Pork and Mushroom Dumplings

My lovely friend Suba came to visit me from Melbourne during the Queen’s Birthday long weekend. While she was here, we decided to make pork and mushroom dumplings from scratch! This was very exciting for me, as I have always made my dumplings using those ready-made store-bought dumpling wrappers that are really thick and rubbery.

I trolled the internet for a worthy recipe, and found a recipe from Masterchef 1st Season runner-up, Poh. Poh is Malaysian-Chinese, so I decide her recipe must be fool-proof.

Poh’s recipe called for wheat starch/wheat cornflour. I asked the husband what that meant, and he looked at me like I was crazy. He said that cornflour is made from corn, and corn is not wheat. Thanks hubby, that doesn’t help me.

So I decide to forget about silly wheat cornflour, and instead double up on my plain flour. Just for kicks, Suba tries making a batch of dough using cornflour.

Both doughs turn out quite well, although Suba’s dough is a lot smoother and more delicate.

I tried following Poh’s filling and crimping instructions to the letter, but clearly, I do not have the magic delicate dumpling touch, my dumplings looked like an elephant tried to crimp them.

So I abandoned that plan and rolled out the dough with a rolling pin and used my massive biscuit cutter to make a gigantor dumpling fit for my mouth. Suba was not impressed, and persevered with her tiny overly-delicate asian dumplings.

You can tell from the photo which dumpling belongs to whom.

I’ll be honest with you, something did go wrong here. I am fairly certain there is nothing wrong with the recipe, I think my pans were not good enough. I was using a really old Kmart “non-stick” fry pan, which, I will admit, has lost it’s “non-stickiness”. So the bottoms of the dumplings did end up sticking to the fry pan, and looked like a dogs’ breakfast.

We switched over to making steamed dumplings, and that worked out much better.

Now, I am on the hunt for a good non-stick fry pan – hopefully these dumplings will be more successful next time.

The filling was delicious! And the sauce that goes with it is the perfect complement – overall, I was quite pleased with our efforts.

Serves: 4-6 people

Prep time: 2 hours

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Source: Adapted from Poh’s Pork and Cabbage Dumplings recipe – http://www.abc.net.au/tv/pohskitchen/stories/s2871598.htm

Ingredients

Dumpling Skins

  • ½ cup plain flour
  • ½ cup cornflour
  • Boiled hot water

Dumpling Filling

  • 2 ½ cups wombok, finely shredded
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 250g pork mince
  • 3 cm ginger, chopped finely / grated
  • 1/3 cup spring onions, chopped
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup chicken stock or water
  • 4 ½ tsp light soy sauce
  • 3 tsp Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tbs vegetable oil
  • 4 ½ tsp sesame oil
  • ½ cup button mushrooms, finely chopped

Spicy Dipping Sauce

  • ¼ cup light soy sauce
  • 6 tsp Chinkiang vinegar
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • 2-3 tsp chilli oil
  • 3 cm ginger, finely shredded
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped finely

Instructions

Dumpling Skins

  1. Place flour and cornflour in a bowl. Pour a small amount of hot water into the flour and cornflour mix and stir with a fork until you can tip it onto the bench top and knead into a firmish, smooth ball. If it feels a little sticky, add a small amount of equal plain flour and cornflour and mix to the dough. Wrap in cling wrap and rest for an hour.
  2. Note: If you don’t have cornflour, the traditional way is to use one cup plain flour but follow the same method.

Dumpling Filling

  1. Mix all ingredients together until everything is incorporated.

Making the Dumplings

  1. To make dumplings, roll dough with some sprinkled plain flour using a rolling pin. Use a large round cookie cutter to make circles.
  2. Once the dough has been rolled out to about one millimetre thick, spoon a teaspoonful of the filling onto the centre of the wrapper. When crimping, only pleat one side of the dumpling leaving the other edge straight. This will give the dumpling an attractive crescent shape and let it sit nicely.
  3. There are three ways you can cook these.
    • Firstly, you can just boil them in plenty of salt water. When they float, allow them to cook for a further ten seconds, then scoop out with a slotted spoon into a colander.
    • Steam them in a bamboo steamer. Make sure to brush the base of the bamboo steamer with a little bit of oil to prevent sticking. Cook for about 8-10 minutes or until skin is translucent.
    • If you want a crispy bottomed finish, position the dumplings neatly in a frypan filled with about one centimetre of water or chicken stock and a dash of peanut oil. Cover and allow the dumplings to steam for about eight to ten minutes. When all the water evaporates, the little bit of oil that remains will help crisp up the bottom.

Spicy Dipping Sauce

  1. Mix all the ingredients together and serve with dumplings.

 

DSC04882
Suba’s dainty dumpling
DSC04883
Guess whose?
DSC04898
My gigantor dumplings, about to meet their maker in my faulty fry pan
DSC04901
Suba’s dainty dumplings had more success

 

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