Wontons, dim-sims, gow-gee, shao-mai, mo-mo, gyoza, jai-ozi.
So many shapes and sizes of a similar thing.
Not only great for sharing at dinner, but a great way to share some good kitchen time too. Once the fillings are made, kids can have a fun time putting these together and then enjoy the fruits of their own labour. Or if there’s no kids around, your ‘big kid’ friends will enjoy equally.
Here’s a list of 10 or so ways to stuff a dumpling. The pastry you choose to use (or make) and the way you cook them are entirely up to you.
Dumpling Pastry. Makes about 30 pieces.
2 cups Plain Flour
3/4 cup boiling water
pinch of salt.
Sieve the flour into a mound on a work bench. Make a hollow in the middle and add the salt. Slowly the pour the hot water onto the flour, stirring with a wooden spoon. Knead it well for about 5 minutes. Rest the dough for 20 minutes under a damp cloth.
Cut into small even pieces and roll with a pin, the idea being to keep the centre a little thicker that the outer.
Pork 1. 250g pork mince, 4 spring onions – sliced, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, 1 teaspoon white pepper. Blend everything well. Makes about 30. Be wary that the mixture starts raw, so the size and cooking time should reflect this.
Pork 2. 1 cup left over pulled pork, 1 tablespoon dark soy, 1 small tin water chestnuts – drained and chopped, 1 small onion – chopped and sautéed. Cool the onions and mix all ingredients. A pre-cooked filling needs only to heat through the middle, so should be ready sooner than a raw filling.
Tiger Prawn – 150g green tiger prawn meat, 1 egg white, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, 2 cloves garlic, zest of 1 lemon. Process in a blender until smooth.
Sesame Scallop – 150g scallop meat, 1 egg white, 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger, 1 teaspoon black sesame, 2 teaspoons mirin and a pinch of salt. Process all bar the sesame and fold the seeds in last. A little ginger will go a long way in your dipping sauce.
Snapper and Prawn – 100g snapper flesh, 100g green prawn meat, 1 egg white, 1 teaspoon red curry paste, 1/4 cup chopped coriander, 2 lime leaves finely sliced. Process to a paste, leaving the coriander till last to avoid a green paste. I have featured this combination on menus in spring rolls and it works just as well in a dumpling.
Sticky Tamarind Beef – Use this recipe. Chill the beef before stuffing into dumplings, remembering to reduce the quantities to your requirements. Serve with some crushed peanuts as well as your regular dumpling dippers.
Chicken – Use chicken mince to replace pork mince. Or use cooked and shredded breast, lime juice, thinly slice green beans and a little hoi-sin or miso to bind.
Salmon – lightly poached until flakey and flavoured with a little mirin , pickled ginger and chives.
You can also find three great vegetarian options at The Grumpy Dumpling.
To extend any of these fillings and make them stretch a little further, add any of these – finely grated cabbage or carrot or zucchini, glass noodles, boiled potato, cooked rice or try anything else you think might work.
What Kids Can Do.
Kids can help prepare the fillings in the usual way that they might. Washing and picking herbs, grating vegetables, mixing etc.
Cook like no-one’s watching!