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Har Gow Shrimp Dumplings

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Har Gow
Charles Haynes/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0
Har Gow are those tasty shrimp dumplings with the translucent wrappers served at Chinese dim sum. The main trick to making Har Gow is handling the dough, which is very sticky and can break apart easily. Coating the work area and equipment with vegetable oil helps.

This recipe makes 30 - 35 Har Gow dumplings.

Ingredients:

  • Dough:
  • 3/4 cup wheat starch
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil:
  • Har Gow Filling
  • 6 ounces raw shrimp, rinsed, tails removed, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped bamboo shoots
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped green onion
  • 3/4 teaspoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1/4 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Pinch of fresh ground white pepper (about 1/8 teaspoon)
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • Other:
  • Vegetable oil, as needed

Preparation:

1. In a medium bowl, combine the wheat starch, tapioca starch and the salt. Slowly stir in 1/2 cup of the boiling water. Add the oil and begin using your hands to shape into a dough. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of boiling water if the dough is too dry. Don’t overwork the dough, but continue shaping for about 2 minutes, until it is smooth and shiny. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes.
2. To prepare the filling, place the shrimp in a medium bowl, and add the other ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour, to give the flavors a chance to blend.
3. To make the dumplings: Coat a paper towel with vegetable oil and use it to oil your cutting board or work surface and the broad side of a cutting knife or cleaver (a cleaver works best). Keep the dough covered to prevent it drying out while preparing the dumplings.
4. Break off 1 teaspoon of the Har Gau dough, roll into a ball and then flatten it by pressing it in the palm of your hand. Lay the dough on the work surface and press down on it with the oiled side of the knife or cleaver to form a circle that is 2 1/2 - 3 inches in diameter. Add a heaping teaspoon of filling and place it in the middle of the wrapper, spreading it out evenly but not touching the edges.
5. Carefully lift the upper edge of the wrapper and fold it over the filling. Use your thumb and forefinger to form pleats in the dough, and pinch the edges closed. Place the filled har gau on a plate and cover with a damp cloth to keep them from drying out while preparing the remainder of the dumplings.
6. Prepared a steamer for steaming. Steam the dumplings in batches, on an oiled plate, until the wrapper is translucent and the shrimp appear slightly orange (13 – 15 minutes). Serve the Har Gau with hot chili oil and/or soy sauce for dipping.

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