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Author: Krista O'Malley
I love Asian foods and am always eager to learn different flavors, techniques and dishes. When Bon Appetit comes to the house, it’s an exciting day and even more exciting when they offer something like soup dumplings.
I love dumplings! I grew up with a mother who made Shou Mei (pork and shrimp dumplings) among many other Asian inspired dishes. For me, the more time I can spend in the kitchen the better – the prep work and assembly is the best. So when I came across this recipe, I was really excited to try it!
Upon initial review of the recipe, the filling was pretty similar to the filling I use for the Shou Mei dumplings – so there was never a doubt in my mind that the filling wouldn’t be awesome. One of my downfalls in the kitchen is with dough’s and baking. I do make my own pasta and have made pizza and steam bun doughs, but I generally don’t have the patience for measuring and waiting – I like to wing it and throw things together and be surprised that it came out awesome. I was a little intimidated by having to make my own dough, but it came out pretty good!
I would recommend this recipe to anyone who has a few hours to spare. We generally make our Sunday dinner’s bigger meals and spend a little more time putting everything together. We use this day for experiments like this one or old favorites that we normally can’t do during the week, so I spent my Sunday making this dish for the hubby and a couple of girlfriends.
First, get your grocery list together. If you can, head to an Asian market. You can find all of your ingredients in a normal super market possibly with maybe a couple of exceptions, but I think it helps to get you in the mood and inspire you. Plus, the ingredients are authentic products. As explained in another blog I love and cook from all the time, The Woks of Life, some of the products are decent in flavor however you will find that something, even as normal and basic as soy sauce, can have different depths and flavors from what you are used to getting or using. I like to get produce and meat from the Asian market as well – it always looks great and a lot of the time it’s cheaper.
I don’t know about you, but I can officially count on one finger the amount of times I have bought pig skin, bones and feet. It was really fun and I hope to do it again with other parts to make delicious stocks similar to this. Creating the gelatin was the easiest part and really fun to see it all cook down and come together with such simple ingredients and natural gelatin from the bones. I don’t know if I skimmed my stock enough before cooling, so truly, do skim it often per the directions. If there is some fat, like mine (seriously like the tiniest bit) I think it adds more to the pork since generally that is pretty lean.
So after all is said and done, the recipe itself was tasty. Everyone really enjoyed it. I was slightly disappointed with the outcome though – the dumplings weren’t as soupy as I thought they should be and the dough was chewy (most likely because of inconsistent thickness from us rolling it out by hand. One of the things I found is that if you rolled out the dough per the instructions, you most likely would come out with a non-circular shape, so we started making little dough balls instead of the thumb pressed versions from our very precise one inch cuts and then rolling them out. Not only did we have more consistent wrappers, we had more consistent texture once the dumpling steamed. I would love to add more flavor in the dough next time, maybe a touch of sesame oil and/or chives mixed right in and definitely a pinch of salt.
The dough was really hard for me. Generally, I am really good at creating the small bite sized dumplings, but having to make and roll out my own dough made me realize how spoiled I was by store bought wonton wrappers. The consistency is different on the two doughs, so I don’t know if you could use a short cut with the pre-made wrappers, however I will try it at some point.
Next time, instead of mixing the soup gelatin in with the meat, I might try putting it on top of the meat so it can melt down into the bottom and maybe that will allow them to be soupier when you initially bite into the dumpling.
The dipping sauce, although authentic and per the recipe, was only eh to me. It tasted good, don’t get me wrong, however I make a really tasty one for my Shou Mei that I enjoy more. I think the addition of the black vinegar threw my taste buds off. I don’t know about you, but it’s very rare that I have eaten black vinegar despite loving Asian dishes.
All said and done, I would try this recipe again as it is written in the magazine – just for more experience with something I have only done once. I feel like you have to make something new a couple times the way it’s intended before inserting your opinion. I would also like to try the recipe with my twists to compare and see maybe why it was done a certain way.
Click here to visit BonAppetit.com for the recipe!
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About the Author
I am Dom. A mom, teacher, novice writer, cook, wine drinker, and so much more- filling the internet with unsolicited stories, questions, dreams, recipes, and advice. I'll be the voice that tells you what everyone is wondering but no one wants to ask!