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Jenise

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RCP: Crystal Shrimp Dumplings

by Jenise » Mon Jul 10, 2006 8:33 pm

In answer to John F's request, here's a recipe that worked out spectacularly well for me. I can't take credit for it because it's not my own, and I can't give proper credit because I don't remember where I got it. Somewhere in the Internet though, I'd searched lots of recipes and decided this one would likely get the closest to what is, for me, the highlight of any dim sum brunch. And indeed, it did.

Crystal Shrimp Dumplings (Haar Gao)

Adapted from Essentials of Asian Cuisine by Corinne Trang

Dumpling Wrappers

1 cup wheat starch*
½ cup rice flour
2 tbsp tapioca starch**
1 cup boiling water
1 tbsp vegetable oil

In a small bowl, sift together wheat starch, rice flour and tapioca starch. Make a well in the centre and pour in boiling water and vegetable oil while stirring with a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. Knead hot dough for 3 to 5 minutes or until the ingredients are well combined, and dough is smooth and slightly elastic. If dough becomes too dry, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of boiling water.

On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into 4 equally sized balls and roll each round until it is between 1/8 to 1/16 inch thick. Use a 3-inch circular cookie cutter to stamp out 3-inch rounds.

Filling
1 large egg white
1 tbsp Chinese light soy sauce
1 tbsp Shaoxing wine***
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 tsp tapioca starch
½ tsp sesame oil
2 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp ground white pepper
8 oz black or blue tiger shrimp, shelled, deveined and finely chopped
2 tbsp minced pork fatback
¼ cup minced bamboo shoots
6 Napa cabbage or iceberg lettuce leaves

In a medium bowl, whisk together egg white, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, and sugar until egg white loosens and sugar dissolves completely. Whisk in tapioca starch, then sesame oil, and salt and pepper. Add shrimp, pork fatback, bamboo shoots and mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for about two hours to allow flavours to develop.

With each wrapper, make pleats**** on half of one side and pinch from opposite ends towards the centre to form a pouch. Place 1 ½ teaspoons of filling inside the pouch. Pinch the centre of the unpleated half and bring towards the centre of the pleated half. Fold dumpling sides in front of pleated side to secure filling.

Fill a wok with 2 or 3 inches of water and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, line a bamboo steamer with two Napa cabbage or iceberg lettuce leaves. Place dumplings on leaves about ¼-inch apart. Place bamboo steamer in the wok, cover securely, and steam until dumplings become translucent and filling turns pink, about 3 to 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

Makes about 40 dumplings.

Jenise's asterisks:

* Not the same as AP flour--much finer, and very bleached. Haven't compared it to cake flour, but I do woner. Available in Asian stores

** Also available in Asian stores.

*** I use a Scotch for a substitute--learned this from a Chinese friend's old country popo (grandmother).

**** Pleats are a little hard to do. What I do is use the pointy end of a bamboo stick (you know, the little kabob kind you use for satays etc) to lift the dough up from the board, then I press each little tunnel to the side--voila, pleats!
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Bob Ross

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Re: RCP: Crystal Shrimp Dumplings

by Bob Ross » Mon Jul 10, 2006 8:46 pm

Jenise, I had good luck with this recipe as well when I tried it last year. Another student at my second course at the Culinary Institute (on appetizers) sent a link to this blog, and recommended I try it out.

http://www.alacuisine.org/alacuisine/20 ... rimp_.html

Perhaps you found it here as well?

In any event, this is a very nice dish and although it seemed difficult on paper, by taking my time, it came out beautifully.

I had a heck of a time finding Shaoxing wine and I'm delighted you have found a substitue. I considered sherry and sake, but finally was able to get a small amount from the local Chinese restaurant owner. He helped me with getting the dough thin enough for pleasure but thick enough for security.

In any event, thanks for posting this recipe -- we enjoyed my attempt at making the dish.

Regards, Bob

PS: I never conquered the pleats, neither at CIA nor on my own. I'll try your technique. I can say, though, that they look great with pleats in the pictures, but were awfully tasty without them. :-) B.
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Jenise

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Re: RCP: Crystal Shrimp Dumplings

by Jenise » Mon Jul 10, 2006 9:05 pm

How funny that, large as the internet is, you and I would find the same recipe. I don't know the site you mention--wherever I found this, I hadn't been there before and I haven't been back. But if the recipes are identical, then it must be. The mention of the adaption to the book by Corinne Trang should cinch it.

Yes, scotch works very well. Shaoxing is cheaper than the scotch I buy, but if you're out or can't find any, scotch is an excellent substitute, and it's all my friend's popo ever used in her Chinese restaurant (in Pearl City, Hawaii). I also use sake and sherry in Chinese cooking, but it all depends on the dish.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Bob Ross

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Re: RCP: Crystal Shrimp Dumplings

by Bob Ross » Mon Jul 10, 2006 9:20 pm

The coincidence is funny, but I didn't really find either recipe. You posted one, and the other was a gift.

My partner at CIA was Chinese, and she gave me dozens of tips for dumplings -- she liked this particular site because after a week, she knew my limitations pretty well, and she sent me a number of recipes with photos, both online and cutout recipes -- a few in Chinese but with such good photos I was able to make the dishes.

One of the neat things about learning to cook is how helpful much better cooks are at helping me learn. It's been one of the joys of this relatively learning experience.

Thanks again. Bob

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