Question: Wow, I just found your page from a Facebook ad. Great concept! So I’ve recently wanted to get into the realm of steamed chinese dumplings. I bought a bamboo steamer and even found an asian market that sells the dumpling skins (because there’s no way I’m gonna try to make the dough myself!). Any tips about making them? Do I need a wok to use the steamer?
CSB Answer: A wok is helpful b/c of its shape but anything that the steamer can sit in (above water line) and releases steam will work. I’ve even used my Black and Decker veggie steamer! Lining the bamboo bottom with lettuce leaves (regular or napa) or thin paper prevents sticking, gumminess–lets steam through but durable. Pre-made dumpling skins are fine–they are thin and super-thin wrappers and work well in steamers since they are easy to over-cook for boiled dumplings (use white Shanghai style wrappers). There are 2 kinds–white color (“Shanghai” style) and yellow color (“Hong Kong” style, super thin for shu-mai dim sum).
Make dumplings or shu-mai that “sit up”–cooks/looks better than if they lay flat. You can steam popular, delicious “soup dumplings” too (put a little chunk of frozen bouillon inside!). Making homemade dough isn’t hard–all-purpose flour and water, knead until smooth. Nothing like it–e.g. fresh pasta vs. dried. We teach it in our homemade Dumplings classes. Remember leftover dumplings (next day best) make great potstickers for breakfast, lunch, or snack! Hope that’s helpful. Good luck!
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