Sunday, June 8, 2014

"Sui Gow" Dumplings in Soup...

Cantonese-style "Sui Gow" (水饺) are large boiled Chinese soup dumplings that literally translates to "water dumplings". These are different from wontons which are wrapped smaller and while there are many versions out there, the classic wontons are made of just chopped shrimps. I grew up on wontons filled with mainly minced pork, shrimp, black mushroom fungus and chives and they remain my all-time-favourite. However, I also thoroughly enjoy their larger heartier cousin and my version of "sui gow" are made with mainly shrimp, minced pork, black mushroom fungus and bamboo shoots; the exceptional filling was inspired by a bowl I had at a mom and pop noodle joint which has sadly closed. I love making a big batch-- to eat some for the day and have extras frozen for later meals. Always a delightful treat to have frozen dumplings ready at your whim!

Siu gow dumplings served with a fave companion fish paste dumplings!

Sui Gow Dumplings
Makes about 70 dumplings

1-1/2 lb. lean ground pork
1 tsp. salt 
1/4 tsp. ground white pepper
2 tsp. fish or chicken seasoning powder
2 tsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1 Tbsp. cooking wine
400 g raw shrimp, shelled, cleaned, rinsed and patted dry 
1/3 cup dried black mushroom fungus slice, rehydrated in water for 1 hour, drained and chopped
1/2 cup of chopped bamboo shoots

1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 package of wonton wrappers (I like the Hung Wang brand)

Season ground pork in a large bowl with salt, pepper, seasoning powder, soy sauce, sesame oil and cooking wine; incorporate well. 

As an alternative, you can also add Chinese chives (here I used mellow yellow chives) or instead of bamboo shoots. 
I like to add sliced shiitake mushrooms in the soup broth.

Coarsely chop the shrimps. Take half and mince well with a sharp knife. Add the minced shrimp to the pork and mix well with a pair of chopsticks, raking the meat mixture back and forth for several minutes to create a sticky blended mixture. Add the cornstarch, remaining chopped shrimps, mushroom fungus and bamboo shoots and continue to rake the mixture until well distributed. Wrap and chill at least one hour for flavours to meld (for best results, refrigerate overnight).

Raking creates stickiness that delivers a tasty bounce in the dumplings!

Assemble dumplings right before cooking. Wet the top triangle of the wrapper with your finger tip dipped in water. Spoon 1-1/2 Tbsp. filling in centre of wonton wrapper. Wrap the bottom triangle upwards to encase the filling and pinch at seams to seal. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling. Cook immediately and freeze the remainder (see tip). Do not refrigerate or they will get moist and stick to the plate.

I like to seal the bottom just under the rim to create more loose skin.

FREEZING TIP: Lay the dumplings slightly overlapping if there are many on a baking tray and freeze for 20 minutes; this will prevent sticking. Then, place a plastic wrap on the bottom of a Tupperware or reusable plastic container. Lay the dumplings in a single layer. Then, cover with plastic wrap to add a second layer. Place another plastic wrap before closing tightly  with lid. Can be frozen for two months if properly sealed.

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add 2 tsp. chicken seasoning to flavour the dumplings during cooking. Carefully add the dumplings and cook for three to four minutes or until they are all floating. Remove with a large slotted spoon or strainer.

An easy chicken broth was made by boiling then simmering a cornish hen in a
pot of water for 1-1/2 hours. Skim the surface for scum and excess oil. Season.

Serve with soup, noodles and cooked greens. And of course top with chopped cilantro, green onions and red vinegar for dumpling dipping. A little chili oil drizzled on top adds pizzazz!  

Comfort food at it's heavenly best!

Check out my related recipes: How to Make Delicious Wontons, My Heaven In a Bowl.... Wonton Noodle Soup, and Try Turkey Broth Instead.

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