Friday, May 7, 2010

Har Gow; Shrimp Dumplings

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(about 42-48 dumplings)

While I was still living in Toronto, I took several evening cooking courses at George Brown College. Among them were two dim sum classes.

I loved those classes, and it wasn't until I left Toronto that I realised just how wonderful they had been. These were "hands on" classes where each student had their own workspace and prepared their own food, very unlike the classes I have come across in Dallas where you basically shell out a small fortune to squeeze between 15-20 individuals to watch someone else cook or prepare something.

Had I known how "special" these classes were at the time, I would have taken a lot more of them.

Har Gow was one of the dishes I learned to make and I still make it rather frequently. It freezes well, so I often double or even triple this recipe.

1 lb raw shrimp, cleaned and chopped
1/2 cup bamboo shoots, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
2 tbsp glutinous rice wine, or sherry
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp salt, or to taste
2 tbsp tapioca starch

Toss all the ingredients together in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour, up to overnight.

3 cups wheat starch
4 tbsp tapioca starch
2 tbsp lard, or shortening, or olive oil
2 cups boiling water

Serve with
chinese mustard
chili paste

Combine the wheat and tapioca starch in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the water; add the lard, shortening or oil. Mix until a ball forms. Knead until the dough feels smooth; a minute or so.

Keep the dough under a damp cloth and break off small pieces, and roll them into little balls. Place each ball into a tortilla press, and press; this makes perfect circular wrappers. If you don't have a press, then roll each piece out by hand with a rolling pin. The ones I make in the tortilla press do make a slightly thicker wrapper, but that's the trade-off for getting them done faster.

Place a small amount of filling into the centre of each wrapper and fold starting at one side; keep one edge smooth and fold the other edge in as you work your way to the other side. Don't be tempted to overfill these; the smallest amount of filling will prevent the edges from sticking together.

*At this point the har gow can be frozen. I place them on a cookie sheet in a single layer, not touching and freeze  for 10 minutes or so before packing them into freezer bags for further freezing.

Spray the bottom of a steamer lightly with oil or cover with cabbage leaves, and arrange the har gow in one layer with a bit of space between. Steam for about 5-8 minutes. *I add a minute if I'm steaming them directly from the freezer. Be careful not to steam them for too long as the wrappers can disintegrate.

Serve these with chinese mustard and chili paste.


Memória said...

I've been hoping to see a post on how to make the dumpling wrappers. Thank you so much. I have a tortilladera, so I'll use it for this. Great instructional post and photos!

Memória said...

Question: do you have to use those starches to make the wrappers or is this a gluten-free option?

Gerlinde in Washington said...

I was wondering that myself while I was making these (my mum is gluten intolerant).

I was thinking the next time I make these I might try a combination of rice flour, tapioca starch and cornstarch, and see how the wrapper turns out.

Debs @ DKC said...

Inspiring, thanks.

Joudie's Mood Food said...

Oh wow. I made these a while back and having a tortilla press would have saved me soooooo much time. It took a while for me to make this as i had to roll and roll to make them a good shape and equal consistency. But they turned out great in the end. Iv just asked my husband to buy me a tortilla press.... :)

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