~ "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." ~ "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing" ~ "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." ~ "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."~

Monday, May 16, 2011

Shumai...Chinese Dim Sum (Chicken and Shrimp Dumpling)

Shumai...Chinese Dim Sum (Chicken and Shrimp Dumpling). I love small bites and I love Chinese food...most of it anyway. And living in Montana, I don't have the chance to experience Chinese cuisine very often. I've resorted to making my own at home and in the process have learned to make quite a few dishes that are a winner for us...the Sweet and Sour Chicken and the Velveted Chicken Stir-Fry are just a few. But you know, I'd never made dim sum at home before. And for that matter, never had dim sum in a restaurant before either....you know, a real dim sum restaurant. The type of restaurant where servers actually push around a trolley full of dim sum... and all you have to do is pick and choose from the different array of dumplings and small bites that are presented. I suppose if I lived in a bigger city, the opportunity to try a dim sum restaurant might have presented itself sooner or later.....but chances are pretty slim around here.
So, you can imagine when I saw the folks on America's Test Kitchen making Chinese dim sum, that I was all ears! The process looked simple enough...ok, the assembling did look like it would take a bit getting used to, but I wanted to try it nonetheless. A couple of days later, I made my first shumai dim sum at home....although with a few changes of my own.
I chose to use chicken instead of the pork, used some fresh mushrooms instead of the dried mushrooms, omitted the water chestnuts, and added a couple of cloves of garlic. I also didn't have the Chinese vinegar or sherry, so I used a couple of different vinegars I had in my pantry. The changes I made weren't very big....or maybe they were:). But I felt the overall product was just delicious. This time around, I used store-bought wonton wrappers, but I would simply love to make my own homemade version.
The shumai are best eaten hot... and since the batch makes quite a few, you can opt to divide the meat filling and make a batch one day and the second batch another day. You can also cut the recipe in half or freeze some( I've heard they freeze very well, though I personally haven't tried that yet). I simply chose to make 2 batches....on 2 different days.
For the first batch, I ended up using my steamer basket insert from my pressure cooker...and that worked fine. Second batch, I ended up placing them in a non-stick skillet with a bit of water and found it much simpler...easier to clean, too. I am sure the way to go is to use a bamboo steamer, but I don't have one of those. In any case, use whatever method works for you. The photos are of my first batch...but I think I got a bit better with the second batch:). It was fun experimenting with making my own dipping sauce/s...no recipe, as I added a little bit of this and a little bit of that and adjusted to taste. We really liked the shumai dumplings. I am wanting to make them again...next time, with homemade wrappers. Hope you enjoy...

Note: I posting the link to the ATK's shumai-making episode...I am not sure how long they will make the video available to watch...as of today, the VIDEO LINK works.

Tip: You can use dried shitake mushrooms(4-5 large) that has been reconstituted...instead of the fresh sauteed version. Water chestnuts are used in the original recipe, so feel free to add some in the filling...about 1/4 cup chopped.
Feel free to vary the meat you use...use all pork, all chicken, all shrimp... or a mixture.
You can probably omit the gelatin, if you don't have or care to use...though it does make the filling moist and juicy and not so dry.

You will need: inspired by America's Test Kitchen ~makes about 40(or so) dumplings

1 pack round wonton wrappers*
*or egg roll wrappers(cut in 3 inch round shapes)...you should get 4 round circles out of 1 egg roll wrapper

Gelatin Mix:
2 TBS soy sauce
1/2 tsp unflavored powdered gelatin

1 pound chicken thighs( about 5 pieces), boneless, skinless and cut into 1-inch pieces*
1/2 pound medium size shrimp, peeled and cleaned
*you can use pork meat, if you like

Filling Ingredients and Seasoning:
6 oz fresh mushrooms, minced and sauteed
2 TBS fresh cilantro, minced
2 TBS cornstarch
1 TBS toasted sesame oil
1 TBS white wine vinegar*
1 TBS rice vinegar
2 tsps sugar
2 tsps freshly grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, grated( optional)
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 red jalapeno pepper, minced( or you can use 1/2 tsp pepper)
*Chinese rice cooking wine, or dry sherry is recommended

carrot , finely grated (optional)
peas, (optional)

Additional:favorite dipping sauce
chile oil
sweet and sour sauce
soy/rice vinegar/sesame oil mixture, etc.

1. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce and gelatin. Set it aside and allow the gelatin to bloom while you get the other ingredients ready.
2. Saute the minced mushrooms in a bit of oil and a pinch of salt. Set it aside.
3. In a food processor bowl, place half of the chicken and pulse until coarsely ground...this should be about ten 1-second pulses. Transfer the meat to a large bowl.
4. In the same food processor bowl, add shrimp and remaining chicken. Pulse until coarsely chopped... about five 1-second pulses. Transfer the mixture to the bowl that contains the previous finely ground chicken.

5. Stir in the soy sauce/gelatin mixture, the sauteed mushrooms, cornstarch, sesame oil, wine vinegar, rice vinegar, sugar, ginger, grated garlic, salt, and minced hot pepper( or black pepper).

