meat stuffed steamed dumplings

steamed dumplings plated

I wanted to revisit this because I'm on a whole 'nuther new kick lately. I've been making those meat-stuffed buns using the surplus ground chuck from a previous post down there ↓ which I froze in the form of hamburger patties, except this time I steamed the buns instead of baking them, and OMG, are they ever good. They match precisely something I had once in a Tokyo restaurant as a boy and haven't seen since then even though I've been looking out for them on restaurant menus. They were not the same as Chinese dumplings which use an unleavened dough. They were bigger, the dough was very different, thicker, as I recall, and they were apparently steamed. I saw these nondescript white balls on a plate in a street-side display window outside a restaurant in Tokyo and ordered them once inside just to see what they were. It's typical in Japan to have plastic models of menu items, or sometimes possibly real representations of dishes displayed in windows to show customers what the restaurant offers, I always assumed for that day if the models weren't plastic, and how the dish is presented, rather like a Denny's picture menu for the illiterati, (←neologism) except even better. Once my plate was brought to me and I could see up close, and with some apprehension that I blew my order on the wrong thing, I was delighted to discover they were thick moist dumplings that were sweet and delicious and to my childish surprise, they were filled with stuffing! Woot! Those soft white stuffed steamed balls have been at the back of my mind ever since. So after my brother called and asked about how to make a baked version of these, I just went for it, but of course I had no idea exactly how they were made. This turns out to be a great way to make bread with a larger percentage of whole wheat without bogging it down with heavy husky coarse flour. They were excellent with this balsamic over them. I made six and I kept re-heating them all the way until they were gone, over a period of a few days, by steaming them over and over and over again. They held up to all that abuse beautifully, and I still want more. They were the perfect snack and the perfect meal. I have done this now three times.

And I'm so filled with joy and glee with working this out that I could just wee myself.

For 6

The dough:

* 3/4 cup water warm water
* 1 teaspoon dry yeast
* 1 tablespoon honey
* 1½ cups flour
* ½ teaspoon kosher salt or ¼ teaspoon table salt
* 1 tablespoon honey


* Could be anything, if you think about it. Seafood even. Think, crab cakes or shrimp. Chicken with miso. Hummus. Mine resemble meatloaf with extra vegetable, peas and carrots. I hesitate to write a precise recipe because that would limit a reader unreasonably. The whole point is to make something you'd like to eat. One caveat, if you use a wet vegetable, say spinach or cabbage, cook it first and stiffen it with breadcrumbs or cracker, matzo, whatever, so they're not too soggy. Also, I don't see why this would have to be savory. I can imagine it with apple, mango, pear, anything you could imagine in a pie.

Apologies for some of the photos being out of focus. The camera was on a tripod and actuated by remote. I was standing to the side and not looking through the camera. I'm a little surprised it even worked.

Water dripping, yeast, honey , salt, flour.

steamed dumplings preparation series 1

OK, here's the deal-io: I didn't actually knead this, I stretched the dough wad into a thick snake then rolled up the snake. That counts for kneading because it does the same thing. I did this several times pressing more flour from the bowl into the stretched out snake and working that in. I'm showing it once, but it was actually done several times and got worked quite thoroughly and the dough became more stiff than what you'd want if you were making ordinary bread. All that was done in and over the bowl. Then the bowl refreshed with a new bowl and the dough ball was oiled so it wouldn't stick as it rose. I use bowls with undisciplined abandon, that's one reason why I always end up with such a mess.

steamed dumplings preparation series 2

The dough is left to rise. The surplus ground chuck roast was frozen as hamburger patties. Here I adjust it based on how I wanted it improved from the last time. I could have added anything, instead I just made it more like meatloaf by adding Worcestershire, an egg, and bread crumbs, but I could have added anything.

steamed dumplings preparation series 3

Divided the risen dough into 6 segments, same with the chilled meat portion. Rolled out into an oblate shape thinner at the edges because that would be overlapped. I'm getting better at this. Kept a small bowl of water and dampened the edges that would be folded over and overlap. This worked out quite well. Once the dampened dough touches the other side when it's closed, it pretty much seals completely. Then just shape it vaguely into a ball, best as it will go without fussing over the whole thing too much.

steamed dumplings preparation series 4

steamed dumplings preparation series 5

Put on little wax paper squares, allowed to rise again, then steamed. They cook really fast. I used an instant-read thermometer to check internal temperature. They can be frozen, but mine never get a chance to be stored. They reheat excellently.

steamed dumplings preparation series 6

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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