I started with the dough because it needs to rest after kneading and can sit at room temperature for a couple of hours. Two cups of all-purpose flour were placed in the food processor while water was brought to a boil. Three-quarters of a cup of boiled water was measured and poured into the food processor through the feed tube with the machine running. In a few seconds, the dough formed a ball on the blade and was done. The water cools enough during that time to be able to handle the dough. Next, the dough was kneaded on a work surface until smooth, and then it was placed in a plastic bag to rest. For the filling, I cleaned and chopped some shrimp, finely chopped some savoy cabbage, chopped some homegrown Chinese chives, and minced garlic and ginger. Black pepper, soy sauce, and sesame oil were also included in the mixture. The cabbage was lightly salted and set aside in a colander to drain for 15 minutes before being rinsed, drained, and squeezed to remove moisture. Then, all of those filling ingredients were combined and mashed together. The rested dough was divided in half. One half was portioned into 16 pieces. Each of those was flattened with a tortilla press and then rolled with a small dowel to flatten the edges more until each circle measured about three and one-quarter inch across. A tablespoon of filling was placed on each dough circle, and then they were closed and crimped. I went with the pleated pattern at the top of each dumpling. The filled dumplings were placed on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and the process was repeated with the second half of the dough. To cook them, two tablespoons of canola oil was added to a large skillet over medium-high heat. The dumplings were set into the hot oil, sealed edges up, and were left to fry for a couple of minutes. The next step is a little scary because water needs to be poured into the skillet with the oil. There’s a great tip in the book for holding the skillet lid close to the top of the pan while pouring the water to prevent it from spattering out too much. One-third cup of water was added, the skillet was covered, and the dumplings steamed until the water mostly bubbled away for about eight minutes. The lid was removed, and the dumplings continued cooking for another minute or two. They were served with a dipping sauce of soy sauce, rice vinegar, and chile oil.
The dumpling dough really was surprisingly easy to work with, and rolling the edges a little thinner made closing and sealing each dumpling a breeze. I followed the suggestion in the book and had a small wood dowel cut to about twelve inches long to use for rolling the little pieces of dough. The end result from the crisp bottoms to the steamed tops turned out great, and there were no problems with them sticking in the pan or falling apart. Now I’m ready to face my fears with another new-to-me dough recipe.
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Speaking of my new kitchen, here's another look at it now that more details have been completed. The wood on the bar, island front, and kitchen desk side was saved from our old house and whitewashed.