Today was the first time I used Maggi seasoning in food and I don’t think I could’ve chosen a better introduction. It’s basically an intense vegetable bouillon concentrate that’s very high in salt and MSG, making it a perfect flavor enhancer/umami booster for dumplings. Say what you will about such ingredients, but space is a premium when you’re trying to stuff a dumpling, so the concentrated flavor is a blessing. Since the shrimp is pureed here, you could use the smallest (and therefore cheapest) ones available to you. If you don’t have a food processor you could finely chop everything, but add an egg white to the mixture to help it bind together.
It’s ridiculously simple to make a “plum sauce” type dip for these things. All you need is something sweet, something acidic, water, and cornstarch and it’ll come together in a couple of minutes on the stove. Pineapple chicken balls? Pineapple juice. That radioactive red cherry sauce? Maraschino cherry juice, and so on. We didn’t have any oranges in the fridge, so I threw together some marmalade and the juice of the lime I zested for the filling and thickened it up with a cornstarch slurry. I wanted it a bit less citrus focused, so I added a snack pack container of mangoes and peach in a light syrup, and Shannon wanted it hot, so I added some sambal oelek (basically pureed chili peppers). (Nearly) instant dipping sauce.
We ate every dumpling that came out of the kitchen today. My stomach is a little queasy, but it was worth it. These are great steamed in a basket or boiled, but Shannon says you should fry them because, “If it makes you happy, they’re better for you!”
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 (approximately) cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and de-veined
- 1/2 teaspoon Maggi seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon light soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon sriracha
- 1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
- zest of 1 lime
- 1/2 cup water with 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/4 cup mild fruit (apricot, plum, mango, peach, etc.) jam/preserves
- 1/4 cup sugar
- (optional) juice of 1 lime
- (optional) 1 tablespoon marmalade
- (optional) 1 teaspoon sambal oelek
- (optional) oil, for frying
To make the dumpling dough, place the warm water in a bowl and stir in the flour, a half-cup at a time until you have a dough that pulls away from the side of the bowl. Dust a work surface with some additional flour and knead the dough until it is smooth, adding additional flour if it sticks to your hands. Cover and rest for half an hour before rolling out. We used a pasta maker and rolled the dough to its thinnest setting and then cut the dough with a biscuit cutter into perfect circles. Dust them liberally with flour and stack them and cover with a clean towel to keep them from drying out while you’re preparing everything. Of course, alternatively, you could simply buy wonton wrappers from the store.
To make the filling, puree together all the filling ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Take one of the dumpling wrappers and place a scant teaspoon-sized portion into the center. Lightly brush the edge of half of the circle, then fold over the dough to seal the filling inside. Ensure a good seal by aligning the top and bottom points (12 and 6 on a clock) and working out toward the edges on either side. Repeat with the remaining filling and dough, placing the finished dumplings on a parchment-lined baking sheet until ready to cook.
To make the dipping sauce, shake together all the ingredients in a jar or whisk together until there are no lumps. Add to a small saucepan and bring to a boil, then stir occasionally until it reaches your desired thickness, taking note that it will firm up a bit more once chilled. Remove from the heat, pour through a sieve if you want a smooth sauce, and refrigerate until ready to use.
To cook the dumplings, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook them directly in the water for 2-3 minutes, in a bamboo steamer over top of the boiling water, or in a deep fryer until golden brown. Alternatively, boil them until done and shallow pan-fries them in a shallow pan with enough oil to cover the bottom, for 2-3 minutes per side, or until desired crispness. Keep warm in a 200-degree oven and serve as soon as possible with the prepared dipping sauce or what have you.