Steamed savory juicy pork and chives filling enclosed in soft and slightly chewy almost translucent crystal skin.
STEAMED CRYSTAL DUMPLINGS
Crystal dumplings usually refers to any steamed dumplings with almost translucent crystal looking skin after being steamed. For example, like this har gow (shrimp dumplings). This pork and chives crystal dumplings recipe uses the same dough recipe for the skin.
WHAT MAKES THE SKIN ALMOST TRANSLUCENT
The dough for the skin is made with wheat starch (not wheat flour) and tapioca starch. The wheat starch contributes to the almost translucent appearance of the dumplings. The tapioca starch contributes to that slightly chewy and resilient texture.
IS WHEAT STARCH AND WHEAT FLOUR THE SAME?
No it’s not. I did mention before that the term “starch” and “flour” is used interchangeably in the U.S., but in Asia, particularly when it comes to wheat starch, it really means wheat starch and not the wheat flour (like the all-purpose flour here in the U.S.). Wheat starch has almost no gluten in it anymore (though I won’t say it’s completely gluten-free). Wheat starch is made by dissolving the water-soluble starch and then the water is evaporated, leaving you with the starch. The starch is much finer in texture compared to flour.
GARLIC CHIVES OR ONION CHIVES
This recipe calls for garlic chives or sometimes known as Chinese chives. The chives have flat leaves and grass-like leaves and have a strong garlicky aroma. The bulbs or flowers of garlic chives aren’t edible. Don’t be mistaken with onion chives, which have hollow round leaves with beautiful purple bulbs that are edible.
Now that we’ve clarified on the wheat starch and the type of chives to use in this recipe, let’s get cooking, shall we?
HOW TO MAKE CRYSTAL DUMPLINGS FROM SCRATCH (THE FOOLPROOF WAY)
1. BLANCH THE CHIVES
Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Soak the chives in the hot water for about 1 minutes. Discard water and rinse with cold water. Wring out any excess water. By blanching the chives will help making the wrapping job easier later. The chives will not be “poking” and tear the wrapper. I’ve learned the hard way.
2. PREPARE THE FILLING
Now all you need to do is mix the blanched chives, ground pork, and seasonings and let them marinate while you are preparing the dough
3. MAKING THE DOUGH
Mix wheat starch, tapioca starch, oil, and hot boiling water. Stir with chopstick at first and then use your hand to knead into a smooth non-sticky dough. Add more tapioca starch as needed. Cover and rest the dough for 30 minutes
Divide the dough into 30 equal pieces. Work with one dough at a time
5. FLATTEN INTO CIRCLE
Flatten the dough into about 4-inch circle
Put about 1 tablespoon of filling and then fold over to create a half-circle
Steam the dumplings over high heat for 10 minutes or until the dumplings turn translucent. Brush with cooking oil and serve
Dim Sum Pork and Chives Crystal Dumplings
- 450 gr ground pork (with some fat)
- 450 gr garlic chives (flat-leaf chives) cut off the about1-2 inch at the bottom and chopped into 1-inch pieces
Preparing the filling:
- Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add the chopped garlic chives in there and let them sit for about 1 minute. Discard the water, rinse the chives with cold water and wring out any excess liquid from the chives.
- Mix the blanched chives, ground pork and seasonings in a medium-size mixing bowl and stir to mix everything. Let them chill in the refrigerator while you prepare the wrappers
Making the wrapper:
- Bring 240 ml of water to a rolling boil. Mix the wheat starch, tapioca starch, salt into the mixing bowl. Stir to mix. Add cooking oil and pour in the boiling water into the bowl and stir with a chopstick, when cool enough to handle, use your hand to knead until the dough comes together into a smooth non-sticky dough. Add more tapioca starch as needed
- Cover and let the dough rest for 30 minutes. It is important to rest the dough and it will be easier to work with
- Divide the dough into 5 pieces and roll them into long strips. Cut each strips into 6 equal portion of dough and you will get 30 small doughs
- Place about 1/2 to 1 Tbsp of the filling in the middle of the dough. Fold the two edge together to form half circle. Place the dumplings in a bamboo basket or a plate lined with parchment paper
- Steam the dumplings over high heat for 5 – 7 minutes or until the skin is almost translucent. Lightly brush with cooking oil
Store uncooked dumplings:
- Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, not touching each other. Freeze in the freezer for 1 hour and then transfer to freezer bag (save some space). They will not stick to each other anymore
- When ready to serve, steam over high heat for 10 minutes or until the dumplings are cooked through. Brush with some cooking oil and serve