chiu chao fun guo
Growing up, these chewy bites were one of my favorite dumplings. Chiu Chow Fun Guo 潮州粉果 is popular in southern China, originated from the Teochew people. The filling is unique in that there is a crunchiness of celery, water chestnuts and roasted peanuts, which complements the soft, crystal skin dumpling wrapper. The trick to making this dumpling skin is using boiling hot water – best boiled in a pot on the stove top, don't use an electric kettle for this. You can freeze these prepared dumplings, but it's best to make the dumpling wrapper dough and assemble them all on the same day.
FOR THE FILLING
5g dried woodear mushrooms, soaked in boiled water for 20 minutes, drained and finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1/4 cup red cabbage, finely shredded
1/4 cup garlic chives, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped waterchestnuts or jicama
2 tablespoons preserved radish, finely chopped
1-2 tablespoons sunflower / grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 cup roasted peanuts
FOR THE WRAPPERS
1 cup wheat starch
1 cup potato starch
2 tablespoons cornstarch, plus more for dusting
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup of BOILING hot water
2 teaspoons sunflower seed/grapeseed oil
TO STEAM THE DUMPLINGS
Carrot or radish rounds to line the basket
Make the filling:
Soak the mushrooms in just-boiled water for 20 minutes then strain and pat dry. Finely chop all the vegetables – a food processor, or mini herb chopper is handy here, but chopping it all with a knife works too!
Heat a skillet on high heat and coat the pan with oil. Add all the filling ingredients and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes. Add the soy sauce, cornstarch, sesame oil and white pepper, mixing evenly. Toss in the peanuts.
Transfer to a large plate to let cool before wrapping.
Make the wrappers: The important part about making crystal dumpling skin wrappers is to make sure the water is boiling hot. I can't stress this enough, but it makes all the difference! Rather than using a stainless steel mixing bowl, I actually mixed mine in a cast iron pot that I warmed up for a minute, so that it retains the heat better.
In a small saucepan, bring a cup and a half of water to a vigorous rolling boil (you only need a cup of this for the dough, but I'm allowing for evaporation.)
Place all the starches in a heavy-bottomed cast iron pot. Add the water whilst stirring continuously until a shaggy ball of dough forms. Cover the pot and let this rest for 2-3 minutes. Knead the dough in the pot, either by punching it with a rolling pin or pestle, or with your hands – if it's cool enough to touch. Knead for 8-10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
On a clean work surface that's lightly floured with cornstarch, divide the dough into 36 equal pieces. Keep these in the covered pot while you're assembling the dumplings.
Assemble the dumplings one at a time:
Use a rolling pin to roll each ball out to 4" in diameter x 1/16-inch rounds (it doesn't matter if they're not perfect circles – but try to go thin as possible without tearing the wrapper when assembling. Place the wrapper in the palm of your hand.
Scoop one heaped teaspoonful of the filling in the center of the dough round. Take care not to overfill them, or they’ll be difficult to close. Fold the wrapper in half—into a semi-circle—and firmly pinch the edges together to seal/ Although it isn't necessary, you can then pinch pleats / folds (See Dumpling folds here). Place the assembled dumpling on a parchment paper-lined baking tray and continue until you run out of wrappers or filling.
TO STEAM: Place the dumplings in a single layer on a steamer basket lined with a thinly sliced carrot or radish round underneath each one. Pour ¼ cup or 1-inch (3 cm) of water into a wide pot or wok. Place the basket into the pot, ensuring that the water does not touch the dumplings. Cover the basket and bring the water to a boil. Turn the heat down to a medium-low heat and let steam for 8 minutes if cooking right away or 10 minutes for frozen. To freeze dumplings, place them ina single layer on the baking sheet and freeze. When solid, you can transfer them to a bag or container.
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