Creative, unordinary Chinese dumplings?

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Creative, unordinary Chinese dumplings?

Postby Jenise » Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:45 pm

Have them on the brain--it's Supper Club theme for a week from Saturday. Am trying to come up with ideas that aren't the standard-issue. For instance, am considering bao buns made with truffle flour in them for something a bit different, and maybe a shortrib filling. Am also interested in a method of preparing buns espoused by Ming Tsai in his Blue Ginger book. I've had bao, and I've had potstickers, but I have not had that I can recall a steamed bun made with the same soft yeast dough but rolled thinner and folded over and pan-fried/steamed just like a potsticker. Sounds inviting.

Would like to do something with lobster, too, though maybe I should think Dungeness as they are local (season isn't open yet in my bay, but around us there are some legal catch areas).

Ming has a recipe for foie gras shui mai in his book that seems quite tantalizing. I'm a little leary though as I don't have time to redo any failures, and so many of the recipes in his book are really off on the quantities--good ideas and can be repaired, but they're not a sure-thing on the first go.

Anyway, anyone have any delightfully different/modern combinations lately they'd like to describe? I need inspiration!
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Re: Creative, unordinary Chinese dumplings?

Postby Jeff Grossman/NYC » Fri Jun 20, 2014 10:46 am

Lotus root sandwiches: Slice lotus root on a mandoline, spread with a pork-scallion-ginger mush, wrap with nori if you like the decoration, sizzle in oil.
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Re: Creative, unordinary Chinese dumplings?

Postby Paul Winalski » Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:55 pm

How about xiaolongbao? Traditionally served with finely shredded fresh ginger. Read about them here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xiaolongbao.

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Re: Creative, unordinary Chinese dumplings?

Postby Frank Deis » Fri Jun 20, 2014 2:24 pm

Xiaolongbao are the Shanghai soup-filled dumplings. Those were our first course at "Dinesty" in Vancouver with Jenise and they were indeed delicious.

Working with chilled soup it's easy to cut into cubes and use as a filling.
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Re: Creative, unordinary Chinese dumplings?

Postby Jenise » Fri Jun 20, 2014 3:15 pm

Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote:Lotus root sandwiches: Slice lotus root on a mandoline, spread with a pork-scallion-ginger mush, wrap with nori if you like the decoration, sizzle in oil.


That's a really neat idea. I'll put lotus root on my shopping list for Monday's trip to H Mart!
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Re: Creative, unordinary Chinese dumplings?

Postby Jenise » Fri Jun 20, 2014 3:18 pm

Paul Winalski wrote:How about xiaolongbao? Traditionally served with finely shredded fresh ginger. Read about them here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xiaolongbao.

-Paul W.


I have never tried making soup dumplings. Feels a little scary--and not much scares me--for getting right; as I mentioned, I don't have much practice time. The early part of next week is all tied up in a dinner party for Wednesday night. Someone paid $800 at an auction for an all-French dinner for six prepared by me, wines included. Other than picking up ingredients in Seattle on Monday, I won't have time to start work on the dumplings until Thursday or Friday. Paul or Frank, have you made them?
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Re: Creative, unordinary Chinese dumplings?

Postby Jeff Grossman/NYC » Fri Jun 20, 2014 5:40 pm

Jenise wrote:
Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote:Lotus root sandwiches: Slice lotus root on a mandoline, spread with a pork-scallion-ginger mush, wrap with nori if you like the decoration, sizzle in oil.


That's a really neat idea. I'll put lotus root on my shopping list for Monday's trip to H Mart!

Here's a mediocre picture of ones I made recently. I over-cooked a bit but they were plenty crisp!
Anniv 17 - lotus root sm.jpg
Anniv 17 - lotus root sm.jpg (52.41 KiB) Viewed 793 times
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Re: Creative, unordinary Chinese dumplings?

Postby Jenise » Fri Jun 20, 2014 6:26 pm

Ooh, thanks for the picture. Wonder what they'd be like with a shrimp filling, a la shrimp toasts....
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Re: Creative, unordinary Chinese dumplings?

