These wrinkly dumplings are filled with pork, shiitake mushrooms, bok choy, scallions and ginger. For Halloween, David Burtka soaks the brain-like dumplings in the dipping sauce, then serves them in science-lab beakers.
Slideshow:How to Make Dumplings
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps thinly sliced
6 large scallions, light green parts, finely chopped
3/4 pound baby bok choy, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, coarsely shredded
4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons mirin or sweet sherry
1 teaspoon Asian chile-garlic sauce
1 pound ground pork
2 packages wonton wrappers
2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 1 cup of water
1 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup Chinese black bean sauce
1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
4 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
4 teaspoons Asian chile-garlic sauce
4 teaspoons mirin or sweet sherry
How to Make It
Step 1 Make the Dumplings
In a skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the shiitake, scallions, bok choy and carrot; stir-fry over high heat until tender, 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, mirin and chile-garlic sauce and cook until the liquid is evaporated, 3 minutes. Season with salt. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until chilled, 15 minutes.
Step 2 Make the Dumplings
Line a large baking sheet with wax paper. Add the pork to the filling and mix. On a work surface, brush 3 wonton wrappers with the cornstarch solution; spoon a scant tablespoon of the filling in the center. Fold the wrappers over to form triangles; seal the edges, pressing out any air trapped inside. With scissors, trim the the wrappers, leaving a 1/4-inch rim around the filling. Transfer the dumplings to the baking sheet, seam sides up. Keep the dumplings covered with a moist paper towel. Repeat with the remaining wonton wrappers and filling.
Step 3 Make the Sauce
Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl.
Step 4 Make the Sauce
Fill a wok or a large skillet with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Working in batches, arrange the dumplings in a double-tiered bamboo steamer lined with oiled wax paper; set the steamer over the boiling water. Cover and steam the dumplings until the filling is cooked through and firm, 6 minutes.
Step 5 Make the Sauce
Toss the dumplings in 1 cup of the sauce. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the dumplings to a platter. Serve the remaining chile-sesame sauce alongside.
The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Uncooked dumplings can be frozen on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer, then transferred to an airtight container and frozen for up to 1 month.
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