Dumplings are one of the classic foods that Chinese people eat during the Chinese New Year, and there are hundreds of different fillings that are very flavorful; and now dumplings have become one of the most popular everyday foods. 18
or flour, all-purpose
or as needed, cold
|1 ½||cups||Shrimp, Green Onion and Cilantro Filling for Chinese Dumplings|
chinese black vinegar
as needed, for the dipping sauce
soy sauce, tamari
as needed, for the dipping sauce
red pepper flakes
as desired, for the dipping sauce
Add flour in a large bowl.
Make a well in the center and pour in ½ cup cold water.
Slowly stir with chopsticks or a wooden spoon, moving from the center toward the rim, to work in all the flour. (Add more water by the teaspoon until most of the flour is incorporated.)
Keep stirring as a ragged, soft mass forms.
Then use your fingers to gather and pat the dough together into a ball.
Transfer to a slightly floured work surface and knead for 4 to 6 minutes, until smooth, fingertip-soft and slightly elastic. (You shouldn't need any additional flour on the work surface if the dough was properly made. Keep kneading, and after the first minute or two, the dough shouldn't stick to your fingers. If it does, work in a sprinkling of flour.)
Press your finger into the dough, the dough should spring back, with a faint indentation remaining.
Transfer dough to a bowl coated with cooking spray, cover and allow to rest for about half an hour.
If you are not going to make dumplings right away, cover and refrigerate the dough, up to 1 day.
For wrapping the dumplings:
Divide the dough in half, keeping half wrapped.
Transfer the remaining half to a work surface and gently roll into a 12-inch log about ¾ inch in diameter.
Cut the log crosswise into 18 (two-thirds inch) pieces, rolling the log gently between cuts to keep it round.
Generously dust the dough with flour to keep the pieces separate, and gently flatten each round piece into a circle using the palm of your hand.
Roll each piece into a 2½-inch round wrapper, rolling the outer one-half inch edge very thin, like a tortilla (the center of the circle — a little more than 1 inch — will remain slightly thicker).
Use 1 hand to roll the dowel back and forth while the other hand rotates the circle, like a steering wheel, to form the wrapper.
Repeat with the remaining pieces, loosely covering each wrapper to keep it from drying out and dusting the wrappers to keep them separated.
Repeat with the remaining dough half.
Form the dumplings:
Hold a wrapper in a slightly cupped hand.
Use a spoon to center about 2 teaspoons of filling on the wrapper, gently pressing down and keeping one-half to three-fourths inch of the dough clear on all sides, your hand will automatically close slightly.
Use the thumb of the hand cradling the dough to push down the filling while the fingers of the other hand pull up the edges and pinch the edges together. (Pinch the center of the dumpling first to seal, then pinch the remaining edges to enclose the filling completely.)
Position the dumpling so the sealed edge rests against the palm and along your first finger.
Cup your other hand around the dumpling hand and bring your thumbs together and press firmly to seal the edge.
Place the dumpling, pinched side up, on a floured baking sheet or tray or a bamboo tray that is used very often by Chinese people in China.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel and keep refrigerate.
Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling, covering and refrigerating them as they are made.
Boil the dumplings:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.
Add half of the dumplings and slowly stir, using the back of a large spoon to gently release any dumplings stuck to the bottom of the pot.
When the water comes to a full boil, add a cup of tepid water to the pot, gently stir and return to a boil.
Repeat twice. The dumplings are ready when they have boiled 3 times and float in the water.
Carefully lift the dumplings out with a slotted spoon into flat plates.
Boil the remaining dumplings in a second batch.
Serve the dumplings with Chinese black vinegar seasoned as desired with soy sauce and hot red pepper.