Postby Jeff Grossman/NYC » Fri Jun 20, 2014 6:33 pm

Just make sure the filling is sticky (e.g., add corn starch) or else it will fall out the holes!
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Re: Creative, unordinary Chinese dumplings?

Postby Frank Deis » Fri Jun 20, 2014 6:49 pm

Jenise wrote:
Paul Winalski wrote:How about xiaolongbao? Traditionally served with finely shredded fresh ginger. Read about them here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xiaolongbao.

-Paul W.


I have never tried making soup dumplings. Feels a little scary--and not much scares me--for getting right; as I mentioned, I don't have much practice time. The early part of next week is all tied up in a dinner party for Wednesday night. Someone paid $800 at an auction for an all-French dinner for six prepared by me, wines included. Other than picking up ingredients in Seattle on Monday, I won't have time to start work on the dumplings until Thursday or Friday. Paul or Frank, have you made them?


I have not. I'd start with YouTube tho. Your dinner sounds like what we did for Karl, with lots of advice from you… But I suppose you will have to buy the wines?
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Re: Creative, unordinary Chinese dumplings?

Postby Jenise » Fri Jun 20, 2014 7:09 pm

Frank, no, I won't have to buy the wines. I have 2000 bottles to choose from, and over half are French--I'm set. :)
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Re: Creative, unordinary Chinese dumplings?

Postby Paul Winalski » Sun Jun 22, 2014 1:21 pm

The xiaolongbao that I've seen and made have a seasoned ground pork filling along with a dab of chilled aspic (the chilled and jelled sauce from red-cooked chicken might work well here). The aspic melts as the dumplings steam. Not all that hard to manage.

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Re: Creative, unordinary Chinese dumplings?

Postby Jenise » Sun Jun 22, 2014 1:58 pm

Paul Winalski wrote:The xiaolongbao that I've seen and made have a seasoned ground pork filling along with a dab of chilled aspic (the chilled and jelled sauce from red-cooked chicken might work well here). The aspic melts as the dumplings steam. Not all that hard to manage.

-Paul W.


That's not the part that scared me, it's folding them! The xiaolongbao I had at Dinesty and remember well from Shanghai were pleated in a very complex manner I don't think I could duplicate easily, if ever!
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Re: Creative, unordinary Chinese dumplings?

Postby Frank Deis » Sun Jun 22, 2014 2:19 pm

I have seen my neighbor make dumplings like that -- the "pleating" looks intentional but it just happens when the dough comes together at the top. One way to get a clean top is to use a little more dough than necessary, and twist it a bit at the top. Then you trim it by wrapping a thread or string around it and pulling it tight. As I mentioned YouTube is really helpful for mechanical details like that.
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Re: Creative, unordinary Chinese dumplings?

Postby Jenise » Sat Jun 28, 2014 2:33 pm

Okay, so here's what I've done for tonight. I made up stuff all centered on mushrooms as a common ingredient. I'll do a plate of two suimais, one more classic but spicy with shrimp/chicken/oyster mushroom/chili/scallion and the other a mousseline made of ground chicken, chicken liver pate and shitake. Those will have a salty-sweet-ginger dipping sauce and be served with a white asparagus/bamboo/chili oil salad. But the other plate will be my crowning achievement, I think, I made bao (the stuffed sweet bread dough dumplings) from the point of view of what a chinese person would make if tasked to produce a french dip sandwich. The bao is stuffed with a braised beef, maitake mushroom and leek mixture and will be served with a hoisin-laced beef dipping broth and homemade pickled mustard greens for the classic sandwich pickle.

I really wanted to do Jeff's idea of the friend lotus root since I've never seen anything like it, but the store I shopped at in Seattle, which is Japanese in orientation, only had pre-cooked, pre-sliced lotus root and they were slightly over 1/4 inch slices (for tempura frying). Way too thick, but too thin to slice in half or I'd have surely done it.
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Re: Creative, unordinary Chinese dumplings?

Postby Jeff Grossman/NYC » Sun Jun 29, 2014 4:42 pm

I like the sound of both shumai recipes.
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