Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Egg Dumpling

Several conversations were had between me and my mom drilling down the menu for our Chinese New Year dinner.  Among them was the discussion on a soup course.  I feel a soup course is essential for any Chinese celebration dinner.  But, the list of dishes were growing long and editing had to be done.  A compromise of a hot pot would be the route to take.  My brother in law loves these Lions Head meatballs my mom makes.  So, I asked my mom to make those and I would make a hot pot with napa cabbage, tofu, shrimp and what else?  For a holiday, my mom said, you must then add egg dumplings.  Ah, a chance to make something new!  My mom said, as a child, it was always her responsibility to make egg dumplings for the family.  I could imagine her standing in front of a large pan diligently cooking each egg, filling it, and folding it over before the top side of the egg hardened so that it would stick together.  The egg must be just thick enough to hold the filling, but not so thick it becomes a mini omelet.  A test in skill, accuracy, and patience and quickness at same time.  I will carry on this tradition with my kids, but first, I must master it.


3/4 lb ground pork
1/3 lb white shrimp, finely chopped with a cleaver
2 scallions, finely minced
1 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp rice wine
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup water


Mix all ingredients together.  Let sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour or so.  
To make the dumplings:
Beat 12 eggs together with a little bit of salt.  Heat a well seasoned or non-stick pan over medium to medium-low heat.  Using a small ladle, or a measuring cup with spout, pour a little bit of egg slowly onto the pan, enough to make a small round about 3" in diameter.  Once the bottom of the egg has hardened, place a small, bite-sized portion of filling on one side of the egg.  Before the top of the egg hardens, fold it over onto itself.  I would suggest doing these one at a time, until you master the process.  If your egg tears a little, fear not, dab with a little bit of raw egg to fix the hole.  Once the egg has sealed, remove from pan and set aside.  The filling will be raw, but it will cook in the soup of the hot pot.  You should have about 36 or so dumplings all together.   Delicate and delicious.





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