Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Shrimp and Chive Dumplings

This is another long post and is a dish made from scratch. This is not a quickie weeknight fix.

We had been on a very nice tour of restaurants in San Diego last Saturday and that got me in a food kind of mood. Oh well, when am I not in such a mood, some may ask. :-) 

I wanted to have Dim Sum this weekend so I decided to try to make it myself. I am not very good with flour or any kind of gluten, hence I am not a baker. I do not keep flour handy at home either. I had Atta, thanks to wonderful rotis that mom made when she was visiting us earlier this year. I made up my mind to use Atta instead of the all purpose white flour that most recipes call out for the dim sum shell. Hey! Why not give it a try, if it works, we have a high-fiber alternative, don't we? Who said that you have to follow recipes to the hilt? At least that's not what happens at Soma's Kitchen!

Shrimp and Chive Dumplings

Filling
2 tsp grated ginger
1 lb cooked shrimp
2 cup chopped chives
1 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
salt
pepper

Dough
2 tbsp sugar
3/4 cup warm water
1 small packet dry yeast (about 1 1/2 tsp)
2 tsp white oil
2 cup sifted flour
cold water

Canola oil / any light white oil
Chicken stock


1. Dissolve sugar in warm water. Add yeast and allow to foam. If it does not foam, throw away and start again.
2. In a large bowl, put the sifted flour and oil, then add the yeast mixture and mix well.
3. Add cold water and start mixing well. You can do this step in a food processor. I do it by hand, the old fashioned way. We need to make sure that after the dough is done, its easy to form balls. If it's too sticky, add flour.
4. On a floured surface, knead until smooth and elastic. This takes 10 minutes or so.
5. Roll the dough into 2-inch diameter cylinder and cut into 1-inch pieces. Form balls.

Dough Balls


6. On a floured surface, roll the the balls into circular sheets, about 3 inch diameter and about 1/4 inch thick.

Happily working the dough
7. Mix all the ingredients for the filling.

The filling
8.  Scoop in about 1 1/2 Tbsp filling onto the circular flour sheet.
Scoop the filling on the wafer
9.  Pleat and fold. Twist the top. It looks like a little bag.

Create a bag and then twist the top
This was the first one, and there were more....
10.  Cover with a damp cloth and put in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.
Out of the fridge, ready to be steamed
11.  Heat a large skillet. Add oil to coat the bottom. You need very little. I usually brush the oil on the skillet.
12.  Add the buns, flat side down and let brown.
13. Add a bit of stock and cover the pan. You want to steam the buns till they are done.
14. Then take the cover off, let the liquid evaporate. You want to crisp the bottom of the buns.
Delicious final product - Shrimp and Chive Dumplings

Serve immediately with your favorite sauce or dip.
These get devoured pretty soon. If you find that you still have some left at the end of the day, these can be refrigerated and reheated to savor at a latter time.

This recipe was adapted from Blue Ginger. I did not follow the author's recipe to the hilt as I did not think the ingredient ratio was correct. And of course, it's my dumpling, I will make it the way I want it! It's after all Soma's Kitchen! Right?!

As usual there were several lessons learned and here they are:
  • Atta tastes all right with the dumplings, I was pretty satisfied. I will use it again. But I will make these with regular all-purpose flour to compare. With all purpose flour I suspect the texture will come out like pork buns, or may be not. Got to find out!
  • I will make the dumpling skins much thinner next time.
  • I will also try using scallops or crab meat or white fish and see how the taste changes.

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