And here I always thought it was gravity and centrifugal forces.
Possibly these scrummy little dumplings might work better if I posted this recipe round about the Chinese New Year, but hey, I think they’re delicious enough that they can be eaten at any time of the year, new or otherwise.
Even though I live in a small town, and it can be difficult to get some ingredients, my local ‘Chinese store’ (which in actual fact only covers one wall in a newsagents shop) is remarkable for the range it does carry, and if you want something they don’t have, all you have to do is ask and they will try their best to source it for you. I went in to ask about the dried mushrooms (and was perfectly prepared to try making this dish with Italian porcini mushrooms because, after all, how different can one dried mushroom be from another? shakes head) and had to stop when my arms couldn’t actually carry any more.
So I made these – Moneybags, that are traditional steamed dumplings that can be eaten dipped in either soy or sweet chilli sauce and make a great starter or lunch.
- 3 Chinese dried mushrooms
- 250g plain flour
- 1 egg, beaten
- 75ml water
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt (three quarters, not 3 to 4)
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 2 spring onions, chopped
- 90g frozen sweetcorn kernels
- half a red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- 1 tbsp black bean sauce
Place the dried mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with freshly boiled water. Soak them for half an hour. Make the dough by placing the flour in a large bowl. Mix the beaten egg, water, baking powder and salt together then mix then into the flour to make a soft dough. Knead the dough then cover with a damp tea towel and set aside for 5 minutes.
Drain the mushrooms, then remove and discard the tough central stalks and finely chop the caps. Heat the oil in a frying pan and stir fry the mushrooms, sweetcorn, spring onions and chilli for 2 minutes. Stir in the black bean sauce and leave aside.
Take the dough and roll it out into a thick sausage shape and cut the sausage into 24 pieces. I know they’re very small, but once you’ve rolled each piece into a circle and placed a teaspoon of filling into the centre then it really does work out.
Gather up the edges and pinch them together to seal the filling inside.
Place 6 at a time on a piece of greaseproof paper and gently lower it into a steamer set over simmering water. Put the lid back on and steam the dumplings for 12 – 14 minutes.
The baking powder activates in the steam and the dumpling swell up.