Crystal Skin Dumplings are traditionally made with prawns and have a clear transparent appearance that allows you to see the filling through the wrapper. We have used a filling of tofu and spinach that works very well as a vegetarian alternative, and shows clearly through the ‘crystal skin’. The dough is a little tricky to handle, but with practice become easier to work with.
Crystal Skin Dumplings
Makes approx 20
Dietary: Vegan | Prep time: 1 hour | Cook Time:10 minutes
- 200g wheat starch
- 75g cornflour
- 450ml boiling water
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 100g firm tofu
- 50g fresh spinach, wilted, squeezed dry and chopped finely
- 25g water chestnuts, finely chopped
- 1 spring onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic finely chopped
- 1 tsp fresh ginger finely chopped
- 1 tbsp chives, chopped finely
- 1 tbsp Shaoxing Chinese rice wine
- ½ tsp toasted sesame oil
- Salt to taste
- To make the filling, crumble the tofu into a mixing bowl.
- Mix in the spinach, water chestnuts, minced spring onions, garlic and ginger. Add the Shaoxing Chinese rice wine, sesame oil and a large pinch of salt, and mix together thoroughly to combine. Taste and add more salt and sesame oil if necessary.
- To make the dough, weigh the wheat starch and cornstarch in a mixing bowl. Slowly add in the boiling water and then the oil, while stirring rapidly. Knead the dough for a couple of minutes, until it turns into a smooth dough ball.
- Divide into 2 pieces and roll each into a long cylinder, and divide each into 10 equal pieces. Cover the dough pieces with a damp paper towel to prevent drying out.
- Take one piece of dough and roll it into a 6cm diameter circle. Add a spoonful of filling and carefully lift one half and pleat the edge before folding up the other half to meet the pleated edge, pressing to seal the dumpling. Otherwise, a simple way to shape the dumplings is just by folding in half to form a crescent, and press the edges neatly to seal.
- Continue assembling until all the dumplings are made.
- Line your steamer with a piece of parchment that fits neatly inside. Perforate several holes in the parchment to allow the steam through.
- Place your Dumplings inside the steamer, spacing apart slightly.
- Heat a pan half filled with water (the right size that your steamer can sit upon) and allow to come to the boil.
- Once your pan of water is boiling enough to begin steaming, place the steamer on top and cook the dumplings for 6 to 10 minutes using high heat, until the dough has turned from opaque to translucent, and serve hot with chilli oil or a soy based dipping sauce.
Mouthwatering photos by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.
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