Crystal Dumplings (水晶包)- 2 ways

The gourmet club meet has been suspended for two years due to Covid! so glad we are meeting again in May! As always, I can count on the Lams to come up with super challenging theme for this club meet: ELEMENTS : WATER  *  WIND/AIR  *  FIRE  *  EARTH 😯.

I volunteered to make 水晶包 – WATER, though I have never tried 😅. 水晶包 is a Teochew delicacy, just learnt about it from my Teochew cookbook. Guess this is the best time to hone my dumpling skill.

Took me multiple tries. First time didn’t oil the steaming dish nor line the steamer. Placed the dumplings too close and all stuck together in a ring. Second try blasted the dumplings at full steam and blasted too long. All of them turned into a flat blob coming out of the steamer. Third time is a charm. Finally produced some pretty and delicious dumplings for my tummy. I realized they are known as delicacies for a reason; have lots of patience and practice to perfect the outcome.

Logging all the lessons learned so that I can go to the next club meet with my head held high 😊


Ingredients

Yam Bean filling

  • 500g Yam Bean (Jicama), finely shredded
  • 100g bamboo shoots, finely shredded
  • 1 medium carrot, finely shredded
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp thinly sliced shallots
  • 2 Tbsp shallot oil

Seasoning

  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper
  • 100ml water
  • Cornstarch slurry (1 tsp corn starch +1 Tbsp water)

Yam Paste filling

  • 250g taro root (yam)
  • 50g  purple yam
  • 4 Tbsp sugar (for blending yam paste)
  • 2 Tbps shallot oil (for blending yam paste)
  • 1/8 cup thinly sliced crispy fried shallots
  • 3 oz coconut milk

Wrapper

  • 120g wheat starch
  • 70g tapioca starch
  • 30g sweet potato flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 250 ml water
  • ½ teaspoon of shallot oil

Directions

Yam Bean filling

  1. Heat shallot oil in wok over medium high heat.
  2. Add minced garlic and stir fry for a couple of minutes until fragrant and garlic turns light brown.
  3. Add shredded yam bean, carrots, and bamboo shoots and stir fry until softened.
  4. Add water and seasoning and continue to stir fry for a couple more minutes.
  5. Add constarch slurry while stirring the filling. Fry for another minute. Turn off heat and let filling cool completely before wrapping.

Yam Paste filling

  1. Peel yam and cut into thin slices.
  2. Steam yam over high heat until completely softened. About 15 minutes.
  3. While the steamed yam are still hot, transfer into a food processor. Add the shallot oil and sugar and blend on high speed until paste is smooth. Depending on the size of your food processor, you might want to prepare in two separate batches as the yam paste quickly turn into a heavy yam ball when cooled and its difficult to blend.
  4. Transfer the blended yam paste to the wok and fry in shallot oil over medium heat until the oil is blended with the paste. Add the coconut milk and continue to fold/stir until the coconut milk is incorporated with the yam paste. Add the fried shallots and continue to fold/fry until  the shallots is blended into the paste. Set aside to cool.
  5. Divide paste into 30 yam balls.

Wrapper

  1. Mix the three starches in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Bring water to a boil and pour over flour mixture while stirring the starches constantly. The result is a shaggy dough. Pickup as much starches as possible and fold and press until a dough ball forms.
  3. Cover and let the dough rest for 5 minutes.
  4. Knead dough until it becomes a smooth dough ball.
  5. Cover again and rest for another 5 minutes.
  6. Divide dough into 30 equal portions. Cover to preven the dough to dry up.

Assembly

First attempt wrapping yam paste filling. Very happy that it looked great!
Lesson learnt: I didn’t oil the plate well nor used paper lining. Dumplings were too close! All stuck together in a ring after steaming.
Third attempt lined work top with cling wrap. Dust with tapioca starch. Roll each wrapper dough ball into a flat disc.
Place a scoop of yam bean filling in the middle.
Gather the opposite edge of the wrapper and seal. Pinch/pleat the seal as desired with the wrapper resting on worktop. Otherwise, it is very difficult to manage the wrapper in your hand.
Looking good.
Remember to line the steamer and steam on medium high heat. Vigrous heat makes the wrapper expand too much and collapse when you uncover the steamer.
  1. Line work top with cling wrap.
  2. Dusk work top gerously with tapioca starch.
  3. Roll each dough portion out into a round disk big enough to wrap the yam balls.
  4. Gather the opposite edge together and seal, leaving the dumpling resting on the work top. The wrapper is too soft to manage in the hands otherwise.
  5. Pinch/pleat the dumpling as desired.
  6. Line steamer with parchment paper.
  7. Place dumplings well spaced on parchment paper over medium high heat.
  8. Steam for 6 to 8 minutes.
  9. Uncover steamer and brush dumplings with shallot oil.

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