Jan 14, 2010

shrimp dumplings

i have had dumplings four times in my life, and that includes today. i love dumplings almost i like i love sushi. the first time was at rickshaw in nyc, love at first bite. then i had them twice in the restaurant of a downtown helsinki department store, not quite the same as in nyc... because they were not even close and i don't know a restaurant in helsinki that serves dumplings, i decided to have a go at making dumplings myself.

fortunately there are a few well stocked asian stores in helsinki, i got the wrappers already couple of weeks ago and had them waiting in the freezer. i kept searching for a recipe but could not decide on any one particular. i had, at first, decided to used minced pork but my store didn't have that yesterday. as i had shrimp in the freezer... i ended up using that and free falling on everything else.

this is what i ended up using, among other things

everything minced, from right: shrimp, carrot, ginger, napa cabbage, in the cup soya sauce, sesame oil and corn starch.

i had been wondering what this napa cabbage was, almost all dumpling recipes mentioned that or regular cabbage. while shopping, as i didn't know what napa was, i got something we call chinese cabbage. turns out i got the right stuff! but, i have to tell you that i was very hesitant to get it as there was a time in the past when every salad where ever and anywhere offered was made of this cabbage and pineapple. could be that i have said "never again" about that cabbage...

filling ready to go

i found it easier to moisten the edge before putting the filling on, though most recipes tell you to do it after placing the filling

one tsp is all you need. if i'd had any experience with dumplings before, i would have made less filling. i could have easily made twice the amount dumplings if i'd had enough wrappers

this was the part i was dreading... on the first one i just pinched the enges together, but on the second i decided to try crimping, not hard at all! well, i did watch a how-to video on youtube...

quite proud on how this one turned out, not professional, but good enough for a first timer

more of the same

and more

took out my trusted non-stick soup pot, filled it almost to the rim, brought the water to a good boil before placing the dumplings into the boiling water a few at a time, then gave the water a swirl in order to keep the dumplings moving and not sticking to the pot or to each other

approx 8 mins later, by which time all were floating, i took them out with a slotted spoon. i had obviously done a good job of pinching the edges as none leaked any stuffing to the water

the ingredients for my dipping sauce, soya sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and mild spanish chili

used a small jar to mix the dipping sauce in

one package of wrappers yielded to 26 dumplings. we ate all of them at one sitting. aren't they lovely?

what did i do with the left-over stuffing? well, took my frying pan out, drained as much liquid out of the stuffing as possible, put it on a hot pan, poured in one egg and cooked the mixture on high until the egg was done, poured some dipping sauce on top... equally nice on its own. now that i think of it, some noodles might have made it even better!

next time i make dumplings i will not use any carrot (and if i do, i'll remember to squeeze out any moisture as the finely grated carrot gave out quite a lot of moisture to the stuffing)

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