1. You will want to work with about 6 round wonton wrappers at a time...it's just easier to do the fold and pinch technique with a few than when doing one at a time.
2. Brush edges of each wonton wrapper lightly with water. Keep the remaining wonton wrappers covered so they don't dry out.
3. Place a heaping tablespoon of the meat filling in the center of each wonton wrapper and bring the sides up. Pinch the wrapper on both sides... creating a fold.
4. Make a total of 8 pinches and then squeeze sides against filling... in the crook of your thumb and index finger... shaping dumpling so that top of filling is exposed.
5. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet, or an oiled plate. Make sure to keep them covered. 6. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.
7. Top center of each dumpling with pinch of grated carrot, or a single pea.

Using a Steamer Basket
1. Cut a piece of parchment paper that is slightly smaller than diameter of steamer basket. Place the parchment paper inside the basket and poke some small holes in the paper. Lightly coat the parchment with a bit of oil.
2. Place enough dumplings on the parchment to fit inside without having them touch...if they touch they will stick together.
3. Set steamer basket over simmering water.
4. Cook, covered, until no longer pink for about 10 minutes. Serve immediately

Using a Skillet
1. In a nonstick skillet, add enough water to barely cover the surface....you can add a drizzle of oil as well. Bring to a simmer.
2. Place the dumplings in simmered water and cover with a lid.
3. Cook, covered, until no longer pink for about 10 minutes. Serve immediately.


Alina---Explora Cuisine said...

Lovely dumplings, I've never heard of them before, but they sure look delicious Ellie! Hope you're having a great start of the week!

Mihaela said...

Ellie, I'm not big chinese food, but your little dimplings look yummy and delicate. I'm sure they're good too :) Have a wonderful day!

Speranta said...

Ellie , cred ca sunt o bunatate ,arata super!

retete- ina said...

foarte bun,felicitari

megi said...

Ellie, you never cease to amaze me, you are such a talented cook and baker! I love dim sum, we used to live in Vancouver and would go for dim sum regularly and now I would love to be able to make my own, thank you for sharing your recipe with step by step photos!

Ellie said...

Alina, They sure are a fun appetizer to make. It takes a bit of time...but well worth it! Hope you are having a wonderful day as well....

Mihaela, Oh, I think you would like these dumplings...they are worth trying out. The neat part is that you can vary the filling to whatever you like...just imagine a "meatball" covered in pasta...delicious:)!

Speranta, Chiar au fost bune:)! Cred ca o sa iti placa si tie daca le incerci...si poti sa le faci numai cu pui, si tot bune sant:).

Reteta-ina, Este altceva... si gustoase. Un pica munca dar merita:).

Megi, Thank you ...you are so kind! I am sort of jealous that you would have dim sum regularly:)...I think it's fun to gather around the table with family and friends and enjoy a dim sum meal. The small bites always appeal to me.

BTW, I responded to your comment earlier on the previous post( sorry some of the comments got deleted by blogger). But I really appreciate you letting me know how much you enjoy the black bean brownies...glad to know it works with agave.

Also, I posted a link to a recipe (in one of the comments that was deleted) that you might like to try ...a gluten-free chocolate cake using quinoa...I thought of you and but didn't know if you've made it or not...here it is:


I made it recently...but used less butter and sugar. I think next time I would decrease the amount of cocoa a bit too. You might even be able to use coconut oil. Anyway, just thought to share the recipe with you...in case you'd like to do some baking:)..

megi said...

Hi Ellie, dim sum is so much fun, I think you would love the experience.

Thank you so much for the recipe suggestion, I would love to try the gluten-free quinoa cake, I bookmarked the recipe and will make it on Friday. How much sugar did you use? I am planning on making it for a friend who doesn't have a big sweet tooth but loves quinoa and chocolate. I know she'll love it, even if I don't frost it. :)

Ellie said...

Hi Megi, I used 3/4 cup of sugar, though I felt it probably needed a bit more to counterbalance the 1 cup of cocoa the recipe requires...or maybe it was because I used a dark cocoa...I'm not sure. But I would like to try it again...even if I increase the sugar a tad bit more.
I hope your friend likes it... I didn't frost mine either:).

Mihaela said...

Ellie, you really are a courageous girl if you try to make Chinese food at home! For me it is a science to hard to learn of... We have a wonderful Chinese restaurant near our home, so we eat very often at it!

Chantzy said...

I want to try this recipe, yummmm, thank you!

Ellie said...

Mihaela, I know how it was to have lived in a bigger city and have a ton of restaurants to choose from...we most always went to a Chinese restaurant after church on Sunday...those were the days:).

Chantzy, You are welcome, they really aren't that difficult to make ... we really liked them and I am hoping you will too:). Thanks for stopping by.

Ginger Cookies said...

WOW, amazing recipe, Ellie, I love it.
Thank you.
Kind regards from me and sunny Bulgaria.:)))

Ellie said...

Veronika, So glad you like it. The shumai is a pretty neat recipe. I am hoping you will like it... Thank you for stopping by.... all the way from Bulgaria:).
Have a lovely day!