I was experimenting with a dim sum dumpling filling that would normally be more associated with a variety fried in wheat starch dough rather than steamed in the Basic Wheat Flour Dough I’ve used here. The filling in question is composed of chopped scallop and chives with some light seasoning but that is all I am going to say about it here because, quite honestly, it didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped.
The reason I have featured this experiment today is the particular shape of the dumplings. While browsing recipes online I came across one for dumplings that were described as Shu Mai despite not having the usual ‘pleated purse’ shape. Possibly, purists might say these are not actually Shu Mai for that reason but they are ‘open-faced’, steamed, and use a flour wrapper so possible they still fit the general category.
Anyway, the end result is, I think, much prettier than the standard shape and is much more easily formed. One simply puts a dollop of the filling in the middle of a dough circle and then pinches each ‘corner’ causing the sides to come up around the middle. My readers might like to try it themselves with filling mixtures of their own creation or possibly with the more standard Shu Mai filling used in my Shu Mai with Pork and Shrimp…
Dim Sum aficionados will certainly be familiar with the dumplings most commonly known by their Cantonese name ‘Shu Mai’. They also appear on menus as shui mai, shu mai, sui mai, shui mei, siu mai, shao mai, siew mai, or siomai, but in Mandarin they are simply known as shāomài, and their name in Chinese (燒賣), simply means ‘cook and sell’.
As dumplings go, these are amongst the most easily formed, simply being a basic open ended pouch containing a filling. There are plenty of regional variations, but the Cantonese versions are generally based on pork and shrimp. Other additions, can include mushroom, scallion, ginger, and even chopped scallops. Some are quite large, being more than a mouthful, but I like mine on the smallish side… Continue reading “Shu Mai with Pork and Shrimp”
In a series of upcoming articles, I am looking forward to cooking a variety of different dumpling recipes and the whole point in today’s post is to provide a ‘reference’ recipe for the basic dough in order to avoid repeating myself several times later.
Before we begin, I should first specify exactly what it is I mean by ‘dumpling’…
If you do a search of the term at Wikipedia, you will find that the word dumpling encompasses a whole range of different culinary preparations and that, essentially, there are two main categories: those that are solid masses of dough cooked chiefly in liquid dishes such as stews, and the like, and those that consists of ‘wrappers’ around some sort of stuffing. In my upcoming posts, will be concentrating exclusively on the latter sort, with special emphasis on Chinese varieties.
Even when one considers Chinese cuisine alone, the range of dumpling types is incredible. Aside from the infinite varieties of fillings, there are multiple types depending on cooking method (boiled, steamed, deep-fried, shallow fried etc.), and also on the constitution of the dough. The various flours employed in the different doughs include glutinous (and non-glutinous) rice flour, corn starch, tapioca flour and wheat flour, all of which produce different results. As noted in the title, our basic dough will be of the all-purpose wheat flour variety. It is a very versatile and easy dough to make, typically used in such commonly known Chinese specialties such as Jiaozi (餃子), Shui Jiao (水餃), Wonton, Xiaolongbao (小籠包), the very popular Guotie (鍋貼) known as ‘Potstickers’ here in the West, and a whole range of other types beyond.
Let’s begin … Continue reading “Basic Dumpling Dough (Wheat Flour type)”