Monday, 5 July 2010

Dumplings, Authentic

So, right after I made *my* dumplings, basing the principle on the Indian samosa, I was invited to a new acquaintance's home, where her mum (who used to run a restaurant while she went to school to get her nurse's qualifications, and sold the place right after she landed her first nursing job) taught us how to make actual, real, really real, authentic dumplings from scratch. These were SO much better than my dumplings! Since it was in someone else's house--morever a someone else who was kind enough to impart her skills to me and feed me dinner--I thought it best not to interrupt the process by taking pictures. So here is the step-by-step, minus any pics. If I make them in the near future, I'll certainly add pictures.

P.S: the main ingredients (kind of meat and vegetable) can, of course, be replaced by anything one likes. This is just what we used that day.

Ground pork.
Dried prawns.
Chopped scallions, including the white onion at the base.
Peeled and thereafter grated/minced ginger (roughly 2 inch for every pound of meat).
Two eggs.
Cornstarch or similar.
Soya sauce.
Sesame/corn/sunflower oil.
Flour+warm water=stretchy, non-sticky dough.

In a large, deep pan (or bowl, if making a small number of dumplings), put chopped dried shrimp, ground pork, finely chopped scallions and minced ginger. Sprinkle with salt and soya sauce (I add sesame oil in equal amount to the soya sauce). Break the eggs on top of this. Now, using either spatulas or well-washed hands, mix everything together in an inseparable glob of raw deliciousness. Now add cornstarch (amount depending on how much meat and veggies you've got) and mix it in well. Keep mixing it for five minutes, just so we have a thoroughly mixed filling.

Now roll out the dough in small lumps. Palm them till they take a spherical shape. Now press them to make slightly flattened ovals. Roll them out to make small circles, about the size shown in the previous post. Put filling in them. Homemade dough is stretchy, which means you can really stuff the filling in and then stretch the dough around it to hold it in. Now seal along the open ends, giving the finished dumpling a crescent shape.

Bring at least four inches of water to mild boil in any wide-based pot/pan. Add the first batch of dumplings one by one. Keep stirring the water clockwise or anticlockwise, the moving water will keep the dumplings from sticking to each other. Keep stirring the water till it comes to a rolling boil. Cook at that temperature for about five or six minutes. Then add two cups of cold water from the tap, and wait till the water comes to boil again. Keep stirring occasionally to prevent Siamese dumplings. Keep at boiling for another six or seven minutes before adding another two cups of cold water, and bring the pot to a final (third) boil before removing the dumplings into a deep glass or china dish.

Be careful not to scoop up water with the dumplings, but this doesn't mean you'll carefully drain each dumpling. A little water helps keep them from sticking to each other in the serving glass or china dish. Just to be on the safer side, pour a two capful of sesame oil on the dumplings, and shake the dish to mix it in. Eat with grated ginger soaked in soya sauce, and/or red chili sauce.

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