Cover this up and allow to rest for 20 minutes. Cut into 4 equal pieces and roll these into balls. Cover up the ones your aren’t ready to work with. Now take the dough and start rolling out with your hands into a long rope. Looking for about a 1-1.5 inch diameter.
Cut each rope into about 10 equal sized pieces. There will be some variation in the shape but you are going for equal weight of dough in each piece.
Spread some bench flour so nothing sticks and start rolling these buggers out. Roll, then turn 45 degrees and roll again. Keep rolling and turning to get an almost perfect circle. It also helps to flip over every 4 rolls or so. When I had an especially troubled shape, I just broke out the pizza cutter and made it round the easy way.
These are just a little too big but you will get the idea after some practice. I learned that making them a little smaller and a therefore a little thicker helps make the pleating easier.
Now for the fillings. I ended up doing variations of 3 different fillings over a couple of days. First was a shrimp filling basically following the challenge recipe. I did however find some very fresh head on white shrimp. These were headed, shelled, and deveined.
Now for the chopping. Like many cooks this is my zen time while getting ready for a meal. Something very satisfying getting your mis en place ready. Chop the shrimp, green onion, garlic, red bell pepper, grated ginger, green cabbage, some tarragon, and a little mint. I used about 3/4 lb of shrimp and to that and the other ingredients I added about 1/4 lb of ground pork. Season with salt, pepper, and some sesame oil. Finally add in a couple tsps of corn starch and then mix thoroughly with your hands. Didn’t get a picture of the shrimp mixture.
I did get one of the pork mixture. It is grated ginger, green onion, red bell pepper, shitake mushrooms, ground pork, soy, sesame oil, green cabbage, tarragon, mint, garlic, and some corn starch.
Mix it all up and you are ready to go. Start filling your wrappers. Just do a couple at a time and even better would be to get some help.
I brushed the edges with just a little bit of water to help seal the dumpling. Bring the opposite sides together. Start pleating. I put 3 pleats on each half. You will get better with practice.
And voila, my very first dumpling.
Not bad for a first attempt. Now quit admiring your work and get the rest of them finished. I ended up doing about 3 1/2 dozen last night and the same amount today. I have them freezing, in the fridge for later today, and some are already in my belly.
Now for the cooking. Steamin, boiling, or a mix of frying and steaming are all appropriate. Last night I went for the fry/steam mix. Start some oil in a non-stick skillet. I used a little olive and some sesame. Let the oil heat up and then load up your skillet. Let them go just until they start turning golden brown on the bottoms.
Now pour in about a cup of water and quickly put a lid on to cover. These should steam for about 5-6 minutes or so. You want to be sure to cook the raw pork mixed into the shrimp. When most of the water is gone, take off the lid and let the rest evaporate. Now you can finish crisping up the bottoms.
I whipped up a dipping sauce from ponzu, chili garlic sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, grated daikon, grated ginger, garlic, and some green onion.
Serve with BEER! I can’t stress this part enough. These are great beer food.
Now here is where I take a little detour. I was inspired by a ravioli that I first heard about on Michael Ruhlman’s blog some time ago. It was an egg yolk filled ravioli. Well when I blogged it, Deb told me about some famous chef taking egg yolks, freezing them, and then breading and deep frying. Well I thought that I could adapt some of that to the dumplings.
First put some egg yolks onto a sheet pan coated in cornstarch.
These were in the freezer about an hour. I then put down just a little of the pork mix and topped with the yolk. I did trim off any sharp edges to help keep from tearing the wrapper.
Carefully pleat and seal. Can you tell I have gotten considerably better at this?
These went into boiling water for 4 minutes. Next time I would do 3.5 minutes. Seeing that it was my Sunday breakfast I plated with BACON!