Earlier this week I met some dim sum chefs who showed me how to make things like har gao (shrimp dumplings), chive dumplings, soup dumplings, steamed rice rolls with minced pork and siu mai or pork and shrimp dumplings.
They made it look so easy, but when I tried to copy them, my dumplings looked clumsy and obviously amateur!
I immediately gained a new appreciation for dim sum -- that each piece is crafted by someone by hand.
The experience of making dim sum inspired me to make dumplings today -- the northern Chinese ones that are boiled.
I skipped trying to make the dough and focused on the pork and chive filling. I read through a few recipes and then went to the wet market to buy ingredients -- including the wrappers.
At the wet market I didn't see any ground pork so I went to the supermarket to buy it and was shocked to find we had to scoop it up ourselves into a plastic bag -- how unhygienic is that?!
The recipe called for a teaspoon of minced ginger but I put much more than that in there, and didn't have any sugar so I put a teaspoon of honey in it!
In the end I almost wrapped one cattie of wrappers (only about five left), so it pretty much worked out. The dumplings were put on plates and then left in the freezer before transferring them to a ziploc bag to prevent them from sticking together.
For dinner I ate a dozen of them and they were delicious!! I was glad I put a lot of ginger in there to perk up the flavours, but also the fresh chives were a nice addition too. The wrappers held up and were quite thin.
Now I can have dumplings whenever I want and wrapping them didn't take too long -- about an hour and a half? There's no excuse to eat store-bought ones now...