Three Monkeys Online

A Curious, Alternative Magazine

Dumplings a la oriental

I feel the urge to honestly warn you: this dish is still in experimental phase, so I reserve the right to change ingredients, quantity and procedures at any time! As usual any suggestion will be kindly taken into consideration.
The best I personally ever had were in a small, family run 'premise' in Hanoi, Vietnam, but due to my inexistent Vietnamese, I wasn't able to get the recipe from the smiling woman who prepared them for me.

These are delicious as a starter, accompanied by chilli sauce, soy sauce, or the classic rice vinegar with shallots dip.

What you need (for about 20 dumplings)

300 gr. pork mince
100 gr. frozen shrimps
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cardamom seeds
a handful of fresh coriander leaves
2 cm fresh ginger root
2 garlic cloves
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 shallots
1 tablespoon flour
juice of half a lemon
salt, rice vinegar, white wine
20 rice paper sheets (x 15 cm)

How you do it:

Grind the spices finely in a mortar, add garlic and ginger and crush well to obtain a paste. Transfer to a food processor and whiz in the rest of the ingredients for the filling. Let it rest, in the fridge for a few hours.
Put a no-stick plate on the fire and get it hot. In the meantime, prepare the dumplings. Briefly soak the rice papers (one by one otherwise they stick to each other!) in a large plate containing warm water. Add a small amount of the filling – 1.5 tablespoons will do, and you can experiment different quantities until you get your ideal dose – in the centre of the wet paper. Now you have the choice to either roll the wrapping around the filling to create a little roll (you can fold the extra dough at the two extremities on itself) or to close the dumpling as a little parcel, or an easter egg type of wrapping, as to say.

Place the dumplings on the hot plate as you make them and let grill at a lower fire for about 10-15 minutes, moving them around and rolling them to get an even cooking. This is what in my local chinese call 'fried dumplings'.
For steamed dumplings, you need to put on a pot of boiling water a sieve and place the dumplings on it to steam for about 15-20 minutes.

Either way, make sure the inside is well cooked before you eat them. Thích thú!!!

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