Is there anything more delightful than a well-made Dumpling? Let me introduce you to my life obsession.
Lets get serious, Dumplings just make people smile. They are plump, juicy and wonderfully satisfying. In the last few years, my obsession for these little guys has gotten a bit out of control. I give thanks to Din Tai Fung for my first introduction to the "juicy baby" XiaolongBao, also known as the Soup Dumpling. These delicate dumplings bursting with flavor and soup! Anyways… Enough about those, that's for another post.
Point is, "Dumplings" are quite simple and versatile to make once you get the hang of the different folds. You can steam, pan fry, deep fry or boil them! and you can fill them with virtually ANYTHING!
Let's start with the braised Short Rib for the filling. It's is a bit of a process (well worth it, but takes a few hours). I'd suggest splitting tasks between 2 days to reap maximum benefits. The first night, have these tender short ribs for dinner. Make a creamy cheesy polenta, and some roasted veggies! mm! #Shortrib #recipebelow
The next night, is dumpling night!! shred the left over short rib and start stuffing. Of course its best to make the wrappers from scratch, they're just better overall. But if you don't have time (or patience) store bought wrappers will do the trick. I used store bought Siu-Mai wrappers this time.
Medium-thick pot sticker wra
ppers are good for boiling, panfried and steamed dumplings; but they do not deep fry well. When using store bought, moisten the edge with water to seal them. Siu-Mai wrappers are great because they are a bit thinner, and good for wantons too (fried or in soup)
Spend some time making these tasty nuggets, the first few times you try to fold wontons they won't be perfect, but with time comes perfection. Freeze them for another day, you'll be ever so thankful when you pull them out and get to enjoy.
Let's face it, we all tell ourselves to start the week off motivated. But, it's Monday. The last thing I want to do on a Monday is make things from scratch.What i DO want however, is to pull these already make suckers out of the freezer and boil them up real quick, toss them in a hot bowl of creamy mushroom soup.. and call it a night.
Until we eat again,
Essential & handy equipment:
-Wooden-Dowel rolling pin, for rolling out scratch made wrappers. A tortilla press or pasta roller would work, but i always feel better when i get in there with my hands!
-Chinese steamer. Bamboo steamers work great and easy to find at Asian markets for less than $20.
-parchment lining for steam basket with holes
-Scale: Weighing flours and starches will enable you to more consistently produce good dumpling dough.
Basic Dumpling Dough:
Makes about 1 pound, enough for 32 medium or 24 large dumplings
10 Oz (2 cups) unbleachd all-purpose flour
About 3/4 cup boiled water
1. To prepare the dough in a food processor (you can do this step by hand too) put the flour into work bowl, and add hot water in a steady stream through feeding tube. Stop the machine and check the dough. It should look rough and feel soft but firm enough to hold its shape when pinched. Add more water if necessary. Run the machine for 5-10 seconds until ball forms around the blade. Do not overwork dough.
2. Transfer dough to work surface, flour surface only if necessary and dough is sticking. Knead the tough with the heel of your hands for 30 seconds for machine made dough, and 2 minutes for hand made dough. It should be smooth and somewhat elastic. It should bounce back with a light impression of your finger. Place dough in zip-lock bag, remove air and seal closed. Leave dough for 15 mins-2 hours at room temperature. The dough will steam up in the bad and take on a softer texture making it easier to roll out.
3. After resting, the dough can be used right away. You can keep it in the fridge overnight, but bring it back to room temp before using it the next day.
4. Put dough on lightly floured surface, cut in half. Return half back to the zip-lock bag and seal so it doesn't dry out. Roll tough into a 1-inch-thick log, and cut into 1 inch pieces. Roll pieces into ball shape and set aside. Repeat this step with remaining dough. Flatten each dough disk into a thin circle that is about 1/8 inch thick. You're ready to start filling!
Braised Short Rib:
8 beed short ribs
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbl olive oil
3 carrots, diced
2 shallots, finely minced
1 medium onion, diced
splash red wine
4 cups beef broth (Enough to almost cover the ribs)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
Salt & pepper to taste
preheat oven to 325 F. Salt and pepper the ribs, then dredge them in flour. set aside.
In large dutch oven, over medium-high heat brown the ribs on all sides, about 45 seconds per side. Set aside.
Lower heat to medium Add carrots, shallots, and onion to the pan and cook for 2 mins. Add garlic. Allow the vegetables to get some sweat and develop its flavor. Deglaze pan with red wine and scrape the bottom of pan to release all the flavorful bits. Add broth, 1 tsp kosher salt and lots of fresh ground pepper. Bring to a boil.
Add the Ribs to the liquid, they should almost be submerged. Add thyme and rosemary.
Put on the lid and transfer to the oven. Cook until ribs are fork-tender and falling off the bone. 2-2.5 hours. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to sit for another 20 mins.
For an easy pan sauce, strain the juices from the short rib into a pan over high heat. In another small bowl, mix together 1 Tbl corn starch with 3 Tbl water until corn starch is dissolved. Add cornstarch mixture to braising liquid and heat stirring frequently as sauce thickens. Adjust seasoning to taste.
To assemble these precious packets, take a dough round and place a teaspoon of filling into the middle. Holding the square diamond tip up, fold wrapper up onto itself creating a triangle. Seal all sides of the wrapper to ensure it doesn't bust open while cooking. From here it's on you, I can try to type out folding instructions, but i'll probably confuse the heck out of you. Check out Youtube for step by step of this "Closed Satchel" wonton.