Having enjoyed various Chinese dumplings on a recent trip I found myself wanting to try my hand at making dumpling skins. Although using a pasta machine is not very authentic, it’s an easier alternative to hand rolling dumpling skins, especially if you intend making lots.
This trip I decided to do something a little different and take a foodie tour while visiting Hong Kong. It’s a wonderful way of exploring parts of a city that are off-the-beaten-track, areas you might not have discovered on your own. And with certified tour guides leading the way, sharing their knowledge on the culture and people of the surrounding area. Took these photographs while on the Central and Sheung Wan foodie tour.
Of course tasting is part of a foodie tour and we visited family run eateries serving locals for years with authentically prepared food. Keeping it on the safe side for tourists there were no surprise ingredients and the food served were popular dishes that most of us would recognise. Small family run local restaurants using the freshest of ingredients, recipes passed from one generation to another, stock simmered for days, fresh wontons and noodles made daily. The yin and yang of hot and sweet sugar cane juice and the ever popular Chinese custard tarts. We had tasters from Wanton Noodle Shop, Roast Meat Restaurant, Sugar Cane Juice, Preserved Fruits Shop, Chinese Dim Sum restaurant and a Bakery… at the end we were all “Ho Bau”. At least we did plenty of walking in between.
Love the hustle and bustle of the local markets and checking out all the different produce on offer. It’s also sad to learn that some of these markets are slowly shrinking and soon may not even exist, squeezed out by modernization. So glad I have a photo of my Pomelo Man… those pomelos were huge. So enjoyed my time on the HongKongFoodieTour.Using a pasta machine to roll out the dumpling dough and using a round cutter gives consistent results, unless of course you are a dumpling expert. If you would rather try this by hand or do not own a pasta machine, pop over to JustOneCookBook and see how it’s done. You can make and freeze these dumpling skins a month in advance and simply defrost and fill when needed. I will post a recipe for a dumpling filling soon.
(makes about 30)
150g all-purpose flour
125ml hot water just off the boil
How to make:
Place the flour into a mixing bowl. Gradually stir in the hot water, mixing continuously with a fork or two chopsticks (a more authentic feel) until incorporated. Add a little more water if the mixture seems dry. Towards the end, use your hand to gather up the dough, bringing it together and forming a ball. Transfer the dough to a work surface and knead with your hands, dusting with a little flour if sticky. Knead the dough until smooth, about 7 to 8 minutes. Wrap in cling film and leave to rest for about 30 minutes.
Divide the dough into 3 equal portions. Take one portion of dough (keep the others in a bowl covered with a damp tea towel) and using the thickest setting on your pasta machine, flatten and feed through the pasta roller. Fold this dough into thirds and using the thickest setting feed it crosswise between the rollers. You need the dough rolled wide enough to cut out rounds 3 and1/2 inches wide or the size you need.
Next, start thinning out the dough rolling once through each setting until you reach setting 5. At any stage while rolling you find the dough sticky, dust lightly with flour.
Use the cutter to stamp out rounds and stack dumpling skins on top of each other, with a light dusting of flour between. Cover with cling film, repeat the process with the remaining portions of dough. Gather scraps of dough together and re-roll (starting on thickest setting) to make more dumpling skins.
Note: My manual pasta machine has six settings so you might want to experiment with your own pasta machine as settings may differ.
Use these dumpling skins with your favorite fillings or freeze for later use.
To Freeze: Lay each dumpling skin in a single layer on a flat baking sheet (you will need at least 2), cover with cling film and place in the freezer for about 30 to 40 minutes. Once they feel frozen, quickly stack them together (in portions of 10 or 15), wrap with cling film and place into a zip lock bag.
To Defrost: Transfer the package of dumpling skins to the fridge and leave to defrost for about two hours or until pliable.
Have you ever signed up for a foodie tour?