Recipe by Nose
Not soup with dumplings in it, but dumplings with soup in them. This is a famous kind of steamed dumpling for dim sum. You bite a little hole in the dumpling, then carefully sip the scalding hot broth out of it, then dip the rest of the dumpling in a dip and eat. It's amazing how they get it inside-out like that. I have just learned, from a cookbook called "Dim Sum and Other Chinese Street Food" by Mai Leung, that the secret is to gel some broth with agar-agar and seal the solid broth inside the dumplings. When the dumplings are heated, the broth liquifies again, so you get dumplings full of soup. I haven't tried this recipe yet, but I don't usually make my own dim sum, so I thought I'd go ahead and post it for those who do. She says you can only make these a few hours in advance, and if you do, you should refrigerate them before steaming.
Top Review by Sandi (From CA)
Oh, YES! First my changes/substitutions... I used *GASP!* imitation crab, fresh oyster mushrooms and wonton wrappers, which means they had to be folded differently as you can see in the photo. For the dip, I only had red wine vinegar which was fine -- I've always used white wine vinegar and soy sauce for my gyozas, so I think this ingredient is pretty flexible. I had a devil of a time figuring out first where to buy agar-agar (Asian markets, among other places), then how to use the powdered version which is all I could locate. (It comes in powder, flakes and a blockÂ?.) I ended up boiling the contents of one .25 oz package of agar-agar with the chicken broth until it dissolved, then put it in the fridge to set, which it did nicely. That was cool! Using gelatin instead of agar-agar is doable, I learned from research, but it'll melt at room temperature, so after chilling, you have to move fast getting the dumplings wrapped. For me it was worth locating the agar-agar since I'm not that fast! And now for the verdict... well, you can see by the stars it was a total winner! Next time I'll use more of the agar-agar gel; I was a little hesitant this time which resulted in very little broth, but the flavor was just so delicious, I WILL be making these again. Though it was very time consuming for lazy people like myself, it was SO worth it. Thank you so much for the recipe and sorry for my rambling!
- 1 cup dried agar-agar, loosely packed
- 2 cups chicken broth, clear
- 1 cup crabmeat, fresh or frozen. drained on paper towels
- 4 ounces shrimp, shelled, deveined, cut into pea-sized pieces
- 4 ounces lean pork, cut into pea-sized pieces
- 5 dried Chinese mushrooms, soaked in hot water until spongy, stems discarded, caps cut into small squares
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 3⁄4 teaspoon sugar
- 1⁄8 teaspoon white pepper
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose white flour
- 1 egg, beaten
- cold water
- 1⁄4 cup fresh ginger, finely shredded
- 1⁄4 cup Chinese red vinegar
- 2 tablespoons black soy sauce
Directions See How It's Made
- Hours or a day before making the dumplings, cook the agar-agar in the chicken broth until completely dissolved. Pour into a shallow dish. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours until it gels.
- Mix all the filling ingredients.
- Dice the gelled agar-agar/broth into small pieces and mix with the filling ingredients.
- Refrigerate this mixture.
- To make the wrappers:.
- Mix flour and egg.
- Add water a little at a time until a soft but not sticky dough is formed.
- Knead until dough is smooth and elastic.
- Roll the dough into a long sausage, 1 inch in diameter.
- Cut the dough into walnut-sized pices, then roll them into round balls; cover the balls with a damp towel.
- You are now going to make crescent-shaped dumplings.
- Dust your work surface with a little flour.
- Roll a piece of dough into a paper-thin circle.
- Put about a tablespoon of filling (now including the gelled broth) in the center of the circle.
- Fold the circle in half to look like a half-moon.
- Pleat the top curved edge.
- Pinch the pleated edge and the unpleated edge together to seal.
- Gently tap the crescent's round bottom so that it can stand up.
- Place the crescent-shaped dumpling between towels.
- Make the remaining crescents in the same way.
- Place a layer of cheesecloth in the bottom of a steamer.
- Arrange the crescent dumplings on the cloth.
- Cover and steam over high heat for 10 minutes.
- Serve hot with ginger-vinegar-soy dip.
- To make the dip:.
- Mix all dip ingredients in a serving bowl, cover, and allow to stand at room temperature for at least 10 minutes before serving; it should keep for hours at room temperature.