These are my good friend Huang's delicious water dumplings. Actually, they can be oil dumplings or steam dumplings as well – just depends how you cook them!
- Flour and water
- Ground pork (a pound is a good start)
- Fresh green beans (a big sack full. Chopped, they should be the same volume as the pork)
- Fresh grated ginger
- Soy sauce
- Sesame oil
- I tried to ask Huang for a recipe for the skins, and she told me "flour." So I'm afraid I can't offer more help than telling you to mix flour and water until you get a nice, pliable dough. The amount you make depends on how long you want to spend rolling out dough, so I always make the skins until I run out of filling and then freeze the rest of the dough.
- Chop up the green beans very very small. As in, no one would know they were green beans anymore.
- Mix the pork, beans, a few spoonfuls of mashed garlic (the more the better), and all the other seasonings. I only use a few drops of the sesame oil in the filling – you don't want it to be too slimy to handle.
- Roll your dough into a long snake no thicker than a 50-cent piece. Slice it into pieces about 1/4 inch thick
- Roll each slice flat. You'll need to flour your hands and the surface often, but don't let the skins get too floury. If you're a deft Chinese girl, you can spin them around really fast while rolling them out and get them impossibly thin. If you're me, they're always too thick and your dumplings are too doughy.
- Fill each skin with more than you think it will hold. Wet the edges if you need to, to get them to stick together. Fold the circle in half over the filling, and when you pinch it together you should put little pleats on one edge so it looks like a bonnet. This makes it look authentic. If you're me, they never look authentic. This is OK, they still taste fine. At the very least, we're just trying to keep them shut without having large amounts of dough hanging from the seam.
- For water dumplings, get a large pot of satled water boiling hard. Drop dumplings in a few at a time. They will float, and then they should cook for a minute or two after floating. Fish them out with a slotted spoon.
- For oil dumplings, pour enough sesame oil in a skillet to cover the bottom in maybe a 1/4 inch. Line the dumplings up to fit as many in as possible. Cook on medium high until the bottoms are very well cooked, and then pour hot water in and cover the pan, steaming them on low for a bit.
- For steam dumplings, use a bamboo steamer or some other rig. Steam until they're all puckered and tasty looking.
- Serve with soy vinegar, soy sauce, or hot chili oil. Or, mix soy vinegar and hot chili oil. Make your friends eat them with chopsticks to practice their dexterity.
This recipe was submitted by Annie on January 25, 2005.