Water Dumplings

Chinese dumplings, served in a flavorful broth, are fun to make and eat.

By Molly O'Neill

"As with many other dim sum, water dumplings can be fashioned from ready-made skins or wrappings, in this instance won ton skins,” says Eileen Yin-Fei Lo, the author of My Grandmother’s Chinese Kitchen: 100 Family Recipes and Life Lessons (HP Trade). They are called water dumplings because they are boiled in water, but they are later heated in broth and served in the resulting soup.

Ingredients:

For filling:
12 ounces shrimp, washed, shelled, deveined, dried, and cut into quarters, then chopped into a paste
12 ounces ground pork
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon grated ginger mixed with 1 teaspoon Chinese white rice wine, or gin
1/3 cup bamboo shoots, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 1/2 teaspoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
3 teaspoons cornstarch
Pinch white pepper

For wraps:
40 wonton skins, each cut with kitchen shears into a circle 2 3/4 inches in diameter
3 quarts water
5 cups chicken stock
1 cup chives, cut into 1/4-inch lengths

Directions:
1. Combine filling ingredients in a large bowl, and mix well to combine thoroughly. Refrigerate 4 hours uncovered, or overnight, covered.

2. Make the dumplings: Work with the trimmed wonton skins, keeping a small bowl of water at hand. Place 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of the skin. With
a butter knife, brush water around the edges of the skin. Fold skin into a half-moon shape, and press edges together with thumb and forefinger to seal. Place completed dumpling on a cornstarch-dusted cookie sheet. Repeat until all dumplings are made. As you work, keep reserved skins under a damp cloth to prevent drying out.

3. In a pot, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil. Add dumplings and boil 5 to 7 minutes, until filling can be seen through skin. Run cold water over dumplings in
the pot to stop the cooking process, then drain.

4. In a pot bring chicken stock to a boil, add chives, and stir. Add dumplings, stir. Return to a boil, turn off heat, and serve immediately.

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