Eating out as a kid was fairly rare, but when we did, Chinese was usually the cuisine of choice. We stuck to a trusted few dishes – sweet corn chicken soup, fried rice, noodles, chicken or gobi manchurian and ginger or garlic chicken. This was Indo-Chinese of course, the dishes had an Indian touch to them. I never ate dumplings in India though. They were probably on the menu, but we never ordered them. There was a small restaurant on Church Street in Bangalore that had Dim Sum on weekends, in my mind it was something exotic and not what we would attempt. Experimenting was not an option, we ate out rarely and we stuck to a familiar set of choices. I started eating dumplings at Chinese buffets when I moved to the US and liked them enough to start experimenting with them at home. We liked them and so did our friends, so Aparna and I ended up buying a bamboo steamer. This recipe is my own, it may offend the purists, but it tastes pretty good. I have paired it with a very spicy and tart sauce called “Young Thailand Hot Sauce” from a Thai recipe book.
- Dumpling Wrappers/Shu mai skins - 20
- Cabbage/Lettuce leaves for lining.
- Ground Chicken - 1 lb
- Green Chillies - 3
- Scallion - 3
- Cilantro - 3 stalks with leaves
- Sesame oil - 1 tsp
- Rice Vinegar - 1 tsp
- Pepper - 1/2 tsp
- Ginger Garlic paste - 1/4 tsp
- Salt - to taste
- Young Thailand Hot Sauce
- Lime/Lemon juice - 3 tbsp
- Fish sauce - 3 tbsp
- Garlic - 1 tbsp minced
- Green/Red chillies - 1 tbsp minced
- Sugar - 1 tbsp
Chop the scallions into small rings
Finely Chop the green chillies and the Cilantro
Mix all the ingredients for the filling in a bowl, cover and refrigerate for an hour or so.
Dumpling wrappers should be at room temperature before they are used.
Wash and drain the cabbage/lettuce leaves and line the base of the bamboo baskets
Spoon out a small amount of the filling and place it in each dumpling wrapper.
Fold the wrapper over and seal the edges. You could use a solution of corn flour and water to seal the edges if required.
Crimp the edges with a fork and place the dumpling on the cabbage leaves.
Boil water in a pot or wok and when steam starts to rise, place the bamboo basket over the pot/wok and steam the dumplings for about 20 minutes.
In the meantime, mix all the ingredients for the hot sauce and keep covered.
Serve the dumplings with the hot sauce.
- I’ve used chicken for this recipe, you can substitute with pork or turkey.
- The hot sauce is literally very hot, you could go a little easy on the chillies and garlic if you want to reduce the heat.
- You can also substitute the hot sauce with chilli-garlic sauce or mix soy sauce with chilli garlic sauce.
- Woks ususally come with a perforated aluminium plate that can be placed inside the wok and the bamboo basket can be placed on this perforated plate for steaming. In our case, the bamboo basket fits perfectly on the base of our rice cooker.
- You can make shu-mai instead of dumplings, dumplings are easier to fold.
- Dumpling wrappers are available at your local Oriental grocery store, you will find them usually in the frozen foods section.