Recipe from The Macy's Culinary Council Thanksgiving & Holiday Cookbook by Ming Tsai
Makes about 70 wrappers
- 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading and dusting
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups boiling water for shaping
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons water
To mix the dough by hand: In a large heatproof bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Add the boiling water in 1⁄4-cup increments and mix with chopsticks until a ball forms and the dough is no longer too hot to handle. You may not need all of the water. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, 15 to 20 minutes. If the dough feels sticky as you knead, mix in more flour 1 tablespoon at a time. Shape the dough into a disk, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and let rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
To mix the dough in a stand mixer: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, stir together the flour and salt. On low speed, gradually add the boiling water until the flour mixture is evenly moistened and forms a ball. The dough should not be sticky. If it is sticky, mix in more flour 1 tablespoon at a time. Very lightly flour a work surface, place the dough on it, and bring the dough together into a disk. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
To roll out the wrappers: Liberally flour the work surface and place the dough on it. Divide the dough in half and leave one-half covered. Shape the other half into a log, then roll it back and forth under your palms into a rope about 1 inch in diameter and 18 inches long. Cut the rope into about 35 1⁄2-inch pieces. Stand 1 piece on end, flatten it with your palm, and, using a lightly dusted rolling pin, roll out the dough into a circle about 3 inches in diameter and 1⁄16 thick. (You can also use a tortilla press to make the dough circles.) Roll the edges of the dough circle a little thinner than the center, so when you double them over around the filling, they will be the same thickness as the rest of the wrapper. Repeat with 4 more dough pieces, then fill the 5 wrappers as directed below. Roll out and fill the remaining dough pieces the same way, and then repeat with the remaining half of the dough.
It is important to roll out only 5 wrappers at a time and fill them right away because the wrappers dry out quickly and they cannot be stacked without sticking to one another. If possible, recruit a coworker, so that one of you can roll out the wrappers and the other can fill them.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and water to make a wash. Have ready 2 baking sheets very lightly dusted with flour or 2 nonstick baking or cookie sheets.
To form the dumplings: Lay 5 wrappers on a work surface. Place 11⁄2 teaspoons of the *filling in the center of each wrapper. Avoid getting any filling on the edges of a wrapper, which would prevent it from sealing properly. With a finger or pastry brush, paint the circumference of each wrapper with the egg wash. Fold each wrapper in half to form a half-moon, then press the edges together to seal. Holding the dumpling in one hand, and starting at the center of the curved edge, make 3 evenly placed pleats, working toward the bottom-right corner. Again starting at the center of the curve, make 3 more pleats, working toward the bottom-left corner. Press the bottom of the dumpling gently on the work surface to flatten it so it will stand upright. As the dumplings are formed, set them on the prepared baking sheets. Cook them in one of the following ways.
To pan sear the dumplings: Heat a large, nonstick lidded saute pan over high heat. When the pan is hot, add about 2 tablespoons canola oil and swirl to coat the pan bottom. When the oil is hot, arrange the dumplings, flattened bottoms down, in 2 or 3 rows of 5 dumplings each. Cook the dumplings without disturbing them until the bottoms are browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Add about 1⁄2 cup water and immediately cover the pan to avoid splattering. Lift the cover and make sure the water in the pan is about 1⁄8 inch deep. If it isn’t, add more water as needed. Re-cover the pan and cook the dumplings until they are puffy yet firm and the water has evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes. If the water evaporates before the dumplings are done, add more water in 1⁄4-cup increments. If the dumplings appear done but water remains in the pan, drain off as much water as possible and return the pan uncovered to high heat to evaporate any remaining liquid. Continue to cook uncovered until the bottoms of the dumplings are once again crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Be careful they do not burn. Transfer the dumplings to a platter.
To steam the dumplings: Use two 12-inch stacking bamboo steamer baskets with a lid and a wok with its lid. Place 1 basket in the wok. Add water to the wok, filling to 1⁄2 inch below the bottom of the steamer basket (once the water is boiling, it must not touch the basket). Remove the basket from the wok, cover the wok, and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Oil the racks of both steamer baskets with canola oil. Arrange the dumplings, flattened bottoms down, in 2 or 3 rows of 5 dumplings each, making sure the dumplings do not touch. Stack the steamer baskets in the wok over the boiling water and reduce the heat to medium. Cover the top basket and steam the dumplings until the filling feels firm when a dumpling is pressed with a fingertip, about 12 minutes. Remove the baskets from the wok and transfer the dumplings to a platter.
To boil the dumplings: Bring a large pot three-fourths full of water to a boil over high heat. Working quickly, add 12 or 15 dumplings, one at a time, and then immediately stir them gently so they don’t stick together. Bring the water back to a boil, and as soon as the dumplings start to float to the top, add 1⁄2 cup cold water (the cold water slows down the cooking process, which allows the filling to cook and keeps the water from boiling so hard that the dumplings break apart). Once the dumplings start to float again, taste one to see if it is done. If not, add another 1⁄2 cup cold water and wait until the dumplings float again. When the dumplings are ready, using a slotted spoon or a skimmer, transfer them to a platter, being careful that they do not touch or they will stick together.
*Recipe for filling on next slide