Sunday, June 14, 2009

June Daring Cook: Dumpling/Potstickers

This month's challenge was hosted by Jen from Use Real Butter. Thanks for a great challenge! I really enjoyed this one.

I've made potstickers before, but this challenge was still great since I've never made my own wrappers before. Final results: Matt and I loved how the wrappers turned out. We didn't love the pork filling recipe, but it wasn't bad.

I was a little over ambitious and also made vegetable sesame pancake sandwiches (as found at The Dumpling House in NYC). I made that all from scratch as well. While the dinner was quite successful, between the two things it took about 6 hours of cooking after I got home from church!

I steamed the dumplings in a metal basket lined with cabbage leaves.
That worked nicely except I put a few too many in at once and they kind of stuck together.

Here is our whole dinner. The sesame "pancake" bread worked really great after I added a whole lot of extra flour! It was liquid goo after the first rise so I added flour until I could actually handle it. Part of the problem was attempting to do it in the bread maker like the recipe says. Just didn't work the flour in well enough for some reason. I should have just used my KitchenAid.

Final product was really great though. We stuffed it with yellow squash, red onions, zucchini, and carrots. The sauce on it could have used a little help, but it was still good. We served the dumplings with soy sauce and a Chinese red chili sauce.

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

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 (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.

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 (see images in post for how to fold pleats). 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.

To freeze: Assemble dumplings on a baking sheet so they are not touching. It helps to rub the base of the dumpling in a little flour before setting on the baking sheet for ease of release. Freeze for 20-30 minutes until dumplings are no longer soft. Place in ziploc bag and freeze for up to a couple of months. Prepare per the above instructions, but allow extra time to ensure the filling is thoroughly cooked.


Jen Yu said...

Nice job on the dumplings. They look great!

ice tea: sugar high said...

That's some dinner you got there. YUMM. great looking dumplings!

Lauren said...

Yum!! Your dumplings look awesome =D.

Audax said...

Fabulous work on the dumplings you can almost see through them, and that looks like one mighty fine meal to me. Bravo on such a great result. Cheers from Audax in Austrlia

Lisa Michelle said...

Not only do your dumplings look spectacular, but that sesame pancake filled with veggies is clling to me right now! I want one so bad! Great job on the challenge all around!