Sui Kow (Dumplings)

Yes, I admit there’s only one measly picture of my dumpling. Try holding half a fiddly dumpling still with chopsticks in one hand and taking a non-blurry picture with the other on a hungry stomach and you’ll see why there’s only one picture. I usually make my sui kow with minced pork alone, but this recipe which has been modified from this recipe is so much better! There’s lots of texture going on in your mouth with this filling and the prawns add an incredible sweetness to it. It was just what I needed on a cold autumn’s day.┬áThese dumplings were so good I ate more than six of them in a go. Ok, maybe closer to eight. Ok, eight. Plus dry-style noodles.

The water chestnuts, carrots and mushrooms should be chopped finely so the filling doesn’t fall apart when you bite into the dumpling but not too fine that you lose the texture and flavour from them. My dumpling wrappers were quite thick but I didn’t have much choice in my local Chinese shop, so feel free to use thinner ones, they will taste much better.

I love eating my dumplings with black vinegar to contrast the flavours and cut through the richness of the dumplings. Every time I have dim sum in my favourite Chinese restaurant here I ask for a little dish of vinegar.

Sui Kow recipe

Makes 30 dumplings

100g medium size shrimps (net weight after shelling)
80g minced pork
3 water chestnuts, chopped
1/2 carrot, chopped
2 large dried shiitake mushrooms, or 3 medium ones, softened in hot water, squeezed dry and chopped
3 tbsps finely chopped coriander (leaves and stalks)
2 spring onions, green ends only (chopped)
30 pieces circular dumpling wrappers

Seasonings:

1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp Shaohsing rice wine
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp cooking oil
1 tsp cornstarch
Dash of white pepper powder

1. Take half the prawns and mash them up with the flat part of your knife, sliding it downwards on the chopping board away from you. Then chop them up a little to make them slightly sticky. Chop up the rest of the prawns coarsely.

2. Mix all of the ingredients together with the seasonings and leave to marinade in the fridge for an hour.

3. Prepare your little workstation. Liberally flour a baking tray or large plate. Have a small dish of water on standby. Boil some water in a pot – about 2/3 filled. To ensure your dumpling filling is adequately seasoned, cook a teaspoon of it in the pot and taste to adjust. You can always adjust food that is under-salted but not the other way.

4. Dry your hands thoroughly with a dish cloth. I found it helpful to flour mine periodically as well. Take half a heaped tablespoon of the filling and place into the centre of the dumpling wrapper. Dampen a semicircle edge of the wrapper, fold it in half and seal firmly, pressing out any air pockets. RESIST the urge to overfill your dumpling, you will rue your decision when your dumplings fall apart in the boiling water. Place the dumpling onto the floured tray, and repeat with the rest.

5. To cook, place a few dumplings one by one into the boiling water and stir gently to prevent them sticking to each other and to the base of the pot. They are cooked when they float to the top and the wrapper becomes slightly translucent. Drain them and serve them in a bowl of chicken broth, garnished with some chopped coriander or spring onions. Dip into black vinegar and enjoy!

6. To store the rest, flour the top surfaces of the dumplings and cover with cling film. Place in freezer.

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