Chive and Prawn Dumplings will absolutely delight you. Subtle, yet marvelously complex in their blend of flavors and textures.
Chive and Prawn Dumplings Recipe-
For the dipping sauce-
- 3 tbsp. dark mushroom flavored soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. sesame oil
- 2 red sival chili peppers, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp. rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp. sugar
For the filling–
- 12 oz. large prawns, peeled and deveined
- 12 oz. Chinese garlic chives
- 1 egg white
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 rounded tsp. ground white pepper
- 2 rounded tsp. cornstarch
- 1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. Shao Xing wine
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 rounded tsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
For the Wrapper–
(makes more than enough, but you can store the extra for future use in the refrigerator, cutting down on prep-cook time)
- 1 cup Chinese wheat starch
- 1/2 cup tapioca starch
- 1 tbsp. peanut oil
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 cup boiling water
- To make the dipping sauce, simply put all the ingredients into a properly sized bowl, and vigorously whisk them together until well blended.
- Dice half the prawns fine (about 1/8″ cubes), and the other half large (about 1/2″ cubes) and set aside in a mixing bowl.
- Cut off 2 inches of the thickest part of the garlic chives then chop into 1/2″ pieces. Stir fry in a wok or sauté pan on medium heat until they become soft and wilted, about a minute. Remove from heat and let them to cool to near room temperature.
- Now add the cooled garlic chives into the mixing bowl with the chopped prawns.
- Add into the bowl all the remaining filling ingredients and mix together thoroughly. Use a rubber or siliconized spatula, rather than a metal one, so as to not hinder the form of the cubed prawns.
- Put the filling mixture into the refrigerator.
- Into a new mixing bowl, sift the salt and starches. Now form a depression in the center of the powders, and add in the oil.
- Using a pre-heated measuring cup, pour the boiling water into the depression with the oil, and immediately stir vigorously. Be fast but also careful (that water is hot!), and be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl, ensuring that you are incorporating all the ingredients together thoroughly.
- As soon as the mixture is cool enough to handle, form it into a ball of dough. Wheat starch dough is extremely malleable, but it is quite firm to the gentle touch. Knead the dough vigorously for 3 minutes, now and then forcefully compressing it back into a ball while you are kneading. Exuberant kneading is important: you want to insure that the water, oil, and starches are completely incorporated and very smooth.
- Now divide the dough into 3 parts, place in a plastic bag, and allow to for about 10 minutes. Note: these dough prep work steps can be done ahead of time, before getting into the full dumpling recipe preparation.
- Now you are ready to make the dumplings. Prepare your steamer by putting water in the bottom and lining the steamer basket with parchment paper, punched randomly several times with 1/4″ holes in it. The holes will allow the steam to pass through. Another method is to oil the steamer basket with a generous amount of vegetable oil. You can also line the basket with large leafy vegetables. What you are doing is making sure the wheat starch will not stick after it has been steamed. Bring the water to a boil with the steamer basket not yet placed in the steamer.
- Squeeze and press each ball of starch into a round, smooth shape and then roll them on a clean, dry flat surface to form them into a rope shape, about one inch in diameter. Place two of the ropes back into the plastic bag and store them in the refrigerator for use in the future. Take the third rope and cut it into one inch long pieces.
- Next make the skins out of the one inch long pieces. On a high density polyethylene cutting board (this is ideal, although you could use a wooden cutting board), place one of the wheat starch dough pieces and, over it, a piece parchment paper, cut into a four inch square. Flatten the dough with rolling pin, Chinese cleaver, or tortilla press, being sure that the skin is pressed into a thickness that is uniformly between 1/16″ and 1/8″. Repeat this process with all the one inch long pieces of wheat starch dough. The disks will be a bit irregular in their shapes, and that is okay. Once you have made the dumplings you can cut and trim off any excess with scissors if need be, or, you could cut the skin first to about 3-3/4″ in diameter. If you have a cookie cutter, or perhaps an empty tin can or some other round object just the right size, it makes this cutting into rounds step a snap.
- Next you are going to stuff the dumplings. Wheat starch dough is quite delicate, hence you must take great care must to not tear or puncture or tear the skins during this procedure. Place just enough filling in each round that will allow the outer edges of the round to fold up and meet with about ¼” to ½” to spare. Once you have folded the rounds, lay them on one side, and crimp the edges together with a fork for a tight, firm seal.
- You are now ready to place in the lined steamer basket, but make sure they do not touch each other. Place the basket into the steamer, and steam the dumplings for 6 to 7 minutes.
- Your Chive and Prawn Dumplings are done! You can either place the steamer basket, filled with your dumplings, directly on the dinner table, or, as soon as they have cooled enough to handle, place them on a serving platter.
- Remember when you serve your Chive and Prawn Dumplings to also put the dipping sauce on the table, and don’t forget the tea!
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