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OISHII / Discover the umami taste of steamed dumplings

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Pork and shrimp dumplings

The Yomiuri ShimbunSteamed dumplings

In this column, chefs and cooking experts share recipes that are easy to prepare at home.

When asked to present a highly recommended dish, cooking expert Hatsue Shigenobu chose shumai dumplings with pork and shrimp, which she said are quite popular among her friends.

The hearty dish, rich in umami flavor, is easy to cook, and is suitable for eating with a large group.

Shumai dumplings are easier to prepare than gyoza dumplings, as you do not need to seal the filling inside the wrapper.

For the filling, prepare the ground pork, onion, coarsely chopped shrimp, canned boiled scallops and shiitake mushrooms.

“The dish will have more texture thanks to the chopped shrimp, which will improve the taste. You also can use coarsely minced pork back rib instead,” Shigenobu said.

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    Step 4

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    Dumpling-wrapper soup

When you add the scallops to the ingredients, pour all of the liquid from the can to season the ground pork.

Mix ground pork, scallops, oyster sauce and other seasoning in a bowl, and combine the ingredients thoroughly by hand. Add shrimp and coarsely chopped onion and shiitake mushrooms that have been coated with katakuriko starch to the ingredients.

“The starch is used to prevent excess liquid from seeping out of the onion and mushrooms,” Shigenobu said.

Divide the filling into 20 portions. To make sure they come out the same size, divide the filling into four portions first, and then divide each of those into five.

Make a circle with the thumb and index finger of one hand and place the dumpling wrapper on top. Place the filling in the center, and mold the wrapper around the filling into a small cup shape. Smooth the exposed surface on the top.

Top each dumpling with a green pea lightly coated with katakuriko starch. “[Using the starch] helps the green peas stick to the filling, even when the meat swells after being steamed,” she said.

Boil water, lay a parchment paper inside a steamer basket and place the dumplings on the paper.

If you serve the dumplings in the steamer, it is recommended to use lettuce or hakusai Chinese cabbage leaves instead of parchment paper to add a touch of color to the dish.

When you bite into a steamed dumpling, broth will come out of it into your mouth. The texture is tender and slightly chewy. The dish has a lot of umami from the shrimp, scallops, shiitake mushrooms and oyster sauce, and also has the sweetness of onion.

Shigenobu recommends preparing the dish for a gathering with friends. Even if they cannot eat all of them, they can take them home when they leave.

Recipe for pork and shrimp dumplings

Ingredients (for 20 dumplings):

150 grams shelled shrimp

300 grams ground pork

1 onion

3 shiitake mushrooms

1½ tbsp katakuriko starch

1 can boiled scallops (about 60-70 grams)

½ tbsp grated ginger

½ tbsp oyster sauce

½ tbsp sesame oil

20 dumpling wrappers

20 green peas

Directions:

1. Devein shrimp and coarsely chop.

2. Chop onion and shiitake mushrooms, and coarsely coat the vegetables with katakuriko starch.

3. Put ground meat, grated ginger, oyster sauce, sesame oil, 1 tsp soy sauce, ⅓ tsp salt and a little pepper in a bowl. Add scallops, along with all of their liquid from the can. Stir to combine the ingredients thoroughly. Add ingredients from steps 1 and 2, and mix them with the other ingredients.

4. Wrap the fillings with dumpling wrappers. Place a green pea lightly coated with katakuriko starch on top of each dumpling.

5. Place the dumplings in a steamer and steam for 6-7 minutes. To test for doneness, poke a bamboo skewer into a dumpling to see if the broth that comes out is clear. If so, stop steaming. Serve with mustard and soy sauce as condiments if desired.

Dumpling-wrapper soup

Use leftover dumpling wrappers to cook soup. Mix 2 cups of water, ½ tbsp katakuriko starch, ½ tsp chicken broth granules, 1 tsp soy sauce and ¼ tsp salt, and boil. Add slices of 2 mushrooms and boil for 1 minute. Add 4 or 5 dumpling wrappers and boil another 20 seconds. Pour a beaten egg into the pot. Once the egg cooks a little and congeals, turn off the heat. Serve in a bowl, and add chili oil or vinegar if desired.

To find out more about Japan’s attractions, visit http://the-japan-news.com/news/d&d

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