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Adapted from Asian Dumplings by Andrea Nguyen
Makes about 60 dumplings
· 10 ounces (2 cups) of unbleached all-purpose flour
· ¾ cup of just-boiled water
Place flour in your food processor. While running the processor, slowly feed hot water through the funnel. Process until the dough absorbs the water completely (about 30 seconds).
If you don’t have a food processor, add flour in a bowl. Add a little bit of water, and stir with a wooden spoon. Repeat the sequence until all water is incorporated. Knead the dough in the bowl (it should not be too hot by now), until everything comes together in one cohesive ball (about 2 minutes)
Knead the dough with the heel of your hand for 30 seconds for the dough mixed with food-processor, and 2 min for handmade though. As you can see, regardless of your mixing method, you don’t really need much effort for kneading. The dough is ready when it slowly bounces back when pressed, and a small impression remains.
Let the dough rest in a plastic wrap at room temperature for at least 15 minutes, but up to 2 hours. The dough will slightly steam with its own heat, and turn into soft, velvety flesh.
The dough can be 1) made into wrappers or 2) store in the fridge. If you are storing in the fridge for the next day, bring the dough back to the room temperature before using.
Remove the dough from the wrapper and cut it in half.
Roll each half into about ½ inch log, and cut the dough into evenly weighed pieces. How many you cut depends on the recipe. For this particular one, we will try to aim around 16 pieces from each half. To achieve evenly weighed pieces, it is good to be mindful that the tapered end should be longer.
These dough ‘scallops’ can be extremely resistant to roll out. The best way is to first squeeze them so the pieces are more less circular and then flatten them 1) with a tortilla press or 2) by pressing down forcefully with a heavy object (such as a cast iron pan).
Then roll out the dough so that you can fit two 3-diameter circles in the dough. I used a 3-inch-diameter Mason jar lid to measure those circles. Cut out with a knife and keep them on a well-floured surface to prevent them from sticking.
1 tsp. of salt
1 tbsp. of finely minced fresh ginger
¼ cup of scallions
2/3 lbs. of pork belly (minced in a food processor)
¼ tsp. of white pepper
¼ cup of chicken stock
1.5 tbsp. of soy sauce
1 tbsp. of sherry or Shaoxing wine
1 tbsp. of vegetable oil
1.5 tbsp. of sesame oil
Cut the pork belly into small pieces and grind in a food processor. Don’t process too finely, or your meat mixture can turn tough.
Mix together, everything except ground pork and scallion, in a bowl to combine. This will be your seasoning.
Pour the seasoning on top of the ground meat, and stir slowly so everything is combined thoroughly. Let the mixture rest in the room temperature for 30 minutes, or prepare one day ahead and keep it in the fridge.
Place about 1.5 teaspoon of mixture into each wrap. Line the edges with water so when you fold to close, the two wraps actually stick to each other. At this point, you will end up with a half-moon shaped dumplings. You can cook them right away. But, if you are feeling a tad bit more creativity, you can fold the two edges of the half-moon, down and seal them together. You will end up with something similar to Italian tortellini. You should end up with about 60 dumplings.
To cook the dumplings, bring a half-filled large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Cook the dumplings for about 8 minutes. They are ready, when they start to float the opaque cream-colored wraps become almost puffy and translucent.
Serve with fried chili oil purchased from an Asian supermarket for tangy soy dipping sauce, made by adding equal parts of soy sauce and ponzu.