Those who know me well know I have a few obsessions.  Shoes, Michael Buble, Heston’s Feasts, ridiculously priced designer duds that I can neither afford or fit into, and dumplings.  Possibly the latter is why I don’t fit in said designer clothes,  Oh well.  I’m more obsessed with dumplings than the clothes!

When I say dumplings, I mean Chinese dumplings, not the scone-like blobs frequently found in stew.  Although they’re tasty too.  I’m also partial to Japanese gyoza, wonton soup and my 2 personal favourites, pork buns and xio long bao (Shanghai soup dumpling).  I don’t discriminate though, I love them all!

So insistent on having a lazy long weekend at home after a crazy few weeks getting my thesis submitted, I decided to have a shot at making my own dumplings.  So off I trundled to buy a new bamboo steamer and some wanton wrappers, and here are my dumplings.  I hope you like them as much as we did, and as much as I liked making them!

I made 3 different types, all based on recipes I found at Taste.  They were vegetarian (these are vegan, if you get vegan wrappers), chicken gow gees and pork potstickers.

Vegie filling cooking up nicely

I made these according to the recipes listed in the links above, with a couple of modifications.  I swapped the water chestnuts for finely sliced bamboo shoots in the gow gees, and I swapped the rice wine for rice wine vinegar.  I also modified the potstickers, leaving out the oyster sauce (forgot to buy it – whoops!) and adding a handful of chopped fresh coriander to the mixture.

I wrapped the 2 meat dumpling types, trying to make them look like the ones in the pictures on the recipes, and wrapped the vegie ones like little moneybags.  This wasn’t altogether successful, as where the edges gathered, the wrappers didn’t steam properly, leaving uncooked dough at the top…

Wrapped gow gees - not too bad!

Prior to cooking, they looked a little amateurish, but not too bad!  I was impressed.

I steamed the vegie dumplings and half the chicken gow gees, and cooked the potstickers and the other half of the gow gees with crispy bottoms in a frypan.  You add a little oil, fry the bottoms until crisp and then add some water to steam the tops.  Cook until the water dissolves and the bottoms are golden.  The wrappers look translucent when they’re cooked.

And the final result?

Ugly little dumplings

Ugly.  No winning any beauty contests with these.  But the taste?  Delicious!  Quite authentic, especially when served with a dipping sauce made with dark soy sauce and ginger.  We got stuck into them before I thought to take a photo.  Hence only half a plate full in the pic.  Sorry about that!

These are definitely something you should have a go at once.  It was quite satisfying making them, especially when they tasted so delish.  And its a good job they did, cos they certainly weren’t pretty.  It’s lucky that it’s what’s inside that counts!