These dumplings are filled with a great mix of vegetables and slathered in a very addictive sauce. So they’re all about balance and I love that! I like them best steamed and then generously dribbled in sauce. The chilli in the sauce isn’t just tasty, it’s great for you too.
I’ve tried a couple of variations to the filling and I like this looser filling better as the vegetables keep their texture and individual flavours whilst being all in harmony together. An earlier version, made in the food processor, was far too paste like for my tastes. You could definitely try to do this in your food processor, just keep an eye on your mix and don’t let it get too paste like and homogenous – you lose the flavour and textures of the individual vegetables and that’s a shame!
The sauce can only be called crack sauce because it’s really addictive – especially if you’re a chilli fiend! The need to add coconut sugar will totally depend on the cooking wine you use in the recipe, some are sweeter than others! The key to balancing this sauce is to continuously try the sauce, adjusting flavours until you achieve balance. It keeps well in the fridge for a week if you have too much. The chillies are also important. I’ve tried it with fresh chillies and it was way hotter than when I made it with dried, so keep this in mind. It first happened due to a whole heap of chillies that had been languishing in a bowl and gotten quite dry. These dried up chillies are best.
If the sauce is too spicy for you just add more vinegar and soy when you serve. You could also add some lean chicken, turkey or pork mince to these dumplings (200g) if you want added protein. You will need more wrappers then though.
You can dry your own birds eye chillies by leaving them in a sunny dry spot for a few days.
5 dried or semi dreid birds eye chillies *if you can’t find dried, or do your own, use 3 fresh chillies
2 Tbs spring onion, roughly chopped
2 coriander roots
1 inch piece of peeled ginger
2 Tbs soy sauce
2Tbs chinese cooking wine
1/8 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbs oil (a lightly flavoured olive oil or macadamia oil would be awesome)
coconut sugar (optional)
1.5 cups finely diced mixed mushrooms (shitake and cup works well, oyster and portobello would also be good)
1 cup finely shredded, then roughly chopped green cabbage (wombok works well too)
2 Tbs finely diced water chestnuts
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
1/4 cup finely chopped coriander
2 tsp freshly grated ginger
1/3 cup finely chopped spring onion
1/2 tsp mirin
1/2 tsp soy sauce
a few drops sesame oil
60 dumpling wrappers
2 Tbs roasted peanuts
2 Tbs spring onion sliced
handful of coriander leaves
For the sauce, in a mortar and pestle (or a small blender you lazy person) grind the chillies (you can remove the seeds if you’re scared of the impending heat), ginger, spring onion and coriander root until they form a paste. Put this in the smallest pot you have (mine is a tiny sauce pot about 1.5 cup capacity it looks useless but is actually wonderful), add the wine and simmer over a low heat until all but 1 tsp of the wine has evaporated. Add the other sauces, oils and sugar and simmer for a few more minutes stirring to combine, taste and adjust as necessary. Set aside and allow to cool in the pot.
For the dumplings, mix all ingredients together (excl wrappers!) until well combined. Place a scant tsp of vegetables in each dumpling wrapper. Brush edges of the dumpling with water and bring the edges together at the very top like a little money bag. Squeeze together and twist slightly to ensure the dumpling is sealed.
Line a steamer with baking paper and steam over simmering water for 10-15 minutes or until wrappers are soft and cooked through (you can bite into the top of one to check, but don’t burn your mouth!).
Serve 10 -15 dumplings in a bowl, with a generous spoon of the crack sauce poured over the top and the spring onion and peanuts scattered over this.