In Thailand, the influence of Chinese food and culture can be found at every turn, and Chinese dumplings like these are enjoyed in Bangkok as well as other locales. But this recipe for steamed dumplings also reveals a strong Thai influence, both in the spice preparation for the chicken as well as the dipping sauce. If serving to company, batches can be made and steamed ahead of time, then covered (or left in the steamer) and placed in the refrigerator. Then simply re-steam for a few minutes and serve. This makes a wonderful dish for dinner with a salad, or for weekend dim sum.
- For the Dumplings:
- 1 package round dumpling wraps (available frozen at most Asian stores)
- 1 package Banana leaves for lining the steamer
- 3/4 to 1 lb. (0.4 kg.) ground chicken (or pork or turkey, or leftover roast chicken or turkey)
- 5 to 6 shiitake mushrooms (chopped)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 thumb-size piece galangal (or ginger, grated)
- 3 spring onions (sliced)
- 2 tbsp. fish sauce (available in tall bottles at Asian food stores)
- 2 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp. white pepper (or substitute 1/4 tsp. black pepper)
- 1 egg
- For the Dipping Sauce:
- 1/4 c. soy sauce
- 1 tsp. dark soy sauce
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 tbsp. fish sauce
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 1 squeeze of fresh lime juice (or to taste)
- Optional: fresh-cut chilies (or 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper)
- Prepare a steamer. (I used a traditional bamboo steamer set over a pot of boiling water, but you could also use a colander with a tight-fitting lid.) Line your steamer with banana leaf if you have them. Banana leaf is perfect for this since it won't stick to the dumplings. Alternatively, place the dumplings on a small greased plate inside the colander or you can try lightly greasing the colander.
- Place the first 8 ingredients in a food processor and blitz to create the filling, or simply stir all 8 ingredients together in a mixing bowl until well blended.
- Wrapping 6-8 dumplings at a time, lay out 6-8 wonton wrappers on a clean working surface. You will also need a small dish of water. Spoon a little of the filling in the middle of each wrapper, then dip your fingers in the water and run them around the outside of the wrapper to moisten it.
- Bring the sides of the wrapper up over the filling and press together to seal. If it doesn't seal, moisten the edges with a little more water. Pinch along the seal to create a decorative edge (see picture). Gently push down on the top of the dumpling to make it "sit." Set the finished dumplings on a plate dusted with a little cornstarch or flour.
- Steam the dumplings or cover and refrigerate up to 3 hours (for more instructions when making ahead of time, see below). Place dumplings in steamer and steam on high heat for 15 to 20 minutes.
- While dumplings are steaming, stir the dipping sauce ingredients together. Do a taste test, adding more lime juice if too salty for your taste or more sugar if you'd prefer it sweeter.
- When dumplings are cooked, remove from the steamer and serve immediately with the dipping sauce on the side.
Optional Last Step: For chewier dumplings (gyoza/potsticker style), set a frying pan over medium heat with 1 tbsp. oil. Briefly fry the steamed dumplings to brown the bottom and sides. Note that they will brown very quickly (and also burn quickly). This step only takes a few extra seconds and makes the dumplings extra delicious.
Instructions to Prepare Ahead of Time
If serving to company, I recommend steaming the dumplings ahead of time (up to 1 day).
Then cool, cover and place in the refrigerator. When your company arrives, re-steam on high heat for 5 minutes and serve. Leftover cooked dumplings can also be frozen.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|