Updated: May 20
Pork and prawn Dumplings – Mamma Jo style
I have always been more into savoury treats over sweet ones, and a bag of dim sims has been my go to snack for as long as I can remember! Making them is a labour of love, but once you do it once, it can be quite calming, and often the whole family can get involved in the folding part and makes for a really fun night - it doesn't really matter what they look like - although if you have a competitive streak, then you can totally make a game of it too! This filling works well for boiled, steamed or fried, and this fold is one that I learned to master when I spent a week working at Melbourne iconic restaurant - Supernormal. I spent a bit of time with Nancy - their dumpling master - and while she was a little unsure of me at first - I stuck around, had a chat, and wore her down. She showed me her ways, and I will never fold these any other way! Thank you Nancy and Supernormal!
So if you want to give these a go, get all of your prep done early - put everything in the fridge, then bust out the water pot when you are ready to eat! The hard part is knowing when you've had too many... Enjoy!
200g green prawns
200g pork mince
2 stems of shallots (spring onions) micro-planed into fine paste
1 Tbsp finely chopped garlic chives
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp Shao Xing cooking wine
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp Egg white
½ tsp bi carb soda
½ tsp each - Salt and pepper
Yellow wonton wrappers from Asian grocer – square ones. If you don't want egg wrappers - you can use the white ones too - square ones are best for this fold.
· Chop/dice half of the prawns into a fine dice, and blitz the other half in a food processor (very quickly and careful not to over process otherwise will make your dumpling meat tough)
· Mix all ingredients together thoroughly then splat it – throw it hard against the side of the bowl to activate/strengthens the proteins – let rest if you have time. You want it to be sticky and cohesive as this will give you a firmer texture - take out your frustrations and throw that mix to the kerb! ( please don't actually throw it at the kerb, because then you can't eat it - or it would have rocks in it - crunchy and bad for your teeth)
· Fry or boil some mix off to check your seasoning and then adjust accordingly – eg add salt, soy etc to get the balance to how you need and like it.
· Using the wonton wrapper in your hand with points facing like a clock face - 12, 3, 6 and 9 and smear about 25 g of mince from 9 to 3 across the wrapper
· When you weigh it with the wrapper – you want to aim for around 30g – a couple extra g won’t matter but much more will burst during the cook so keep your eye on size
· Wet the top point up from 9 to 12 and then down from 12 to 3 with water then fold the bottom point – at position 6 up to meet position 12 to create a triangle with the point at the top and facing away from you
· Flip the triangle over, so that the point is now facing you at position 6
· Wet the tip at 9 position then fold it towards the opposite side – with that tip going over the wet tip, then press together to form a ‘tail’
· Place cornflour on baking paper and tray, as this will stop dumplings from sticking together or to the tray.
· You can freeze to cook later, or chill until ready to serve
Once you are ready to cook, bring salted water in a pot to the boil and place dumplings into the water. Boil for 4 mins – its ok to go just over – but they will continue to cook once you remove them so test first to make sure they are cooked through before serving to guests
Serve immediately with spiced vinegar and chilli oil.
Black Spiced Vinegar
· 2tbsp black Asian vinegar
· 2tbsp light soy sauce
· 2 tbsp Shao Xing Cooking wine
· 3 stems micro-planed shallots (spring onions) 1 tbsp sesame oil
· 1 tsp caster sugar
· 2 cloves of garlic cloves – micro-planed
· Thumb sized piece of ginger micro-planed
· Lime juice to taste
Mix all ingredients together – then balance to taste how you prefer it – more sugar, lime etc
· 1 cinnamon stick
· 2-star anise
· Tbsp coriander seeds
· Bay leaf
· Couple of cloves
· Tbsp Szechuan peppercorns
· 1 bulb garlic – cut down the middle horizontally
· 2-3 cm piece of ginger sliced thinly – no need to peel
· 600ml peanut oil
· 2 tbsp sesame seeds
· 1 cup chilli flakes
Put dry spices into dry saucepan and heat until aromatic – couple of minutes – then add in the oil and bring to a slow simmer – must be a very gentle simmer - and leave simmering for at least 30 minutes – the longer the better. This will infuse the oil with the flavours of the spices.
In a heatproof container, add the chili flakes and sesame seeds, and strain the hot oil onto the flake mix. Let cool naturally and will infuse the flavours into the chilli oil – about 30 mins you will have chilli or red colour in the oil – and can either strain just the oil (less heat) or add the oil and seeds/flakes to your wontons for more spice.
If you don't do seafood - take out the prawns, and add more pork, or make with chicken - up to you - the recipe is really flexible with most proteins! The seasoning in the Black Vinegar sauce will balance out the seasoning in the whole dish, so keep that in mind! Try serving with fried shallots or crunchy fried peanuts as well for a little bit of jazz!
Don't forget to share your stories and pictures with me - #askmammajo if you have questions!