Exhausted from our exploits, we left the store only to be tempted once more. Outside the market, there was a little stand selling sugar cane juice and coconut milk. We bought a big coconut with a straw in it and sat happily slurping the sweet juice before hopping on the metro to come home. A few nights ago we finally got to use the dumpling wrappers that we bought at Tang Frères. Thanks to our friend Ku, Paul and I learned how to make a mean pork dumpling. We boiled the dumplings until done and dipped them in a spicy soy sauce spiked with garlic and chili. They were out of this world! We also fried/boiled the last batch as you would for potstickers, which I think I preferred. You can also steam them, but I have yet to try that.
Ku's recipe also calls for yellow chives, which I've never seen outside Tang Frères, so I'm sure you could substitute green onion, leek, or shredded cabbage. This is a simple recipe, so use good quality soy sauce and sesame oil, and definitely make the dipping sauce!Ku's Pork Dumplings
1 pkg wonton/dumpling wrappers
600 g (1 lb) ground pork
1 cup yellow chives, chopped
2 Tbsp chopped garlic
3-4 Tbsp soy sauce
1-2 Tbsp sesame oil
ground black pepper
(I also added 1 Tbsp minced ginger, optional)
Spicy Soy-Garlic Sauce:
2 Tbsp chopped garlic
2-3 small red chilis, thinly sliced
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
Combine all the ingredients for the filling in the bowl. Mix the pork filling until very smooth. In a separate bowl, combine all the dipping sauce ingredients and set aside.
Fill a small bowl with water. This will be the glue to seal the dumplings. Take one dumpling wrapper, dip one finger into the water and wet the edges of the wrapper completely. Place a tablespoon of pork filling into the middle of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper over the filling in a half moon shape, pressing all of the air out from the middle of the dumpling to the edges. Pleat the edges of the dough firmly to seal it completely. Repeat for each dumpling. You should fill 28-32 dumplings with this amount of filling, serving about 3 people as a main course.
To boil the dumplings,
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the dumplings and stir them so they do not stick together. Bring the water back to a boil.
2. The dumplings will float to the top and when this happens, add 1/2 cup of cold water to the pot. This will slow down the cooking so that the wrapper won't cook before the pork has the chance.
3. Wait for the water to come back to a boil and, once again, add 1/2 cup of cold water.
4. Bring the water back to a boil again and once the dumplings are floating, remove one to check if they are done. If so, remove them from the water with a slotted spoon and set aside. If not, add another 1/2 cup water and wait for it to boil again. Repeat with the remaining dumplings.
To make potstickers,
1. Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to a hot nonstick pan. Place enough dumplings in the pan to form a single layer, but without the dumplings touching.
2. Pour 1/2 cup of water in the pan, cover it, and let them cook (without peeking!) on low for about 10 minutes, or until all the water is gone.
3. The dumplings should be brown and crisp on the bottom, but if not, let them cook a few minutes more.
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