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steamed crystal dumplings, a dim sum classic


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Prep Time: 90 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total: 110 minutes

Servings: 6


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Step 1

Mix the 93 grams potato starch, 64 grams wheat starch, and ½ cup water in a small bowl until thoroughly combined.

Step 2

Bring 1⅓ cups of water to a boil, preferably in a nonstick pan. Once the water is boiling, remix the potato and wheat starch mixture, and slowly pour it into the boiling water while stirring quickly with a spatula or wooden spoon. If you’re not using a non-stick pan, we found using a metal spatula works better. Continue to stir and cook the mixture until it solidifies (5 to 10 seconds). Remove from the heat.

Step 3

Pour 1 cup of wheat starch onto a flat surface, and scrape all of the cooked dough from the pan on top. Use the spatula since the dough is still hot and sticky. Slowly work the dough into the wheat starch, until the dough has cooled enough to work with your hands. Then knead the dough and flour together until you have a smooth ball. Cover with a clean kitchen towel to rest.

Step 4

Now it’s time to make the crystal dumpling filling.

Step 5

Finely dice your rehydrated mushrooms. In a wok or medium-sized pot, bring 3 cups of water to a boil. While that’s happening, prepare a bowl of ice water.

Step 6

Add the spinach and/or leafy greens to the boiling water, and stir for 30 seconds until just cooked through. Use a Chinese spider or metal strainer to transfer the blanched greens to the ice water bath. Once cool, strain the greens into a colander and squeeze out the excess water. Set aside on a cutting board.

Step 7

Next, add the diced carrots and diced mushrooms to the boiling water, and stir for 60 seconds or until just softened. Transfer to the ice water bath.

Step 8

Finely chop the cooled spinach greens and put them in a bowl along with the drained diced carrots and mushrooms. Add the minced pork, sugar, salt, white pepper, sesame oil, oyster sauce, vegetable oil, and cornstarch. Mix until well combined.

Step 9

Roll out the crystal dumpling dough into a long cigar, and cut it into 12-gram pieces. Roll each piece out into a round disc about 3 to 3½ inches in diameter.

Step 10

Here’s where you can get fancy with folding your crystal dumplings or simply fold the dough in a half circle. Just make sure you pinch the openings closed firmly! You can fold them in the shape of har gow or make the standard pleats you would for most of our dumpling recipes. We decided to use a pleated fold with the pleats at the top, which is common at the dim sum restaurants that serve up these crystal dumplings.

Step 11

The finished dumplings can be placed on a perforated sheet of parchment paper (a large square or on individual squares) brushed with oil--set on a bamboo steamer, or a heat-proof plate that fits into a pot / metal steamer. Steam the dumplings over high heat for 3-4 minutes, until translucent.

Step 12

Serve these crystal dumplings immediately with some hot chili oil on the side! These crystal dumplings do reheat in the steamer very nicely after refrigeration, but it’s always best to eat them fresh.

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