I love Asian grocers… or any foreign food stores for that matter. It’s one of my favourite things to do when I’m overseas – wander the aisles of the supermarkets trying to guess the contents of all the unusual looking jarred, dried and frozen foods and imagine how they would be enjoyed or what dishes they might be cooked in.
Today I’m at the Asian grocers buying some not-so-unusual black-rice vinegar, dried shitake mushrooms, fresh wonton wrappers and chilli oil for some pork and shitake dumplings I’m making for dinner. Making dumplings is so quick and easy thanks to fresh wonton wrappers – the egg wonton wrappers are also great for cheating homemade ravioli or tortellini (I picked a packet of these up the other day so I might make this next weekend).
This recipe is slightly adapted from Jill Dupleix’s one in Good Living recently but you could really make any kind of filling for them – if pork isn’t your thing (then shame, you don’t know what you’re missing), you could use chicken mince instead with some lemongrass, corriander and chilli.
I do need to make mention of my chopsticks featured in this photo (because they’re special). They’re from the Jumbo and Sea Palace floating restaurants at Aberdeen in Hong Kong and part of a collection. During the 3-years of my chilhood that we lived there I was fascinated by dinners at these fabulous floating restaurants, all lit-up to buggary, the gold and lights reflecting on the water. You could take the chopsticks home and my brother and I started this collection. I have some of the most interesting food memories from our time in Hong Kong and my chopsticks always remind me of them.
Pork and shitake dumplings with chilli oil
Serves: 4; Prep time: 15mins; Cook time: 3mins
3 shitake mushrooms
250g minced pork
2 green onions, one finely chopped and one julienned
1 Tbsp finely grated ginger
1/2 a beaten egg
4 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
Handful fresh coriander, chopped
Salt & pepper
16 round wonton wrappers (not egg wonton wrappers)
1 Tbsp chilli oil
1 garlic clove, finely grated
1 Tbsp black-rice vinegar
2 tsp castor sugar
1 mild red chilli, deseeded & julienned
– Soak mushrooms in hot water for 30mins. Drain, discard stalks & finely dice
– Combine pork, mushrooms, chopped green onion, ginger, egg, 1 Tbsp soy sauce, sesame oil, salt & pepper in a bowl and mulch well with your hands until smooth
– Have a large pot of water of simmering water ready
– Lay four wonton wrappers on a clean cloth. Place a teaspoon of filling in the centre of each wrapper and brush edges with a finger dipped in cold water. Bring three sides of each wrapper up to meet in the centre, then press together to seal the edges to form a tricorne. Continue until you have 16 dumplings
– To make dressing, whisk chilli oil, garlic, remaining soy sauce, black-rice vinegar and sugar in a small bowl
– Cook dumplings four at a time for 2-3mins in simmering water until they float to the surface
– Drain and arrange 3-4 on a plate. Spoon dressing generously on top, scatter with julienned chilli and green onions
I had the leftover dumplings cold in an asian salad for lunch the next day…