Pork and Chive Dumplings with Dried Shrimp
Hello! Miss me? Sorry I've been away so long, I've been busy creating! Cooking contest season has swung into full force and I've been coming up with new recipes every few days, getting them down on paper, and submitting them before the deadlines hit. As you saw from my last post, I've entered the Tostitos Rate My Recipe contest (which is ending in the next couple days... haven't rated my recipe yet? Click here to do it!) and that was just the beginning. I just recently entered the Build a Better Burger contest and I'm currently working on my entries for the National Chicken Cooking contest. I'm really having fun with this and even if I don't end up winning anything, or even if I'm not chosen as a finalist, I still had fun creating more original recipes than I ever would have and the competition aspect of it gives me a charge.
So anyway, that was a long drawn-out (the only kind I know!) explanation of why I've been away so long. But I missed you and I've cooked a few things that really came out great (that weren't for contests) that I really want to share with you.
I've been wanting to make this recipe for a really long time but I had the hardest time trying to find dried shrimp. But recently Mark and I and a couple of our friends went on a short trip to Toronto and got a chance to visit their Chinatown.
We ate really yummy things like this Takoyaki, or Octopus Dumplings. They were SO good.
We saw some... interesting things... Coconuts only? Wah??? What do they DO with them?
We were also entertained...
... and luckily we were able to find some dried shrimp here. Actually, I'm pretty sure they had dried EVERYTHING here.
So as soon as I could, I made these dumplings. Thanks to Jaden at Steamy Kitchen for answering all my dumpling questions. This was my first attempt at making dumpling wrappers from scratch. The recipe is from Anita Lo, who in my opinion is the WOMAN when it comes to making dumplings! I've seen her on the Food Network helping Bobby Flay out with a Throwdown and I also got to see her in some VERY helpful videos found on Epicurious.com.
Click here to watch videos of Anita Lo prepare these dumplings step-by-step
Those videos were SO helpful to me when I went to cinch together each dumpling. I made them about twice the size they were supposed to be, but other than that, I think I did pretty well.
To make these DELICIOUS dumplings, start by making the dough. Now, you can use dumpling wrappers, but I wanted to at least try this myself first. I'll have to compare this dough to store-bought dumpling wrappers and decide if it's worth it to make them myself. From the taste of these dumplings I would say yes, but I'll have to let you know. Since I have a big bag of dried shrimp left over, I'm sure I will be making many more batches of these suckers.
The dough is very easy to make. Just boil some water, then add 1 cup of boiling water to 2 cups of flour with 3/4 teaspoon salt.
Then stir it together until it looks like this.
Then, form it into a dough ball with your hands. It will be pretty hot at first, but it cools off pretty quick.
Then knead the dough for about 8 minutes until it's soft and shiny. Add more flour to the dough ball as needed because the dough will be fairly sticky at first. Then just wrap it in plastic wrap and let it sit out on the counter for at least 20 minutes. It'll be nice and soft and easy to work with when the time comes.
Next, make the filling. Start by grinding up some pork.
Here are the dried shrimp we bought in Toronto. Woh mama do these little guys have a strong smell! But they're a fantastic flavor enhancer!
Mix together all of the filling ingredients in a big bowl.
Once the filling is ready, it's time to get the wrappers ready. First, divide the dough into three sections.
Roll each section into a long snake about an inch in diameter.
Then cut it into little sections. Mine were about an inch wide, so I would suggest going a bit smaller so you don't end up with huge dumplings. Unless you want huge dumplings; they were still really good, you just had to cut them up to eat them.
Now take each little piece of dough and roll it into a thin round circle. Now it's time to fill them. With water, wet the edges of the dough, then fill the middle with some of the pork mixture.
Since my dumplings were larger, I found it easier to cinch the dumplings together on the cutting board by first pressing the sides together like a little taco.
Then I crimped the dumplings together using the technique Anita Lo uses in her videos.
Now you can either steam these to cook them, or pan fry them, making them potstickers. I prefer the pan frying method because I love the crust that forms on the bottom of the dumplings. To fry them, start by adding some canola oil to a hot pan, then add the dumplings.
Then, carefully add some water to the hot pan until the dumplings are covered halfway. Put the lid on the pan and let them steam until the water evaporates and you start to hear them sizzle. That's when you check the bottoms and as soon as they are golden brown, remove them from the pan. I suggest using a non-stick skillet for these because my first batch pretty much stuck and wouldn't come unstuck, so we at the dumplings with no bottoms.
Serve them with the dipping sauce included in the recipe - it's excellent! We poured a little sauce over our dumplings and then at them with a fork. I can't wait to eat them again.