When my mother came up with the name of her first cookbook the term "All-American" only seemed fit. After all, she was 1st generation Chinese married to an American, Irish, Norwegian man living in Nebraska where traditional Chinese ingredients were not made readily available. It isn't until now that I truly understand the meaning of the All-American... (read more)

Posts Tagged ‘Dumplings’




Steamed Shao Mai

Last week we welcomed our newest addition, Chase Evan Fluhr to the All-American Chinese family! Life has been busy but Grandma Lucy has been here helping with the kids and cooking! She prepared one of our all time favorite dim sum dishes, steamed open faced dumplings otherwise known as Shao Mai. Shao Mai are typically served in Cantonese style Chinese restaurants, but are also easy enough to prepare at home and wow a crowd.

½ package wonton wrappers (Found in the produce section of most supermarkets)
4 to 6 cups water (Depending on the size of the steamer pot)
Cabbage or lettuce leaves for steaming

Preparation for the Filling:
½ pound lean ground pork
½ pound medium size raw shrimp, peeled, deveined
4 medium size shiitake dried black mushrooms, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes or longer until soft
½ can sliced water chestnuts (2.5 oz. drained)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon soy sauce (Kikkoman brand)
1 tablespoon rice wine or cooking sherry wine
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon pure sesame oil

Chop the shrimp into very small pieces with a heavy knife. Drain the mushroom water, remove the stems if any and finely chop. Finely chop the water chestnuts. In a bowl, combine the ground pork with chopped shrimp, mushrooms, water chestnuts, cornstarch, soy sauce, rice wine, salt, sugar and sesame oil. Mix together thoroughly.

To Assemble:
Using kitchen shears, trim the four corners of a few wrappers at a time into 3 ¼ inch rounds. Place a round wonton wrapper onto the palm of your hand. Place 1 full tablespoon of filling in center of wrapper. With your other hand, gather the sides of the dough around the filling, letting the dough pleat naturally. Squeeze the middle gently to make sure the dough fits firmly against the filling and tap the dumpling’s bottom to flatten so it can stand upright.

To Cook:
When all the Shao Mai are made, place them on the rack in the steamer (for the best results, place green lettuce leaves or cabbage leaves on the rack as a bed for the Shao Mai. It makes for easy removal of the Shao Mai from the rack when done). Be sure to leave ½ to 1 inch spaces in between each Shao Mai. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, cover the steamer and steam the Shao Mai for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and serve warm.

If the pot is not big enough to steam all at once, you can steam half of the Shao Mai at a time.

Sauce for Dipping:
In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 3 tablespoons white vinegar and 1 teaspoon red hot chili oil together for dipping the Shao Mai.

Makes 26 Shao Mai
Preparation time: 30 to 40 minutes (depends how fast you can assembling the Shao Mai)
Cooking time: 10 minutes

Tip: You can make the Shao Mai ahead of time and freeze. Steam for an extra 2 to 3 minutes more when steaming the frozen Shao Mai.




Pan Fried Gyoza Dumplings

My mother makes hands down the best Chinese Potstickers. Here’s a convenient take on her traditional recipe which requires no dough making! The Gyzoa is a like small sized Potsticker with thinner dough. It’s traditionally a Chinese hors d’oeuvre made popular by the Japanese and a hit with just about everyone I know!

1 package fresh gyoza skin wrappers (12 oz. or 14 oz.)*
1/2 cup water for sealing  the gyoza
Canola oil or Pam cooking spray
1 cup water (divide 4 times for cooking each batch of gyoza)

½ pound head cabbage (8 oz.)
1 teaspoon salt and ¼ cup water to marinade the cabbage
1 pound lean ground pork
2 scallions, including the green top
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger root
1 egg
2 tablespoons soy sauce (Kikkoman brand)
2 teaspoons pure sesame oil
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar

Sauce for Dipping:
3 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon red hot chili oil (optional)

Shred cabbage and finely chop. In a bowl, mix the cabbage with 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ cup water. Use one hand to mix the cabbage with the salt water for 1 minute. Leave the cabbage to rest and marinade in the bowl for at least 15 minutes.

Wash and trim the green onions, finely chop. Peel and finely grate the fresh ginger root. Use another bowl to combine the ground pork with the onions, ginger root, egg, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and sugar. Mix together thoroughly and set aside.

Use both hands to pick up a small amount of marinated cabbage and squeeze to drain the salt water from the cabbage. Drop into the meat mixture bowl. Continue until all the cabbage has been squeezed dry of salt water. Mix the cabbage with the meat mixture together thoroughly and set aside.

To Assemble:
In a small bowl, fill 1/2 cup water for assembling the gyoza. Place a round gyoza wrapper in the palm of your hand. Place 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of the wrapper (careful not to overstuff the wrapper). Use the fingers of your free hand to moisten all sides of the exposed dough (around the filling) with water. Fold the wrapper in half and pinch the top. Then crimp each side of dough tightly with your fingers to seal. Tap the sealed dumpling to flatten its bottom so that it stands upright. Repeat to finish assembling all the gyoza.**

To Cook:
Spray cooking oil onto a non-stick 10 inch frying pan over medium heat. Place about 16 gyoza dumplings in the pan. Add ¼ cup water to pan, cover with lid and cook for approximately 6 to 7 minutes. When the water is absorbed and the bottom of gyoza is lightly browned, the dumplings are ready. Serve immediately or use spatula to transfer the gyoza onto a cookie sheet, cover with tinfoil (so the gyoza skin will not dry out) and keep warm in the oven. Repeat to cook remaining gyoza. Serve with dipping sauce if desired.

Makes 60 to 65 gyoza
Preparation time: 1-½ hours
Cooking time: 4 batches about 25 to 28 minutes

*Gyoza Wrappers are 3 inch round, thin, soft, fresh flour dough. They come in about 65 pieces and are sold next to the wonton wrappers in the produce section of most supermarkets.
**You can make the gyoza ahead of time and freeze on a flat tray. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer bag and keep frozen for later use.

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