Spinach & Garlic Chive Dumplings
This recipe combines my two favorite dumplings at Dim Sum: spinach and garlic chive. This hot water dumpling dough is incredibly easy to work with. The just-boiled water breaks down the gluten, producing a resilient dough that doesn’t bounce back when rolled, and stands up well to pan-frying and steaming. You can choose to cook these dumplings either as pot stickers or steamed. I have included instructions for both methods.
Makes about 20 dumplings
2 tsp. sesame oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
½ inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
4 cups (200 grams) baby spinach leaves, tightly packed
2 ounces (60 grams) firm tofu, crumbled
3 ounces (90 grams) water chestnuts, finely chopped
⅓ cup garlic chives, finely sliced
2 tsp. tamari
Sea salt and white pepper
2 tsp. potato starch (or cornflour)
1 tsp. white sesame seeds, toasted
Makes about 20 to 25 3 ½-inch (9 centimeters) round dumpling wrappers
2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
About ¾ cup just-boiled water
½ teaspoon salt
Filling: Heat a medium sized skillet on medium-high and add oil, garlic and ginger. Saute for 30 to 60 seconds until fragrant.
Add spinach leaves and cook until the greens are wilted, about 60 seconds. Stir through the tofu, water chestnuts and garlic chives. Season with tamari and a big pinch of sea salt and white pepper.
Remove from heat and add potato starch (this helps to absorb excess moisture).
Fold through the sesame seeds.
Wrappers: Add the flour and salt into a large heatproof bowl (resting on a tea towel to prevent the bowl moving around) and make a well in the center. Using wooden chopsticks (or wooden spoon), stir the flour as you add the water in a steady stream until the flour is lumpy. Using your hands (be careful, the dough will be hot), knead the dough in the bowl until the mixture comes together. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured benchtop and knead the dough for about 2 minutes until smooth and elastic. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap or place in a ziplock bag, and allow it to steam in the plastic for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
Lightly dust your work surface again. Roll out your dough as thin as you can (about ⅛ inch is great). Using a floured 3.5-inch cookie cutter, cut out rounds and cover them with a damp cloth. Re-roll any dough offcuts and cut out more dumpling wrappers.
To wrap: Place some filling in the middle of a wrapper and fold over. Pinch together one corner and working from one corner to the other, pleat just one edge of the wrapper, sealing as you go. Alternately, you can crimp both edges as you wish. Find your own style. When you have sealed all the way, shape into a neat crescent shape.
Place your dumplings on a baking sheet, lined with baking paper, and cover with a cloth. If you don’t want to cook immediately, freeze them in a single layer, and then remove from baking sheet and store frozen dumplings in ziplock bag. They can be pan-fried or steamed from frozen, without thawing.
For Potstickers: Heat a large skillet on medium, drizzle 1 teaspoon of sunflower oil (or other neutral oil) and, once hot, place a few dumplings to the skillet, making sure to space them out so they don’t stick together. Leave them to cook on one side for 1-2 minutes, until the underside is slightly golden. Very carefully add ¼ cup of water into the skillet and immediately cover with a lid. Reduce heat to low and allow the liquid to boil and sizzle for another 2-3 minutes. The potstickers are ready when all the liquid has evaporated and the dumpling skin is puffed up. Remove from the pan immediately and continue cooking the rest of the dumplings.
For steamed dumplings: Line a steaming basket with cabbage or baking paper. Arrange the dumplings in the basket, spacing them out so they don’t stick together. Bring a medium pot of water to the boil and place the basket on top of the pot. Cover and steam for 10-12 minutes, until the wrappers are puffed up. Repeat until all the dumplings are cooked.
Spicy Dipping Sauce
2 tsp. tamari
2 tsp. rice vinegar
½ tsp. sugar
1 small bird’s eye chilli, seeded and finely chopped (or 1 tsp. red chilli flakes)
2 tsp. sesame oil
1 scallion, finely chopped
Whisk together all the ingredients and serve with dumplings.