Friday, April 27, 2012

Steamed Pork Dumplings

My husband and I decided to try our hand at making steamed pork dumplings.  I think they should be called pork/shrimp dumplings, but whatever name you attach to them, you will call them delicious.  This recipe is from Chris Kimball, host of America's Test Kitchen.
You will need a bamboo steamer basket. 
Shu Mai-Steamed Dumplings
Makes 40

2 tablespoons Shoyu or other soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon unflavored powdered gelatin
1 pound boneless country-style pork ribs
1/2 pound shrimp
1/4 cup water chestnuts , chopped
4 dried shiitake mushroom caps (3/4 ounce),
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon Chinese rice cooking wine or substitute dry sherry
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 package 5-1/2 inch egg roll wrappers (1 pound)
2 carrots
Soak the dried shiitake mushrooms in hot water for 30 minutes. Defrost shrimp, peel and remove vein. Cut each shrimp in half lengthwise. Cut the pork ribs into 1-inch pieces. Finely grate carrots on the small holes of a box grater. Chop the water chestnuts and mince 2 tablespoons of cilantro. Finely grate 2 teaspoons of fresh ginger. After the mushrooms have soaked for 30 minutes, squeeze them dry, then cut into 1/4″ pieces.
Add the soy sauce to a small bowl, sprinkle in the gelatin and let it bloom for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, place half of pork cubes into a food processor and pulse ten 1-second pulses (should be ground into 1/8-inch pieces). Put ground pork in a large bowl.
Add 1/2-lb shrimp and remaining pork to food processor and pulse five 1-second pulses (should be ground into 1/4-inch pieces). Add to the same bowl with other ground pork.
Add soy sauce mixture, chopped water chestnuts, mushrooms, cornstarch, cilantro, sesame oil, wine, vinegar, sugar, ginger, salt, and pepper to the bowl and mix until well combined.
Use a 3" or 3-1/2″ biscuit cutter to cut two rounds from each egg roll wrapper. You can cut in stacks of 6 to 7 wrappers at a time. Cover rounds with moist paper towels to prevent them from drying out.
Lay out 6 rounds at a time, brush the edges lightly with water. Place a heaping tablespoon of the filling mixture in the center of each round. With each hand, lift opposite sides of wrapper and pinch to form two pleats. Rotate 90 degrees and pinch again to form two more pleats. Continue two more times until you have eight folds.
Pick up the dumpling. Using your thumb and index finger (as if to form the OK sign, but with the Shu Mai in the middle) gently squeeze near the top of the dumpling to form a “waist.”
Use your middle finger to support the bottom of the dumpling and pack down the filling using your other hand.  Place on a piece of parchment paper sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Immediately cover with damp paper towel to prevent them from drying out. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.
Place a small pinch of grated carrot on the center of each dumpling; mostly for appearance. You can also use a single pea.
Cut a round piece of parchment slightly smaller than your steamer basket and poke 20 holes. Spray the parchment with non-stick cooking spray. Even using both baskets, I had to cook the dumplings in two batches to make sure that they don’t touch. Be careful because they will plump slightly during steaming. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes per batch. Serve immediately with chili oil.

The Chili Oil:

2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 tablespoon crushed red pepper
1 small garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon table salt

Heat oil in small saucepan over medium heat until it measure 300 degrees on and instant-read thermometer.
Remove pan from heat and stir in pepper flakes, garlic, soy sauce, soy sauce, sugar and table salt.
Let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Discard garlic before serving.
These turned out great and opened my mind to all sorts of possibilities as far as the stuffing mixture.  Another good thing about them, they held up well in a sealed container in the refrigerator for two days, so you could make them well in advance of needing them.  I didn't make the chili oil dipping sauce, I simply mixed wasabi with Shoyu and drizzled it down the center of each bundle.

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