Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Dumplings/Hue Fried Rice

Sitting around the dinner table with friends and family leads to great stories and wonderful times. During these evenings, I enjoy making various dumplings which allows everyone can sit back and share the meal and fun while snacking on a parcel of goodness.

These are more traditional Chinese dumplings, as the Vietnamese style dumplings are usually made with tapioca starch or rice flour. Frequently, they are wrapped in banana leaves and steamed.  I will be using gyoza wrappers and pan frying a batch, also.  Follow closely as we have two techniques and both are enjoyable!!  

I also included a very simple fried rice recipe which originates from the central Vietnamese region of Hue.  

Steamed/Fried Pork Dumplings
3 oz dried wood ear mushrooms
1.5 oz bean thread vermicelli
2 lbs. ground pork
3 shallots minced
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp light soy
2 tsp black pepper
1 pack gyoza wrappers
bowl of water

Dipping Sauce
Soy Sauce
Roasted Chili Paste

Red Oil Sauce
4 tbsp red chili oil
2-3 tbsp soy sauce
2 cloves garlic mashed
1 tbsp szechuan peppercorns
Mix all ingredients thoroughly

In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Place 1 tbsp of filling in each wrapper, and rub the edge with water then pinch closed.  When all dumplings are filled, place them in a steamer and cook for about 10 minutes.   Mix soy and chili paste and dip dumplings.  ENJOY!!!

Alternative method- Fill wrappers with 1 tbsp of filling and fold in half.  Add 1/4 cup of canola oil in a skillet and place on medium heat.  When the oil is nice and hot, add a few dumplings and pan fry until golden brown.  Repeat until all dumplings are cooked.

Potstickers- Place a medium pan on med-high heat.  When it is hot, lightly coat with oil, add about 6-8 dumplings.  Let them brown for a minute, then add 1/2 cup of water and cover.  Steam for another 2-3 minutes.  Repeat until all dumplings are cooked.

Hue Fried Rice
3 cups cooked rice

Shrimp blend
3 tbsp dry shrimp (soak in water for about 30 minutes)
2 shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Thai chili, minced
1 stalk lemongrass, minced

Pulse in a food processor or blend well in a mixing bowl to form a nice paste

1 tbsp sesame oil
1 onion, diced
2 tbsp water or stock
3 tbsp nuoc mam
fried shallots, herbs (basil, mint, Vietnamese coriander, cilantro)

In a hot wok or skillet, add oil and onions.  Stir fry until soft, add shrimp blend and stir fry until fragrant.  Add the rice and toss until the blend is well incorporated.  When the rice is coated with the shrimp mixture add water and nuoc mam.  Toss until it is thoroughly mixed and hot.  Serve topped with fried shallots and fresh Vietnamese herbs.