I don't know if i am sad or pathetic, I really enjoyed spending the whole weekend in the kitchen learning and making food! The first thing came into my mind when I woke up was "what to cook today"! I have to cook something in order to relax my mind and then I can concentrate on other things! Maybe this is a kind of obsession. (in a good way?)
I was happily spent 4 hours just now in the kitchen testing and learning the process of making some crystal skin prawn dumplings. It wasn't easy but It was so exciting! The wheat starch and tapioca skin was quite delicate and the folding of the skin was fiddly but interesting too - difficult to get them look uniform and similar to those of restaurant standard.
I had the vision of a very thin and translucent crystal skin which you can almost see through the colourful fillings inside. I imagine if there are some colourful ingredients such as chilli and parsley wrapped within a translucent skin, the dumplings would look very beautiful for serving. But that was quite difficult to translate into reality! The thinner the skin, the more difficult to wrap the filling and even more fragile when they are steamed...But the result...I have to say, I am very pleased with how the dumplings look and taste, very good attempt for the first time, I think!Ingredients (For the fillings):
- 200g fresh prawn (roughly chopped)
- 2 tbsp parsley (finely chopped)
- 1 tbsp ginger (finely cubed)
- 2 tbsp chillies (finely cubed)
- 100g radish (finely cubed) (to add some crunchiness to the fillings)
- Salt and ground white pepper (to taste)
- 1 tsp oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- Roughly 2 tbsp corn flour
- A squeeze of 1/2 a lemon juice
- About 1 tbsp Chinese Shaoxing wine
Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl and set aside and marinate for at least 30 minutes.Ingredients (For the crystal skin): (make about 15 dumplings)
I referred to this youtube video
for the process of making the skin.
- 60g wheat starch (You can find this in a Chinese supermarket)
- 25g tapioca flour
- A pinch of salt
- 1 tsp oil
- 100 ml boiling water
Mix wheat starch, tapioca flour, salt and oil in a mixing bowl. Then add in the boiling water. Knead well for few minutes until a very smooth and non-sticky dough. Set aside and cover the dough with damp cloth for 5 minutes.
After that, shape the dough into a long log, and divide into 12 pieces. Set aside and cover the dough with damp cloth.
Oil the work surface and rolling pin. Roll out the divided dough gently and thinly and use a 88mm size round cookies cutter, cut out a neat round wrapper. Gently remove the wrapper from the work surface. (You may have to test a couple of times to successfully make the wrapper!) (Re-use the off cut for the dough, you can get another three more wrappers out of it!)
Fill the wrapper with about 1 tablespoonful prawn filling, and gently and neatly fold it to form a parcel (follow the youtube video closely, it is quite difficult to explain them in words I think!)
Do this gently and firmly. This stage is going to be a rather patience-testing stage! But I can assured you that, once you get the hang of it, it is actually quite easy and satisfying!
Once done the wrapping stage, prepare the bamboo steamer (if you have one). Line it with some grease paper. Oil the the paper generously, but I find that, the dumplings also need to be generously oiled so then they will not stick to the paper once cooked.
Steam the dumplings for about 6 minutes. Once done, the skin should be translucent. Serve warm.
Well done to myself..:) I am very happy that I have learnt something new this weekend. But maybe I should really go out more!