Saturday, February 2, 2013

Hong Kong Style Fried Dumplings (煎堆)

Do you associate food with people?  Over the year when I taste an exceptional dish made by a friend or restaurant, I linked the two together.  Every year around Chinese New Year, I will remember the fried dough with red bean stuffing made by my neighbor many years ago.  Now that I moved back to Macau I see her more often  (Thank goodness she didn't move!!).  But I have yet to gather the courage to ask her for her recipe. 

So before I can get my hands on her recipe, I need to satisfy my CNY unhealthy food craving first.  Among the popular CNY snacks, my favorite is fried dumplings.  I found the recipe online (click here) and it didn't seem too difficult, the ingredients are readily available, and I have friends that will help me eat them, regardless of results! 

I made my first batch last night and they were alright.  I desparately need an electronic scale for my next batch though.  If you are on a diet or if you have any health concerns, you must stay away from this recipe because this is heart attack in a ball.

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the i-don't-want-to-know-how-many-calories traditional CNY snack

Ingredients (makes 10):

Wrappings:
wheat starch 50g - sieved

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glutinous rice flour 200g - sieved

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I just eye-ball 1/3 of the bag...
I am a bad example - do not follow!

baking soda 1/4 spoon*

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ammonia powder (edible ammonium bicarbonate) 1/8 spoon*
white sugar 70g
boiling water 180g
cold water 180g

* the recipe doesn't say if it's teaspoon or tablespoon so I assumed it's teaspoon

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All the ingredients
I had to use a rice cooker measuring cup to measure everything since I didn't have an electronic scale.
F-A-I-L!


Fillings:
red bean paste 100g
lotus seed paste 100g

(you can have all red bean paste or all lotus seed paste or any other filling you want)

Coating:
white sesame seeds
black seasme seeds
sliced almonds (didn't get this time)


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Directions:

1.  Boil water and add the wheat starch when the water is boiling.  Stir quickly.  Add the glutinous rice flour and mix well.

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forgot to sieve the wheat starch

2.  Add the sugar, baking soda, and ammonia powder.  Mix well.


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forgot to sieve the glutinous rice flour too...
#1 no siever, #2 lazy

3.  Add the cold water and knead the dough until you get a smooth surface.

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looks like a little too much water to me
I recommend to add the water in a little at a time

4.  Divide the dough into 10 spheres, around 30g each.

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again, I don't have an electronic scale so I just roughly divide the dough into 10 pieces

5.  Divide the fillings into 10 spheres, around 20g each.  (If you like hollowed fried dumplings, skip this step.)

6.  Wrap fillings into the flattened dough, knead round.


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using a plastic film will make the dough less likely to stick to your hands

7.  Arranged the wrapped dough onto a plate and spray water to the surface of the dough with a watering can.


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I actually sprayed and rolled as I make each one as I find it more efficient for me

8.  Rolled the sprayed dough on the sesame seeds.

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all rolled up...
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... and ready to fry

9.  Heat a pot of oil to 150°C (use a kitchen thermometer to test) and add the sesame covered dough using a  colander to avoid oil splattering.  Reduce heat to low.

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heart attack waiting to happen (so much oil!!!)

Tip:  If you don't have a kitchen thermometer, you can add an egg white into the cold oil.  When the egg white floats, hardens, and turns golden brown, it means the oil is ready.  The key to success on this dish is to master the cooking temperature.

10.  The dumpling is ready when it floats but you will want to press it into oil with the colander to make it swell. 

Tip:  This step is essential as it is how you make your dumplings hollow in the middle.

11.  When the dumplings are completely swolen, turn up the heat and take them out of the wok when they turn golden brown on all sides.  Place it on a wire rack or lined plate to cool.

Tip:  By turning up the heat in the end, it gets rid of the excess oil in the dumplings and makes them crispier.

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