DUMPLINGS filled with seasoned beef, aromatic from the use of 5 spices is not only ideal as a tasty appetiser but also a midnight snack! These bite-sized morsels are quick to cook and moreish as well. For a more substantial meal, pair them with noodles.
By Yan Teo-Maya
Total Time: 2 hours
Yields: 50 pieces
A: Dumpling Skin
400g plain flour
a pinch of salt
B: Meat Mixture
1kg minced beef, preferably fresh
250g fresh mushrooms (Shiitake or Swiss Brown), chopped and diced
1 bunch spring onions, chopped
1 red onion, peeled and diced
5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon five-spice powder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
salt to taste
D: To Cook Dumplings
2 tablespoons oil
1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine B ingredients, knead into a dough. Allow dough to rest for 30 minutes.
2. Divide dough into 4 pieces. Feed it through a pasta machine. Using a rolling pin or pasta machine, roll out each piece dough until 3cm thin. Using a round cutter measuring 9cm, cut out pieces of dough. Set it aside until assembly time.
3. Pour vegetable oil into a frying pan. Sauté red onion and garlic until fragrant. Add minced beef, stir until incorporated with onion and garlic while it is cooking. When meat is 75% cooked, toss in mushroom and spring onions. Stir mixture and mix well.
4. Pour in C seasoning. Stir it into meat mixture. Add a pinch of salt to taste.
5. Transfer mixture into a bowl to cool down. To wrap: scoop 1 tablespoon of filling on dumpling skin. Pleat edges of skin to seal dumpling.
Repeat until filling is used up. Place pleated dumplings on a separate plate. Chill dumplings in fridge for 30 minutes to an hour before cooking — the texture becomes firmer, ensuring that it does not break up while dumplings are cooking.
6. Pour in oil. Pan-fry dumplings until the base turns golden brown. Slowly pour in water and immediately cover frying pan with a lid. Allow dumplings to cook for 1 minute.
7. Transfer dumplings to a serving plate immediately. Serve with either chilli or vinegar plus julienned ginger.
Eat dumplings while they are piping hot — they are best when the golden brown skin is crackly, contrasting well with the moist beef filling.
ABOUT Baobar: Singaporean chef Yan runs Baobar restaurant in El Retiro, Medellín together with her Colombian husband, Jose. This authentic Singapore restaurant in Colombia, Baobar serves specialities like laksa, satay, har cheong gai (fried chicken with shrimp paste) and char siu bao (BBQ pork buns) among others.
TIPS: Place dumplings at least 2cm apart on a tray — this prevents them from sticking together. Freeze at least 3-4 hours before transferring them to a ziplock bag. Uncooked dumpling keep well for up to 2 months, but will likely be wolfed down long before then.
TECHNIQUE: Depending on whether you’re right or left-handed, pleat along edge of dumpling from left to right (or right to left) with the pleat facing out.
Photos: Yan Teo-Maya
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