One of the things I really miss about Australia is the accessibility of multicultural food. Just going to China Town and having the feeling you’ve been transported to Asia itself – mountains of sushi, noodles, ramens, stir-fries, and DUMPLINGS to choose from. Sure, Paris has it’s own Asian niches here and there, but it’s not the same.
After a recent trip to one of the Asian grocers, I saw some dumplings in the freezer… and the cravings hit! I’m sure they taste just fine, but there’s something about frozen seafood that has always creeped me out a bit… And my favourite dumplings are prawn/shrimp. The craving was not going to be fixed quickly! So instead of walking away with an instant dumpling-craving-remedy, I bought wonton wrappers and waited until the weekend to visit my fishmonger for some prawns. My Sunday was planned: dumpling assembling time!!
These little beauties came out beautifully – full of punchy sweet and sour flavour: crisp, sweet prawn pieces and silken casing. You can boil or steam your dumplings – steaming creates that extra silky texture, and ensures that they don’t burst open and leave you with prawn-y water and empty wontons 😦 My steamer is so damn tiny it only fit 4 at a time so it was agonisingly painful to eat 2 dumplings at a time, whilst waiting for the next!! The next trip to the Asian grocer will definitely involve the purchase of a larger steamer… and maybe some more wonton wrappers.
1 packet frozen wontons
1 egg yolk
2TB rice vinegar
2TB soy sauce
2TB sesame oil
1tsp brown sugar (optional)
1 thumb ginger, grated
350g raw prawn (shrimp) meat, chopped
1 spring (green) onion, chopped
Dumpling dipping Sauce
3TB rice vinegar
4TB soy sauce
pinch chili powder
1/2 thumb ginger, grated
2tsp sesame oil
2tsp brown sugar
1 fresh chilli, chopped
1. Combine all ingredients (apart from yolk and wontons…) together in a bowl and stir until well combined.
2. Remove wontons from freezer and cover in wet tea towel to defrost. After about 5mins, check if you can peel off the first wonton (it may take longer so be patient and gentle or you’ll break them!). Keep the pile of ‘waiting-to-be-filled’ wontons covered so they don’t dry out while you fill the one you are working on.
3. Place a heaped teaspoon of the shrimp mixture in the centre of the wonton. Lightly brush the edges with the egg yolk. To make the 4-cornered star shaped wontons, lift wonton with two hands, fold in half and pinch the centre of the top and bottom together to seal. Hold the pinched part with one hand and pull the centres of the left and the right of the wonton towards the centre pinch – pinch to seal. Pinch the corners and edges. Repeat with the remaining wontons. You could also totally just twist the top for a “money-bag shape”. Much easier!
4. When ready to serve, boil some water in a sauce pan over which your bamboo steamer fits. Line the steamer with lettuce leaves or baking paper and steam dumpling for about 12-15mins over medium/high heat. Alternatively, boil water in a stock pot and boil dumplings until they rise to the surface. Serve with the amazing dumpling dipping sauce!
Dumpling dipping Sauce
1. Combine all ingredients together and stir until sugar is dissolved.
*Note: Remember that the wonton wrappers are frozen, so if you pre-make these bad boys, lay them in a LOT of flour as the wontons get super sticky, and the prawns release juices (ew) making for a puddle of wonton goo and not a stable dumpling (yes it happened to a few, under-floured ones, and there aint no saving those babies 😦 ).
**A note for those less sensible humans or those with portion control issues (including me): Try to be as equal as possible with your filling. I, like with everything, started off stingy, so the first wontons were like, half empty, and the last 10 or so were ginormous to the point I could barely seal them! Sharing is caring…!!