup (75g) bamboo shoots, minced
1/4 (55g) cup ginger root, minced
3 tbsp (40g) soy sauce
2 tbsp (28g) sesame oil
2 tbsp (16g) corn starch


shrimp filling:
1/2 lb (225g) raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, and coarsely chopped
1/2 lb (225g) ground pork
3 stalks green onions, minced
1/4 cup (55g) ginger root, minced
1 cup (142g) water chestnuts, minced
1 tsp (5g) salt
3 tbsp (40g) sesame oil
2 tbsp (16g) corn starch

dough: (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 worksurface

dipping sauce:
2 parts soy sauce
1 part vinegar (red wine or black)
a few drops of sesame oil
chili garlic paste (optional)
minced ginger (optional)
minced garlic (optional)
minced green onion (optional)
sugar (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 (Jen's 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.

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.

To pan fry (potstickers): 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.


Anula said...

Beautiful plaiting and what a lovely dumplings :)

Lisa Michelle said...

Lori, once again, you astound me with your photos and beautiful food, These dumplings are perfection, and I love the shumai take on some of them. Beautiful job as always!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful! I love the way you folded them & really pretty plating, too!

Audax said...

I love the way you pleated them and the interesting take on shu mai LOL. Lovely pixs and yes use real butter is great! Yes after doing almost 600 dumplings you do get better at it. I just love prawn (shrimp)and these look so good. Excellent work. Cheers from Australia Audax

Mary said...

What a great job you've done with this challenge! Your photos are lovely and it looks like you're an expert at pleating.

Junglefrog said...

They look great. I think you've pleated them fabulously too..:) Not sure what shumai is (still sooo much to learn) but it looks delicious.

Chow and Chatter said...

they look awesome proud of you

Heather B said...

Great job! Your pleating looks wonderful. And the dumplings look so tasty!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful dumplings and photos! Congrats!

Amy I. said...

Great work! How creative to make shu mai.

Jen Yu said...

OMG, I LOVE the shu mai you made! They are adorable and look pretty close to what I see in restaurants. Go you!!! :)

Lis said...

Oh wow, I've never seen shumai dumplings.. how cool are they? Yours look wonderful - truly! :)

I'm so glad you joined the DC too!


Murasaki Shikibu said...

Great job, Lori. They all look great. I love these! :)

Grace said...

could i perhaps have a glass of that dipping sauce? is that gross? :)
very impressive, lori.

Sara said...

Love it, love it. Dumplings may be one of the greatest things ever made. I don't know if I have the patience to make them from scratch.


kat said...

Oh my gosh they look so good!