Chinese dumplings - Daring Cooks Challenge

9:30 PM

June 2009 Daring cooks Challenge was chosen by Jen from Use Real Butter. The Challenge is to make chinese dumplings/Potsticker wrappers by hand. Jen has shared her family recipe here.
Dumplings typically consists of meat/vegetable filling wrapped into a thinly rolled piece of dough, which is then sealed by crimping the edges together.
I made a sweet and savory filling.

Sweet Filling:<

1 cup greengram ( soak it in warm water for 1/2 hr )
1/4 cup brown sugar
2tbsp grated coconut
1/4 tsp cardamom powder

Cook the greengram in water until it becomes soft.
Add in the brown sugar, cardamom and coconut. Mix well and until all the water is evaporated.
Let it cool completely.

Savory filling:

1 cup boiled potatoes, cubed
1/4 cup onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp chilipowder
1/4 tsp garammasala
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
salt to taste
1 tsp oil

Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and let it splutter.
Add in the onions and garlic, saute until onions become soft. Add the spice powders, salt and mix well until all the ingredients are incorporated.
cool down completely.

For Dough:

2 cups All-purposeflour
1/2 cups warm water
flour for worksurface

Make the dough, Method 1: Place the flour in the work bowl of a food processor with the dough blade. Run the processor and pour the warm water in until incorporated. Pour the contents into a sturdy bowl or onto a work surface and knead until uniform and smooth. The dough should be firm and silky to the touch and not sticky.[Note: it’s better to have a moist dough and have to incorporate more flour than to have a dry and pilling dough and have to incorporate more water).

Make the dough, Method 2: In a large bowl mix flour with 1/4 cup of water and stir until water is absorbed. Continue adding water one teaspoon at a time and mixing thoroughly until dough pulls away from sides of bowl. We want a firm dough that is barely sticky to the touch.

Both dough methods: Knead the dough about twenty strokes then cover with a damp towel for 15 minutes. Take the dough and form a flattened dome. Cut into strips about 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide. Shape the strips into rounded long cylinders. On a floured surface, cut the strips into 3/4 inch pieces. Press palm down on each piece to form a flat circle (you can shape the corners in with your fingers). With a rolling pin, roll out a circular wrapper from each flat disc. Take care not to roll out too thin or the dumplings will break during cooking - about 1/16th inch. Leave the centers slightly thicker than the edges. Place a tablespoon of filling in the center of each wrapper and fold the dough in half, pleating the edges along one side (see images for how to fold pleats). Keep all unused dough under damp cloth.

To boil: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add dumplings to pot. Boil the dumplings until they float.

To steam: Place dumplings on a single layer of napa cabbage leaves or on a well-greased surface in a steamer basket with lid. Steam covered for about 6 minutes.

To pan fry (potstickers): Place dumplings in a frying pan with 2-3 tbsp of vegetable oil. Heat on high and fry for a few minutes until bottoms are golden. Add 1/2 cup water and cover. Cook until the water has boiled away and then uncover and reduce heat to medium or medium low. Let the dumplings cook for another 2 minutes then remove from heat and serve.

To freeze: Assemble dumplings on a baking sheet so they are not touching. It helps to rub the base of the dumpling in a little flour before setting on the baking sheet for ease of release. Freeze for 20-30 minutes until dumplings are no longer soft. Place in ziploc bag and freeze for up to a couple of months. Prepare per the above instructions, but allow extra time to ensure the filling is thoroughly cooked.

Dipping sauce:2 parts soy sauce
1 part vinegar (red wine or black)
a few drops of sesame oil
chili garlic paste (optional)
minced ginger (optional)
minced garlic (optional)
minced green onion (optional)
sugar (optional)

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