Prawn and Chive filling:
1. Let’s start with making the filling, as for the tiger prawns peel and devain first if needed. When ready use a knife to chop the prawns into a small dice then place into a large mixing bowl. We want a little texture in the filling, therefore, it’s best to chop by hand opposed to using a food processor.
2. Next finely mince a 5cm piece of ginger and add to the tiger prawns along with 3 tbsp sesame oil, 1 tsp white pepper, 1 tsp salt, 2 tsp sugar, 1 egg white and 1 tbsp of cornflour. Mix well with chopsticks or a spatula until all of the cornflour is incorporated into the prawns. When the prawns become velvety finely chop approximately 200g of chinese chives or spring onions and chives then add to the prawns. Mix well then when ready cover with clingfilm and store in the refrigerator to chill until we make up the dumplings.
3. Let’s make up the dough for the wrappers, this dough has an almost mochi like texture when made. What you are looking for is the dough to not be too sticky but at a point where you’re still able to stick when pleating together. This dough requires 3 different types of starches, cornflour is simple enough to find, however, the wheat starch and tapioca starch I would recommend trying your local chinese supermarket or online…Now let’s start by adding 100g of tapioca starch, 100g of wheat starch and 30g of cornflour into a bowl then mix well until combined. Next place 300ml of water and 3 tsp of cooking oil into a non stick pan and bring up to a boil. When boiling remove from the heat and place to one side. Now slowly add the starch flours we mixed earlier to the water in 3-4 batches whilst constantly mixing with a spatula. The flour may clump together but this is fine, when all of the flour is added bring the dough together into a smooth ball then place into a bowl with a lid over the top. Allow the dough to rest for 5 minutes.
4. After 5 minutes of resting generously dust a work top with cornflour then place the dough on top. Kneed the dough for 10 minutes or until silky smooth dusting with extra cornflour if needed. The dough at this stage is still fairly sticky so don’t worry if you add more cornflour to help make kneading easier. When smooth use both hands to start to shape the dough into 1 long cylinder approximately 1.5 inches in diameter.
5. Now we have our long cylinder of dough, divide the dough equally in half to make 2 pieces then cut those equally to make 4 equal cylinders of dough. We can now cut the dough evenly so that we get 24 small pieces of dough approximately 22g in weight each. Dust the small pieces of dough with cornflour to prevent them from sticking together then cover in clingfilm.
6. We can now start making the dumplings, lightly dust the work top with cornflour again then take out one of the small pieces of dough. Flatten with your palm then use a rolling pin to start to form a flat disc. When the disk is approximately 2 inches in diameter start to roll around the edges to make a larger flat disk. What we are looking for is thin edges but leaving the centre of the dough slightly thicker to enable to hold the filling better. The easiest way to do this is by holding the piece of dough with your off hand using your thumb and index finger, then use the rolling pin to roll to the centre of the dough whilst rotating with you other thumb and index finger.
7. To fill, place 1 tbsp of the filling we made earlier into the centre of the dough. Now fold the dough into two to create an even crescent closing in the filling in the centre. At this stage you can either simply pinch together the outer seal to enclose the dumpling or seal by pleating the outer part of the crescent to create various styles of dumpling. To be honest I’m no dumpling folding expert and I would probably recommend watching a few how to fold dumpling videos before or just simply seal them tight instead it doesn’t really matter…Repeat this process for all of the dumplings then place on to a tray.
8. Just before we steam the dumplings lets make up a super simple dipping sauce. In a small mixing bowl add 5 tbsp of light soy, 1 tbsp black rice vinegar, 2 tbsp chilli oil, 2 tbsp sesame oil, 1-2 tsp of white sugar, a handfull of roughly chopped coriander or spring onion, 1 finely sliced red chilli and finally a touch of water to balance the sauce out. Mix well until the sugar dissolves then place the dipping sauce into a bowl.
9. We are now ready to steam the dumplings and serve, line a steamer with lightly oiled parchment paper then place on the dumplings leaving a little room between each one to prevent from sticking. Place the steamer base pan or pot onto a boil then steam the dumplings for 6-8 minutes depending on size. When cooked allow the dumplings to sit for 3-5 minutes to cool as this will make it easier to pick them up. Place onto a serving board or plate and drizzle lightly with some of the dressing and nourish. Hope you like this unique and delicious style of dumpling!