My camera is hiding from me! However, I have to tell you about these dumplings, and I felt the need for a photo, so I went to my friend The Creative Commons search engine on Flickr and found a photo that’s good enough.
My rule for dumpling fillings is the same as my rule for sausage or meatloaf or meatballs: Dump whatever you want in there, but whatever you do, DO A TEST! If you’re making any kind of ground-meat dish, grind your meat and spices, blend it together, then fry up a little piece and taste it. Trust me, you will be glad you did the first time you taste your meat loaf and realize you left the salt out. Or added too much. These things are much easier to fix BEFORE you cook the whole batch.
Okay, lecture over. Steamed dumplings are super-easy to make. So easy, in fact, that I’m not going to bother going all formal-recipe on you. Just take some amount of pork and/or shrimp (I used a pound of shrimp this time). Add spices and something salty (this time, I used a whole clove of garlic, an inch or so of young ginger, a little bit of sesame oil, and a generous—perhaps slightly too generous—dash of fish sauce. I ground that all together in the food processor, then added a few tablespoons of minced spring onion for flavor and texture. Sometimes I add water chestnuts.
Once you’ve filled some won ton wrappers (this amount made around twenty dumplings), steam them however you steam things in your house, for roughly ten minutes. Me, I like to test them after about eight, but that’s because I love being a grown-up who gets to pick at dinner while it’s cooking. For steaming, I use a bamboo steamer, and I put a knob of ginger (or sometimes a stalk of lemongrass) in the steaming water, if I have it available.
Dipping sauce for these, if you want any, can be a bit of watered-down soy sauce with a few drops of sesame oil, or some Thai sweet chili sauce, or whatever you’d like to dip dumplings in.
A scant pound of shrimp made two very generous servings, so while this isn’t one of my cheaper meals, it’s not hugely extravagant, either.
Tonight’s came out almost like soup dumplings, so moist inside they splashed a little as we ate them. Fun and delicious.