Four-Flavour Dumplings

Finally another post.... I had wanted to post earlier, but I was either lazy or I simply didn't manage to make good pictures of the food I made. Who can give me some advice on how to make good pictures? I have an older digital camera - Sony 5.1 Mega Pixels, and I have always had difficulty making nice pictures with this camera. Throughout the day I still have a small chance making some clearer pictures, but at night my chance to make good pictures is almost zero, as the pictures would turn mostly blurry. Is it because of my camera, is it because I suck in photography, or is it because of both? If it's because I need a new camera, which brand and type do you suggest me to buy? Or if it's because I suck, what should I do to improve my photography skills? Photography was never something that interested me. A camera was only a tool for me to change 3-d things into 2-d ones. But after I've got this food blog, I of course do want to show at least some presentable pictures... Oh well..., enough ramblings...

As I mentioned in my previous post, I wanted to make four-flavour dumplings. So here they are.

The first time I saw four-flavour dumplings was from a Japanese manga, 'Master Cooking Boy' - just a comic about a boy who loves cooking and is very talented at it. He makes various dumplings and one of those is this four-flavour dumpling. I thought this type of dumpling was fictional, just made up by the comic author, since at that time it just looked so extraordinary to me somehow, but apparently it's not. I saw a four-flavour dumplings recipe from a Taiwanese cooking-book "Chinese Dim Sum" from Wei Chuan Cooking School Publication last year, and since then have been so passionate about trying it out. I of course change the recipe a bit here and there - well, I always do change recipes actually, I never can really follow recipes so religiously - I always need to rebel a bit in a way, I don't know why...

So here is my recipe adapted from the Wei Chuan Cooking Book.

Dumpling Skin
  • 300 gr flour
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 400 gr ground pork
  • 200 gr shrimps, chopped coarsely
  • 1 tbs diced pork fat (optional)
  • 3 tbs oyster sauce
  • 2 tbs fish sauce
  • 3 tbs Shao Xing wine
  • 1 tbs minced ginger
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • White pepper
Garnish (Toppings)
  • Chopped green onions
  • Chopped boiled egg yolk
  • Chopped boiled egg white
  • Chopped carrots

The dumplings before any toppings are added.

The dumplings with four different toppings: green onions, carrots, boiled egg yolk and boiled egg white.
There are of course still a lot of rooms for improvement. My dumplings still look quite messy, and the pictures do look quite blurry as well. I just need to practise a bit more (in making dumplings, and in doing photography) to get better results in the future...

The four-flavour dumplings after being steamed.

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  1. I think you did a beautiful job! I was intrigued right away!

  2. that's awesome! i'm sure its tasty too! you're making me drool!

  3. These pictures are awesome and what a great blend of flavours!

  4. I think this is your best out-of-the-box creation ^^

  5. we're on the same boat.. I just rely on good lighting, as long as the picture/s are clear, I think that's fine with the readers (yours look fine). I bought a new camera, I'll let you know if it's worth investing in. I love your dumplings, first time I've seen something like this but I've seen an episode of Master cooking Boy, my teen sis-in-law crazy about it

  6. Wow!! I just made shu mai for the first time, but I like THIS. it's gorgeous!!

  7. They are such cute dumplings! so creative and colourful!

    You definitely don't suck in photography. I'm also struggling to learn. I don't take food photos at night too. A dslr is good as well ;)

  8. It has been a while since I last had those yummy dumplings. You have done a good job, the dumplings look really nice.

  9. You have a wonderful talent at making dumplings! Not only do they look tasty, but they look perfectly shaped too.

  10. wow!! amazing, can you send me a bunch of them ?? :p

  11. This is a great recipe and I love the visuals. Is your camera a point and shoot or a dSLR? I would bet if you do have a point and shoot style camera that trading it in for an inexpensive Digital Rebel or similar would get you super results... your staging is great and you have a good eye!

    Also, there is a FANTASTIC article from the great food blogger David Lebovitz on just this subject-->

    Peas Love Carrots

  12. Thanks for the suggestion, Mae. Will try to find out more about Digital Rebel!:)