Hosted by Jen from Use Real Butter
The June Daring Cooks challenge (and the first Daring Kitchen challenge I have particpated in! YAY!!!!) was Chinese Dumplings. :) I have always wanted to try Chinese dumplings (everyone went on and on about how great dumplings were in Chinese class) but can't eat normal dumplings. So this gave me a great excuse to try them! I actually did this once twice, because the first time...well, you'll see. The requirement was that the wrappers be made by hand.
First go - I didn't feel comfortable using Wheat Starch, as that can be questionable, so I tried substituting a generic "gf flour mix" for wheat flour in the dumpling wrapper recipe. But the dough was so crumbly it wouldn't stick together at all, it would just fall into pieces whenever I tried. I did finish the regular dumplings (for my husband) but then I burned them, oops! I didn't take any pictures - no need to see ruined dumplings. :P
Second go - I retried two weeks later. This time I made a half batch of regular wheat-flour dough and a half batch of gf-dough. To get the gf dough to work I added 1 tsp of Xantham Gum, which made it stretchy enough that I could roll it out and actually wrap it around the filling.
For the filling, I made half a recipe of pork filling (subsituted "regular" cabbage for Napa cabbage, because I couldn't find any, substituted olive oil for sesame oil out of cheapness :P and the bamboo shoots were left out completely because I couldn't find those either) and a half a recipe of beef filling as well (same as pork, but substituted beef for the pork).
The fillings - pork is on the left, beef on the right.
The gf-dough, while actually possible to roll into dumpling wrappers, was still more difficult than normal flour.
You can tell that the edges are just a *bit* crumbly, but they still worked well enough...I was even able to pleat them!
Yeah this one was a bit misshapen, it was one of the later ones and I was getting tired.
I didn't have any problems with the pleating, I actually thought that part was rather fun. Because I have to eat gluten-free, but my husband does not, I actually made and cooked my dumplings completely before starting on the "normal" wheat flour dumplings for my husband. It made some extra work, but it is better than having a stomach ache for a week!
Here is the finished (but uncooked) tray of gluten-free dumplings...
...and here is the finished (but uncooked) tray of normal dumplings!
I pan-fried them rather than steamed or boiled because I don't have a steamer, and I thought the pan-fried bottoms looked really yummy. :)
Here are the gluten-free dumplings, ready to eat!
Gluten dumplings, with slightly over-cooked bottoms. Sigh.
For the dipping sauce I made a sweet-and-sour sauce, because my husband loves sweet and sour. :) And the dipping sauce really did turn out well. Even my Mom thought so (yes, they were so good I took a couple to my parent's house over the weekend - Mom just went gluten-free so I thought she would enjoy something different ^_^).
You can see here the dipping sauce in the bowl. I forgot to get a close-up of it. After this picture was taken, I divided it into two smaller bowls so there wouldn't be any cross-contamination of gluten.
Yes, I *do* actually have chopsticks, but we are moving and they were kind of already packed in a box. ^^' OOops... And, yes, I made twice-baked potatoes to go with it. Not very "Zhongguo-tsai"/Chinese cuisine/Asian but I couldn't think of anything else to make.
In conclusion: This was a tricky recipe to make gluten-free, and it was also time-consuming (but that was mostly because I had to make two separate batches, washing dishes and everything in-between), but the dumplings were really yummy. And now I finally know what (gluten-free) dumplings taste like! And that they do, indeed, live up to the hype! I will probably make these again, actually, but they won't be something I will make very often, but rather as a special treat a few times a year. Although, since we are moving and will have a larger refridgerator, it might be a better idea to make a full batch and freeze the dumplings in (labeled) freezer bags that I could then pull out for a "quick" meal. That might come in handy, especially if I ever find a job!
2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (113g) warm water
flour for worksurface
2 cups (250g) all-purpose gluten-free flour of choice
1/2 cup (113g) warm water
1 tbsp Xanthan Gum
cornstarch or gf-flour for worksurface
1/2 lb ground pork
1.5 stalks green onions, minced
2 tbsp soy sauce (check label to find gluten-free!)
1 tbsp corn starch
same as pork filling, but substitute pork for beef
sweet and sour dipping sauce:
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
4 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp ketchup
2 tsp corn starch
4 tsp water
Combine all filling ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use (up to a day, but preferably within an hour or two).
For the dipping sauce, combine the vinegar, ketchup, and sugar in a sauce pan and heat until boiling. Mix the cornstarch and water together, and add that to the sauce pan. Stir, heating, until sauce thickens (doesn't take very long). Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Make the dough: In a large bowl, mix the flour and water. Continue adding water in small increments until the dough is firm but not sopping wet. Knead the dough about twenty strokes then cover with a damp towel for 15 minutes. Take the dough and form a flattened dome. Cut into strips about 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide. Shape the strips into rounded long cylinders. On a floured surface, cut the strips into 3/4 inch pieces. Press palm down on each piece to form a flat circle (you can shape the corners in with your fingers). With a rolling pin, roll out a circular wrapper from each flat disc. Take care not to roll out too thin or the dumplings will break during cooking - about 1/16th inch. Leave the centers slightly thicker than the edges. Place a tablespoon of filling in the center of each wrapper and fold the dough in half, pleating the edges along one side (press center of edges together, then pleat the right half, seal the teardrop edge, and repeat with the right half). Place finished dumplings on a tray or cooking sheet (I covered my cooking sheet with waxed paper because I found it easier). Keep all unused dough under damp cloth.
To pan fry (potstickers): Place dumplings in a frying pan with 2-3 tbsp of vegetable oil. Heat on high and fry for until bottoms are golden (10 to 15 minutes). Add 1/2 cup water and cover. Cook until the water has boiled away and then uncover and reduce heat to medium or medium low. Let the dumplings cook for another 2 minutes then remove from heat and serve (or put in the fridge and reheat when ready).
To serve: Serve dumplings or potstickers hot with your choice of dipping sauce combinations.
You can find Jen's original recipe, with additional filling options and cooking options, plus her dipping sauce recipe, here.