Not soup with dumplings in it, but dumplings with soup in them. This is a famous kind of steamed dumpling for dim sum. You bite a little hole in the dumpling, then carefully sip the scalding hot broth out of it, then dip the rest of the dumpling in a dip and eat. It's amazing how they get it inside-out like that. I have just learned, from a cookbook called "Dim Sum and Other Chinese Street Food" by Mai Leung, that the secret is to gel some broth with agar-agar and seal the solid broth inside the dumplings. When the dumplings are heated, the broth liquifies again, so you get dumplings full of soup. I haven't tried this recipe yet, but I don't usually make my own dim sum, so I thought I'd go ahead and post it for those who do. She says you can only make these a few hours in advance, and if you do, you should refrigerate them before steaming.
- 1 cup dried agar-agar, loosely packed
- 2 cups chicken broth, clear
- 1 cup crabmeat, fresh or frozen. drained on paper towels
- 4 ounces shrimp, shelled, deveined, cut into pea-sized pieces
- 4 ounces lean pork, cut into pea-sized pieces
- 5 dried Chinese mushrooms, soaked in hot water until spongy, stems discarded, caps cut into small squares
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 3⁄4 teaspoon sugar
- 1⁄8 teaspoon white pepper
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose white flour
- 1 egg, beaten
- cold water
- 1⁄4 cup fresh ginger, finely shredded
- 1⁄4 cup Chinese red vinegar
- 2 tablespoons black soy sauce
- Hours or a day before making the dumplings, cook the agar-agar in the chicken broth until completely dissolved. Pour into a shallow dish. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours until it gels.
- Mix all the filling ingredients.
- Dice the gelled agar-agar/broth into small pieces and mix with the filling ingredients.
- Refrigerate this mixture.
- To make the wrappers:.
- Mix flour and egg.
- Add water a little at a time until a soft but not sticky dough is formed.
- Knead until dough is smooth and elastic.
- Roll the dough into a long sausage, 1 inch in diameter.
- Cut the dough into walnut-sized pices, then roll them into round balls; cover the balls with a damp towel.
- You are now going to make crescent-shaped dumplings.
- Dust your work surface with a little flour.
- Roll a piece of dough into a paper-thin circle.
- Put about a tablespoon of filling (now including the gelled broth) in the center of the circle.
- Fold the circle in half to look like a half-moon.
- Pleat the top curved edge.
- Pinch the pleated edge and the unpleated edge together to seal.
- Gently tap the crescent's round bottom so that it can stand up.
- Place the crescent-shaped dumpling between towels.
- Make the remaining crescents in the same way.
- Place a layer of cheesecloth in the bottom of a steamer.
- Arrange the crescent dumplings on the cloth.
- Cover and steam over high heat for 10 minutes.
- Serve hot with ginger-vinegar-soy dip.
- To make the dip:.
- Mix all dip ingredients in a serving bowl, cover, and allow to stand at room temperature for at least 10 minutes before serving; it should keep for hours at room temperature.