Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Prawn and Chives Dumplings

I LOVE yum cha (dim sum), I just can't get enough of it. It's a pity that the good yum cha restaurant that I know here is not located around the corner where I live. I have visited a few yum cha restaurants in Frankfurt - the dumplings there taste alright, but only one restaurant actually serves really authentic dumplings like what I've tasted in Sydney or Hong Kong.

Everytime I go to a yum cha restaurant, I always order har gao (shrimp dumplings), shao mai (open-faced shrimp/pork dumpling), prawn chee cheong fun (steamed rice rolls) and pan-fried potstickers, just to name a few. My favourite dumpling of all time is har gao - I just cannot resist its translucent, slightly chewy skin of goodness, and of course it's also because I adore prawns...

I had tried making har gao before, but I failed, because the skin turned out hard and non-transparent and the prawn filling unsatisfyingly tasteless - this is the result of following a bad recipe. Since then I had always dreaded trying to make har gao skin. But I've finally got over my shock after I bought a dim sum cooking book, called Dim Sum Made Easy by Lucille Liang. The book is small with nice dim sum pictures and easy-to-follow instructions. Not the most complete dim sum recipe book, but enough for pushing me to try making har gao again, because the recipe sounds reliable and authentic.

But..., I also just bought a pot of chives a few days ago, waiting for its long fresh leaves to be cut and used for delicious cooking - so I thought, why not adding chives to my har gao and make prawn and chives dumplings instead, they would also taste as good, wouldn't they? Well, just as the post title has stated, my mindgame finally resulted in yummy har gao plus chives.



I was very happy with how the skin turned out, it's just the right chewiness and it's translucent too...! The filling also tasted good, but making the dumplings really required caution and skill (something that I lack, but managed to overcome). The skin might tear easily, so you really need to roll the dough to the right thickness, not too thick, but also not too thin. In addition, the filling must NOT be wet, or the skin would tear. I also learned not to be too greedy and put in less filling, because the more filling, the easier it's for the skin to tear.

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1 1/2 cups wheat starch
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • 2 tbs oil


Always the same technique (look at my Guo Tie post) - Combine all the ingredients for the dough and knead until smooth and pliable. Roll into a sausage-like shape and cut into into equal pieces. Roll each dough-piece into a ball and flatten it with a rolling pin.



Fill in the skin with the prawn mixture. It's very hard to get fresh prawns here. I only can get them frozen.

Filling

  • 500 gr prawns, chopped
  • 250 gr chives, chopped
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tbs chopped pork fat (optional, if you don't want to feel guilty after eating this delicacy)
  • 1 tbs scallions, finely chopped (white part only)
  • 1.5 tbs oyster sauce
  • t tbs Shao Xing wine
  • 1 tbs tapioca starch
  • Dash of salt and pepper


Scrumptious translucent dumplings ready to be served.



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10 comments:

  1. Love the translucent skin and the addition of chives. Looking yummy!

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  2. @Anncoo and Noobcook - Thank you for your kind words :).

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  3. I am crazy about this but impossible to find chives in Italy! :(

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  4. Hey there, I am in Frankfurt and have a serious craving for yum cha (dim sum) on a sunday morning. Used to go to kam fook at bondi junction, down town china town sydney. Miss it. Any place you can recommend in Frankfurt?

    YumSumFan

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  5. Are you from Sydney too :)? I am also a yum cha fan and the first year in Germany I felt so tortured because I couldn't find any restaurants providing yum cha ;)! But I found one really decent Chinese/yumcha restaurant called 'New China Town' near Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof. Please looks at this link: http://www.qype.co.uk/place/22906-New-Chinatown-Frankfurt-am-Main. Another one which is quite good is called 'Ding Ding Sheng' - this restaurant also has yumcha, but the quality from New China Town is really better: http://www.qype.co.uk/place/30797-Ding-Ding-Sheng-Frankfurt-am-Main. Hope this helps!

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  6. Hi, this is amazing. Thank you for such a detailed recipe. Har Gao is my favourite and it's really hard to find a good one here in Switzerland. I'm so looking forward to try making one.

    You mentioned wheat starch. What is that called in German?

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi V, thanks for stopping by. To be be true I am not really sure what wheat starch is in German, maybe Weizenstärke - but if you visit your local Asian grocery store, chance is you're going to find it in the rice/tapioca/glutinous flour section, and it's normally labelled in English - at least it's so in Germany. Sorry if I am not much of a help...!

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  8. This looks freaking delicious! I've got a question: did you pre-cooked your filling for this dim sum? Would it taste much different if you don't precook the filling?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi ZZ,

    I didn't pre-cook the filling, but I think I bought pre-cooked prawns (I didn't really know where to buy fresh prawns around here in Germany, that's why!). I think your prawn dumplings would taste better and fresher if you don't pre-cook the filling. Good luck :)!

    ReplyDelete

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