Posts Tagged ‘dumplings’

Not sure how to transliterate these… tsong? zong? joong? And apparently in Mandarin it’s zongzi or bah tzang. My aunts used to make these and I miss them SO MUCH. Sticky, glutinous rice wrapped around salty protein–they’re awesome for Maine winters even though they are associated with the Dragon Boat Festival in June. I haven’t had these since I went vegetarian EIGHTEEN YEARS AGO, not counting the sweet dessert ones. This recipe makes 12 big dumplings.

What you’ll need:
2.5 lbs of (uncooked) sticky rice (I eyeballed half a 5 lb bag)
6-8 black mushrooms
15 dried chestnuts
15 raw peanuts
1.5 cups of veggie beef jerky
2 green onions
3 tbsp veggie oyster sauce (mushroom sauce)
2 cloves garlic
2 dashes star aniseed
2 tsp sesame oil for saute-ing
36 dried bamboo leaves

While I was at it I also made some dessert dumplings with red beans in the blue ramekin– just add about 1/2 cup of rice and 9 bamboo leaves for 3 additional dumplings.

Several ingredients require soaking, so… get that started. First, rinse the rice and let that soak for 3 hours. Next, rinse the peanuts and chestnuts, soak them in warm water together. Then wash the bamboo leaves thoroughly with a veggie brush. Set them to soak in warm water and trim the woody stems off. Rinse and soak the mushrooms on their own for about 30 minutes.

Once the mushrooms are soft, we can prepare the “meaty” filling while the other ingredients are soaking. Drain the mushrooms (retain the liquid!) and cut them up into large chunks, trimming the stems. Heat the sesame oil in a stir-fry pan, and add the mushrooms. Snip the onions into rings, mince the garlic, and add those to the frying pan. Once the mushrooms begin to brown, add the veggie oyster sauce. Then add the jerky and a few tablespoons of the liquid that the mushroom soaked in, just enough so that the jerky doesn’t get dry. Add the star aniseed, mix, and let that sit until everything else is finished soaking.

Once the rice is done soaking, drain it and return it to the bowl. Drain the chestnuts and peanuts, chop the chestnuts into quarters, and mix them back in with the peanuts. Okay, so you should have 4 separate stations: the bamboo leaves (still in water), the rice, the chestnuts/peanuts, and the mushroom/jerky mixture.

Wrapping: I watched like 1,000 youtube videos until I found one that was the correct shape and size. “Correct” being the shape that I recall from childhood. I used the method in the video below, but I only used 3 leaves per dumpling instead of 4 and it worked out well. The filling volumes I used are about the same too.

Once you have them all wrapped, boil them for 2 hours, unwrap, and eat! They also freeze very well, just wrap them tightly and individually, and steam them for about 45 mins to reheat.


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When I have a recipe in mind, I usually look up more than one source just so I know what I can fiddle with and also so I can take the laziest route.  I had a little “taking off the rose-colored glasses” moment a couple of nights ago when I found a recipe I wanted to make from a book from the library and then I found a blogger that had passed of the book’s recipe, drawings, AND commentary of as her own!  And the blogger is a FoodBuzz Featured Blogger and has had over 2,000 visits PER DAY. I mean, this happens every so often on Allrecipes.com, but I think if you’re making money as a blogger and offering commentary, at the very least the commentary should be one’s own, right?

Anyways… chive dumplings…. right.

I adapted this recipe from “Dim Sum: the Art of Chinese Tea Lunch” by Ellen Leong Blonder. It normally calls for a filling of shrimp/chives or pork/chives inside a translucent dumpling wrapper based on wheat starch instead of wheat flour or rice flour. Note that you have to use Chinese chives— they have flat blades and are much bigger than regular chives. I substituted tofu for the meat and got 14 dumplings out of this recipe.

1.25 cup wheat starch+some for dusting (available at Hong Kong Market on Congress)
1/4 cup glutinous rice flour or tapioca flour
1 cup boiling water
1 tsp vegetable oil

1 bunch Chinese chives (about 20 stems)
3 green onions
1 package tetrapak tofu, extra firm, drained
1 tbsp soy sauce (or 1/4 tsp better than bouillon)
1 tbsp sesame oil
chive dumpling ingredients

For the wrappers: mix the wheat starch and flour, add the boiling water and vegetable oil, and form into a dough. Turn out onto board dusted with starch (I don’t recommend a wooden board as it starts out pretty sticky). Once you have a uniform dough, form about 14-15 balls a little more than an inch in diameter. Cover with a moist paper towel.

Filling: heat a large pan with the sesame oil; add the tofu and soy sauce (or bouillon). Mash the tofu and let it fry for about 10 minutes on medium, burning off excess water. Take the chives and green onions, hold them in a bunch over the pot, and cut them into bits with scissors.  Stir-fry the whole thing for at least 10 more minutes.
filling for chive dumplings
Allow the filling to cool for about 10 minutes. Then take one of your dough balls, sandwich it in between 2 sheets of wax or parchment paper, and roll out a circle about 4 inches across (it should be the thickness of a dumpling wrapper). Put some filling the middle, then pull the dough up around it. I just pull in 4 opposite ends first and then pull in the rest. No fancy pleats for me. You want the dough to meet in the middle with minimal overlap, because these dumplings should be round and fat (like a cheese wheel), not crescent or bun-shaped. Once there are no holes on top (seam side), put the dumpling top-side down on wax paper until you have a batch ready to go. Preheat your pan to medium with a little oil and set the dumplings in bottom side down. Flatten with a turner if necessary. After 2 minutes (just starting to brown), flip them over and pan fry the top-side for 2 minutes.
after flipping
Then, add about 1/3 cup water (carefully, it’ll splatter)– enough to cover the bottom of the pan, but not too much because you will have to burn this water off. Cover and steam the dumplings for about 5 minutes– the wrappers will become translucent. Turn the heat up to med-hi, let the water burn off, and then pan fry the tops again for a few minutes until they are nice and toasty on both sides.
Chinese chive dumplings

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