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Steamed Translucent Dumplings

6 dried Chinese black mushrooms
6 oz shrimp, shelled & deveined
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 Tbsp peanut oil
6 oz ground pork butt
1/4 cup finely diced bamboo shoots
1/4 cup finely diced water chestnuts
2 green onions, chopped
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 Tbsp Shao Hsing rice wine or dry sherry
1 1/2 tsp light soy sauce
2 tsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp chicken stock
2 Tbsp coarsely chopped fresh coriander leaves
wheat starch wrappers

Can be prepared entirely in advance and reheated a few minutes
before serving. The wheat starch wrappers have an interesting
chewy texture, a unique translucent appearance and are absorbent
of flavors. Roll out the wrappers as thin as possible; otherwise
they come out rubbery. Cover mushrooms in warm water for 20 minutes
or until soft and pliable. Remove and squeeze out excess water
from the mushrooms. Cut off the stems at the base and discard them.
Finely mince the caps. Toss the shrimp with salt and let them
stand 10 minutes. Rinse well with cold water, pat dry thoroughly.
Coarsely mince.

Preheat a wok or skillet. when hot, add the peanut oil. over medium-
high heat, add the mushrooms, shrimps, pork butt, bamboo shoots,
water chestnuts, and half the green onions; stir-fry until the pork
turns white. Season with the sugar, white pepper, wine and soy
sauce. Combine the cornstarch and chicken stock in a small bowl
and mix until smooth; pour into wok. Stir fry for 1 minute longer.
Remove the mixture to a shallow plate and mix in the remaining
green onion and coriander. Allow the filling to cool, then refrigerate
it until needed. Makes almost 2 cups of filling.

Prepare the Wheat Starch Wrapper dough. Pinch off 1-inch balls of
dough. Lightly oil the ball and flatten it into a thin 3 1/2-inch
circle. An oiled Chinese cleaver is traditionally used; however,
a tortilla press or a rolling pin works. Put 1 large teaspoon of
filling in the center of the circle. Fold it in half and pinch
the edges to seal the filling inside. Repeat with remaining dough
and filling. Place dumplings without touching each other on a
lightly oiled bamboo steamer (or a heat resistant plate). Steam
over boiling water for 3 minutes. Serve hot, dipped in light soy
sauce and Chinese mustard. Serve with Chinese Mustard, for dipping.

Makes 2 1/2 dozen dumplings.

Wheat Starch Wrappers for Dumplings

1 cup wheat starch
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1 cup boiling water
p peanut oil

Combine the wheat starch and tapioca starch in a mixing bowl. When
the water reaches a boil immediately pour it into the flour and
stir vigorously into a ball, with a wooden spoon. The hot boiling
water cooks the starches. Add the oil to the dough and mix together
as well as possible. The dough at this point is quite thick and

While hot, gather up the dough and knead on a lightly oiled surface
until smooth and well blended, about 3 minutes. It should feel a
bit rubbery and putty-like. Cover with a damp towel.

Dough is ready to make Ha Gow or Fun Gwau.

Makes enough dough for 2 1/2 dozen Ha Gow or Fun Gwau dumplings.


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