Monday, January 19, 2009

Pan-Fried Garlic Chives Shrimp Dumplings

Since the Lunar New Year is coming up, I'd thought I'd do a post on one of mine and my kids' favorite dumplings. I first tried these in a Bay Area dim sum restaurant years ago, but I'm not always able to order them readily at my usual dim sum eateries in SoCal. So a few years ago I tried making them myself and was successful. Although I've got my own version for the filling now, I've tried various recipes for the dumpling wrapper (basic har gow wrappers), and have liked this one provided by Elaine from A Series of Kitchen Experiments. I double the ingredients in order to get more dumplings skins.

Garlic chives are also called Chinese Chives and are a little different than the usual chives you might use in American cooking. They have a stronger flavor, and the leaves are flat. I love eating these straight up after boiling them for a while, which I did daily while recovering from having my kids, as they are supposely great for the postpartum era. I call it an era because it really is an era. Garlic chives are also good in soup with tofu.

Ingredients for the Dumpling Skins:
1.5 cups wheat starch
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup boiling water

Ingredients for the Filling:
3/4 pounds garlic chives, chopped
1/3 pounds shrimps, deveined and diced
1 teaspoon tapioca starch
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash pepper

Ingredients for Dumpling Sauce:
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon chili (optional)

You'll also need oil for frying.

First, wash the chives. In a pot of boiling water, add the chives in for a couple of minutes, then drain them. Add in the shrimp and the rest of the filling ingredients and mix well.

Prepare the dough for the dumpling skins. Mix the starches and salt together in a bowl and then add in the boiling water. Mix the dough with your hands until you are able to get a dough that you're able to roll out. I often do what Elaine suggests and add in an extra tablespoon of the boiling water at a time if it's too dry. The consistency of the dough is a little tricky to achieve. Too little water and it'll be too crumbly and fall apart. Too much water and it will be too sticky and hard to work. If you accidentally add too much water, try putting in a little bit more of the wheat starch to rebalance it. When your dough is ready, keep it covered with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out.

Take a 3/4 inch ball of dough and pat it out with your hands until you obtain a flat circular disk about 2 inches in diameter. I don't like to "roll" them out because they often stick to the board anyways. Take about 2 teaspoons of the filling, place it on the disk and then pull up the dough around the filling and close the dumpling up. Flatten the whole dumpling a little. I get about 20 dumplings from this amount of dough, sometimes a little less.

Arrange the dumplings in a flat pan with a thin layer of oil on the bottom. Fry the dumplings 2 minutes per side on medium-high heat. Then add 2/3 cups water to the pan, cover, and steam for 6 minutes. Remove the cover and continue cooking until the water evaporates, about 1-2 minutes more. Then fry for about 2 minutes more on each side until crisp and slightly brown.

Serve with the dumpling sauce. Gung Hay Fat Choy, and Happy Inauguration Day for those in the States.


Cynthia said...

Oh big time yum!

Jen Jen said...

One of my favorite dish too :), maybe i'll the recipe soon.

EatTravelEat said...

Wow! It looks so professional. I can certainly imagine eating this- snappy shrimp, bold chives, and a chewy skin. Mmm...

Bits said...

This is lovely and I luv it.

Sandy said...

Your photography is getting better and better. Kudos! The dumplings look delicious!

Wandering Chopsticks said...

Those look great. Dumplings as little money bags for luck right? ;)

Are the wrappers like banh bot loc? Soft and chewy? Not clear and chewy like banh quai vac. My mom makes almost everything homemade but she hasn't figured out the right combo for banh bot loc dough yet. And the dim sum versions are pretty close.

shavedicesundays said...

Cynthia, Jen Jen, Bits: Thanks all!

EatTravelEat, I didn't think it was so professional looking, but it had a really nice crispy outside to it and chewy on the inside.

fourxseasons, I think my photos could only improve from where I started. Thanks!

WC, the wrappers are somewhat translucent, but not as much as if you were going to use just tapioca starch (the wheat starch makes it a tiny bit more opague), and they are soft but not quite as chewy as banh bot loc. Doesn't your mom just use tapioca starch in her banh bot loc? I actually don't think I've ever had banh quai vac, or if I did, I didn't know that I was eating it. Yeah there are plenty of Viet food I haven't tried, like the field mice for example. :)

Wandering Chopsticks said...

What some VNese call banh bot loc are what my region calls banh quai vac. The ones with just shrimp and the translucent tapioca flour. What we call banh bot loc is a little more opaque, larger, filled with pork, shrimp, bamboo shoots, and shiitake mushrooms. They're round and roughly the size of golf balls. When I was in college, my mom used to make and freeze them for me to bring back to school.


Gah! I just saw you blood orange comment!
I am SOOOOOO jealous!
Right now there is like 5 feet of snow outside. hmph!
By the way these are some of my favs.
My Puo always makes all sorts of dumplings for me and these are one of them.
Happy New Year!

Food For Tots said...

Gong Xi Fa Cai! Happy Niu Year! ;)

shavedicesundays said...

WC, I haven't had your version of banh bot loc before, just the translucent one you mentioned. But yeah, the dough for the chive dumplings is not completely clear but not opague either.

Not So Vanilla, snow can be fun, but not if it's there everyday.

Food For Tots, Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Food For Tots said...

Luv these dumplings! A better option than deep-frying! I like your saucer. ;)

shavedicesundays said...

FoodforTots, you have to let me know what a saucer is. Laugh. Is that the pan?

Food For Tots said...

It refers to the small plate used to serve your dumplings shown in the 1st photo.

Elaine said...

Oh my, I love your method of cooking these dumplings! I am going to give it a try some day. Thanks ;)

shavedicesundays said...


Give it a go and let me know how it goes for you.