Shanghai Soup Dumplings

Hiver 2015
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food and drink

BY: Janice Poon

This foodie favourite looks like a traditional dumpling on the outside, but inside its mushroom-scented chicken stuffing is swimming in a pocket of savoury broth that floods into your mouth at first bite. Molecular gastronomy before they invented molecular gastronomy! The soup jelly cubes can be made up to two days ahead and refrigerated until you are ready to form the dumplings.

2 tbsp (30 mL) powdered gelatin
2½ cups (625 mL) chicken stock
12 oz (375 g) ground chicken
3 to 4 Chinese black mushrooms, reconstituted and finely diced
2 tbsp (60 mL) chopped Chinese chives
2 tsp (10 mL) soy sauce
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
½ tsp (2 mL) grated fresh ginger
1 tsp (5 mL) sesame oil
36 Homemade Wrappers (recipe follows)

1 To make the soup jelly cubes, add gelatin to chicken stock according to directions on gelatin package. Pour into 8 x 8-inch (20 x
20-cm) cake pan and refrigerate until fully set, about 2 hours. When firm, cut into ½-inch (1‑cm) cubes.

2 To make chicken filling, in a medium-size bowl, mix chicken, mushrooms, chives, soy sauce, salt, ginger and sesame oil together until completely mixed.

3 To form dumplings, on a lightly floured board, place 1½ tsp (7 mL) chicken filling in centre of a wrapper. Using your finger, make a slight indent in the meat and press a soup jelly cube on top.

4 Gather the wrapper up around the filling and jelly by making small pleats around the perimeter and pinching it all together at the top like the drawstrings of a pouch, enclosing the filling and jelly completely. Set aside on a lightly floured cookie sheet. Repeat with the remaining wrappers, filling and jelly cubes. Dumplings can be cooked immediately or frozen and cooked
later.

5 To cook, line the steaming pan with a round of perforated parchment (see Tips on page 76). Place dumplings on parchment
½ inch (1 cm) apart. Cover and steam for 8 to 10 minutes.

6 Transfer to serving platter and accompany with dips such as vinegar with ginger or oyster sauce.

Makes 36 wrappers

HOMEMADE WRAPPERS FOR DUMPLINGS

Tender but chewy and delicate but satisfying, homemade wrappers are the culinary equivalent of a grandmother’s embrace. You can make the wrappers a few days ahead and keep them refrigerated until you are ready to form the dumplings.

2¼ cups (560 mL) all-purpose flour
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
1 cup (250 mL) just-boiled water (removed from heat, but not allowed to cool)
4 tsp (20 mL) corn oil
Cornstarch for dusting

1 In a medium-size bowl, mix flour and salt together.

2 Add water all at once and stir together quickly with a fork until flour is fully incorporated and forms into a rough ball as you stir. Add oil and mix in.

3 Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and, using the heel of your hand, knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 4 minutes. It should be very soft but not sticky.

4 Shape into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest at least 20 minutes.

5 Shape individual wrappers by pinching dough into 1¼-inch (3-cm) balls. With rolling pin, on a lightly floured board flatten each ball into a 3-inch (8-cm) round. Dust with cornstarch to keep from sticking and cover with plastic wrap until ready to use.

Makes 36 wrappers

What to Serve