When a friend invited me over to her apartment for lunch the other day, I never expected to pick up a new skill - making dumpling skins! I had always simply bought dumpling skins from the store, and everyone I knew did the same, so I just assumed it required mad skills to make them. Turns out all one needs is all-purpose flour and water! Yes! It is really that simple!
We mixed up some minced pork with corn and egg for the filling and I helped her to shape the dumplings while she rolled out the dumpling skins. Our dumplings before being cooked ...
I had asked her for the recipe for the dumpling skins but she said she never used one. She then told me that when she and her siblings were little, her mother would enlist them in making these dumplings, and that was how she learnt. Fascinating how parents pass their skills down to their kids, and how some stuff really stick and evoke memories of family!
As we made loads of dumplings, my friend gave me some to take home. I mixed up some vinegar with a Szechuan style chili from Shanghai, then tossed the dumplings in the sauce .... YUM!!! (This may not look that appealing but it was so delicious! )
(Apparently, well-made dumplings should have this wrinkly kind of look ... according to my dumpling friend :))
This particular vinegar - Zhenjiang Vinegar - is supposed to be the type that's good for dipping dumplings in.
I tried this particular brand of szechuan chili sauce and thought it was really good, especially in making the above dish - dumplings tossed in vinegar and chili sauce.
I was eager to try out my new skills at home. Here are some of my dumpling skins ... not as regular and round and pretty as my friend's, but they'll do :)
I made them in different shapes in order to differentiate amongst the fillings - minced pork with shrimp with pine nuts, minced pork with spring onions, minced pork with corn, minced pork with shrimp with chives ... delish! I cooked them in soup, au naturelle, with noodles ... makes for such wonderful easy meals (I froze some)!
All deliciously wrinkly :) ... one of the few times you actually want wrinkles! :)