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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Cooking Q & A / Question:Har Gow (Shrimp Dumplings)
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    Question:Har Gow (Shrimp Dumplings)

    Fri Dec 28, 2012 8:13 am
    Semi-Experienced "Sous Chef" Poster
    Har Gow (Shrimp Dumplings)

    I want to make har gow. I'm disabled, and can't spend much time in the kitchen, so I want to make this dish over several days. I want to freeze both the dough and the filling. Then I'll use some of it to make the little pouches and steam them - enough for one meal for me - and keep the rest frozen for other days.

    Can this dough be frozen? I don't have the specific flours called for, but I DO have both cornflour and rice flour. Will they work? Which flour should be used in the smaller quantity?

    I imagine any kind of flour that has no gluten in it ought to work, since those kinds of flours don't get cloudy when cooked, but tend to be glossy and transparent. Am I correct? Why two kinds of flour, anyway? Why not just cornstarch or just rice flour? What is gained by mixing two kinds?
    Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:10 am
    Forum Host
    Oh dear, I hope someone comes along who knows more than I do.

    I do think you need gluten in this recipe -- that's what the wheat flour is for.

    As far as I know cornstarch and rice flour contain no gluten, so the dumpling dough will not hold together.

    The recipe sounds great, but I'm not sure it will work well unless you have the ingredients specified.
    Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:24 am Groupie
    The Asian forum may be able to help.
    Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:29 pm
    Semi-Experienced "Sous Chef" Poster
    The recipes I've seen call for wheat starch. Wheat flour is what you use regularly, all-purpose, and other variations of it. We just leave off the word "wheat", since it is assumed.

    One thing I have learned is that if you are making a sauce, for example, and you want it glossy and semi-transparent, you use cornstarch to thicken it, not flour. If you use flour it will become cloudy. Besides which, flour can easily make lumps, whereas cornstarch dissolved in a bit of liquid won't lump up.

    The recipes I've seen for Har Gow say that the dough itself is kind of fragile, inclined to cracking, even when you're working with the moist dough. Which tends to confirm my thought that it has no gluten. Gluten is a protein, not a starch.

    It seems to me, that any kind of starch ought to work. Starch is starch, relatively pure carbohydrate. It doesn't have the other components found in the food of origin. The recipe that calls for wheat starch and tapioca starch would seem to be calling for the same thing. The only difference being its derivation. This is why I was scratching my head about why TWO kinds of starches are needed at all.

    If I were to use "wheat flour," my dumplings would not be semi-transparent. They'd look more like a pasta dumpling. The transparency is an attribute that cornstarch can give, but not flour.

    I suppose I could experiment with the rice flour and cornstarch, but I'm very disabled, and would MUCH prefer to get it right, to know that what I'll use will work, without learning by trial and error.

    Thanks for responding.
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