Chef Cara Stadler uses this delicate-tasting mixture to stuff her traditional steamed shao mai, but it is also delicious in potsticker-style dumplings. The water chestnuts add great crunch.
Slideshow:More Dumpling Recipes
3/4 ounces dried shiitake mushroom caps
1/2 pound fatty ground pork, preferably pork butt
1/2 pound shelled and deveined large shrimp, finely chopped
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/3 cup finely chopped canned water chestnuts (about 5)
In a medium bowl, cover the mushrooms with boiling water and let stand, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 15 minutes. Drain well, then squeeze out any excess water. Finely chop the mushrooms.
In a large bowl, combine the mushrooms with all of the remaining ingredients except the cornstarch, dumpling wrappers and canola oil and fold gently until well blended. Fold in the cornstarch just until incorporated.
Lay a wrapper in the palm of one hand. Using your finger, brush the outer edge with water. Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon of filling in the center. Fold the wrapper over the filling to form a half-moon; pinch at the top to adhere. Fold a pleat in the wrapper on the top left, angling back toward the center. Press with your fingers to adhere. Repeat the pleating on the top right of the wrapper to meet the first pleat in the center. Transfer the dumpling to a parchment paper–lined baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap; repeat with the rest of the wrappers and filling.
Pour enough canola oil into a large nonstick skillet to cover the bottom. Arrange some of the dumplings in the skillet with a non-pleated side down (you will need to work in batches). Cook over low heat until golden on the bottom, about 3 minutes.
Carefully pour in enough water to reach halfway up the dumplings. Cover and cook until almost all of the water is absorbed and the filling is cooked through, about 4 minutes. Uncover and cook until all of the liquid has evaporated and the dumplings are crispy on the bottom, about 2 minutes longer. Carefully invert onto a plate. Repeat the process with the remaining dumplings. Serve warm.
The filling can be refrigerated overnight. The assembled, uncooked dumplings can be frozen for up to 1 month and cooked from frozen. Just add 2 minutes to the covered cooking time in Step 2. Alternatively, you can boil or steam the frozen dumplings for about 8 minutes.
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