Dear Food Diary:
My ChubbyUncle in SF is an awesome and creative cook. He does amazing Shanghainese dishes. It’s always a treat when I visit. He always seems to have a couple new surprises up his sleeves, but this one blew me away! Using store bought buttermilk biscuits to make Shanghainese Pan Fried Soup Dumpling? That’s just crazy…
Crazy good that is!
There are crucial parts to this:
2. PORK FILLING
3. “SOUP” (essential to any good Shanghainese pan fried dumpling)
1. WRAP: Buttermilk Biscuits
Making your own wrap from scratch is labor intensive. Chinese grocery stores carry the typical dumpling wraps but pan fried soup dumpling ones are non existent. Because the buttermilk biscuits have that puffy texture and is thick enough to withhold the soup, ChubbyUncle found them to be the easiest way to make these classic Shanghainese breakfast treats, yes, we eat them in the morning. The dough also cooks well in oil, making the bottom extra crispy and crunchy.
Each tube comes with 10 big biscuits, just break them in half to make 40.
ROLLING THE WRAP: push & roll
2. THE PORK FILLING
2.5 pound ground pork (with fat is best)
2/3 cup finely chopped green onions
4 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoon Shaoxing wine (Chinese rice wine)
1/2 teaspoon of chicken powder
This can be adjusted, since some like it sweeter than others. You can make it to taste.
Mixing everything until you get a paste like consistency. Leave it in the fridge over night so it puffs and plumps up.
3. “SOUP”: pork in gelatinous form
IN A LARGE SOUP POT:
3 pounds of pork bones, skin and fat
1 tablespoon of salt
1 slice of ginger
gelatin powder (optional)
• Cover everything with water
• Bring to boil and take away the foam on top
• Continue removing foam whenever necessary
• Simmer in medium to low heat until everything breaks apart is is soft
(We are looking for a fatty and gelatinous consistency, if you feel like it’s lacking, you may put a dash of gelatin powder)
• Strain, discard the solids and refrigerate overnight
These solid/gelatinous bits are then wrapped along with the pork to create that bursting “soup”!!!
WRAPPING 101: fold & pull
PAN FRYING 101:
• Coat a pan with vegetable oil and line these pockets of luv one next to another (it’s ok if they touch)
• Brush with water
• Sprinkle with sesame
• Pour water into the pan and cover 2/3 height of the dumpling
• Medium to low heat for about 15-20 minutes
• Sprinkle some scallions
• Turn to high heat for about 3-5 minutes and let the bottom crisp up!
(Check to see if the bottom is golden brown, if not, just add a couple more minutes)
And voila! they should look like this…
TIME TO EAT!
Best served with ChinKiang Vinegar (strings of ginger is optional). The much needed vinegar balances the fat and adds that tartness with a sweet finish.