Steamed vegetable dumplings

Serves: 8-10 (makes 40-50 dumplings) Prepare & Cook:

Ingredients

  • 30g ginger, finely grated
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 300g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 4 large pak choi (about 475g), white core and green leaves separated
  • 1 bunch spring onions, chopped, white and green parts separated
  • 25g dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in just-boiled water for 20 minutes
  • 2 red chillies, finely chopped (deseeded, if you like)
  • 50g ginger, finely grated
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp light soft brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • ½ cucumber, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 50g sesame seeds, toasted, to serve
  • CHILLI OIL:
  • 25g sesame or groundnut oil
  • 75g vegetable oil
  • 4-5 red chillies, finely chopped
  • SOY-VINEGAR DIPPING SAUCE:
  • 1 tbsp sesame or groundnut oil

Method

  • In a bowl, mix ½ tsp salt and 165ml warm water with the flour, bringing everything together until you have a smooth, slightly sticky dough.
  • Knead vigorously, dusting with flour, if required, for 5 minutes until elastic. Put in a bowl, coat with groundnut oil and cover with clingfilm. Leave to rest for at least 30 minutes.
  • Finely chop the white cores of the pak choi and finely shred the leaves. Mix the white part of the chopped spring onions with the pak choi cores. Drain the mushrooms well, reserving the liquid, and roughly chop.
  • Heat the groundnut oil in a large wok or frying pan until smoking hot. Add the chillies, ginger and garlic, and stir-fry for 30-45 seconds until golden. Stir in the mixed pak choi cores and white spring onions, and cook for 2-3 minutes to soften, then add the vinegar and sugar. Mix the soy and cornflour in a small bowl, pour into the wok and cook for a few more minutes until thickened. Stir in the pak choi leaves, cucumber, oil and mushrooms. Spread on a large tray and cool completely. To make the chilli oil, heat the oils in a small pan until smoking. Leave on the heat for 30 seconds, no longer. Stir in the chillies, cool completely, then spoon into dipping bowls. Mix all the soy-vinegar sauce ingredients in a serving bowl, and set aside.
  • Prepare the steamer. Cut circles of baking paper to fit each layer of your steamer. Pour the mushroom liquid and 500ml water into the bottom of a clean wok or pan that fits your steamer, and season.
  • Roll out the dumpling dough on a well-floured surface as thinly as you can, less than 1mm if possible. It may be easier to do this in batches. Using a 9cm cookie cutter or a glass, cut out as many small circles as you can; you should have 40-50 wrappers.
  • Put 1 heaped tsp of filling in the centre of each wrapper. Dampen the edges of the dough with water. Fold over the wrappers to encase the filling and press the edges together to create a pleated effect and seal the dumplings.
  • Place on a tray dusted with flour until ready to cook.
  • Put the dumplings in the steamer. Bring the liquid in the wok or pan to the boil, then put the steamer on top. Steam for 8-12 minutes or until the dumplings are soft and the filling is heated through. Serve immediately with the dipping sauces, toasted sesame seeds and scattered with the green chopped spring onions, if you like.

Top Tip

If you're having lots of people over, make up a triple quantity of dough and fill with the variations, too.

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