Taiwan is #1 on places I want to visit, I keep saying that’s where I’ll get married and hopefully reside for a while, if not forever. You might be asking why? Or you might not be, but I’m going to tell you anyway.
You can probably already guess why… In my eyes, Taiwan is the food capital of the world, I’ve spent countless hours watching youtube videos on the food/night markets.
I spend my days dreaming about the smell the black pepper cakes baking, the taste of their version of a hot dog – a small juicy pork sausage wrapped in a larger sausage made from sticky rice that’s then grilled and topped with pickled vegetables and sauces. And the sound of deep fried milk cooking, I know this sounds a little absurd, deep fried milk who and why did someone decide to start making that but that just makes me want it even more.
I could go on for days about the food, instead, I’ve decided to make some Taiwanese dumplings to fill the void in my heart for the time being.
The filling is made of Chinese chives, if you can’t find these at your local Asian grocer substitute for leeks, dried shrimp for some Unami flavour (if you’re vegetarian these can be left out, instead add a teaspoon of miso paste), mung bean or rice vermicelli noodles and some seasoning.
Then wrapped in a yeast dough and pan-fried so the bottom becomes crispy and the top becomes chewy. It’s the best of both worlds.
Serve with a little soy sauce and black vinegar.
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/3 cup warm water
- 1 tsp yeast
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp peanut oil
- 1 bunch chinese chives
- 1 tbsp dried shrimp
- 4 inch ginger, micro grated
- 50 grams rice vermicelli
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- pinch of white pepper
Mix together sugar, yeast, and warm water. Let sit for 10 minutes then add the flour, salt, and oil. Bring everything together and knead until soft and smooth. Place with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place for an hour.
Soak the dried shrimp in warm water for 10 minutes, until slightly softened. Drain and dice. Finely chop the chives.
Heat some oil in a wok over medium to high heat, when hot add the soaked shrimp and stir fry until fragrant about 30 seconds. Add the chives and ginger, cook, stirring occasionally until soft and most of the juices have evaporated about 10 minutes.
In the meantime cook noodles according to packaging, drain and rinse under cold water then coarsely chop.
Mix together chive mixture, white pepper, sesame oil and soy sauce. Add in noodles.
To form the buns, on a lightly floured surface roll the dough into a long log shape and cut off 10 equal portions. Roll each portion into a small ball and lightly flatten with the palm of your hand. Gently roll out with a rolling pin. You want a thicker centre and thinner edges.
Add a tablespoon of mixture into the centre of the dough, begin to pleat the dumpling by folding each one edge over each other, turning as you go. You can seal these at the top if you want but I like the look of some of the filling showing. It's all about the aesthetics.
To cook, heat oil in a large pan with a lid over medium heat. When hot add the buns in a single layer, cook until the bottoms have become crispy about 3 minutes, add the water and place on the lid. Cook until all the water has evaporated and the tops of the buns become translucent - about 10 minutes. If there is still water remaining in the pan remove the lid and cook until evaporated.
Remove and place onto a serving plate along side some soy sauce and black vinegar.
Full Video for Chinese Chive Dumplings Here!