For a long time I wanted to cook this ‘Steamed Prawn Dumplings’ but I never tried because I believed that I could not get the ingredients. On the other day I received a request for the recipe, then I did a little bit of research. I discovered that the wrappers can be made with a flour called Wheat Starch that is widely available from Asian grocery stores.
Wheat Starch is different from Wheat Flour and it’s a type of starch. Some people use Corn Starch instead of Wheat Starch.
My first two attempts were not successful. The wrappers got torn and I just couldn’t wrap. Now I know that’s because I left the wrappers alone for too long. This dough needs to be used straight away. And also you must keep the dough moist while you are working. Cover it with damp cloth!
Once you know theses things, making ‘Steamed Prawn Dumplings’ from scratch is actually easier than you expect.
100g Wheat Starch
50g Potato Starch, Corn Starch OR Tapioca Starch
1 pinch Salt
160ml Boiling Water
1 teaspoon Vegetable Oil
200g Uncooked Peeled Prawns
1 teaspoon Sake (Rice Wine)
1 small piece Ginger *finely chopped
50g Bamboo Shoot *finely chopped
1 Spring Onion *lighter colour parts only, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon Salt
White Pepper as required
1/2 teaspoon Sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons Potato Starch, Corn Starch OR Tapioca Starch
- Make Filling first. Prawns must be well drained. Coarsely chop up and place 1/2 of it into a bowl. Finely chop up the rest of it, and place in the bowl.
- Sprinkle with Sake (Rice Wine), add Vegetables and seasonings, mix well, then add 1 tablespoon Starch and mix well. If it is too wet, you can add extra Starch.
- Prepare the work surface where you make wrappers. You need a dough scraper or something similar. (It works better than a rolling pin.) You also need a damp tea towel.
- In a heat-proof mixing bowl, combine Wheat Starch, Potato Starch (OR other Starch) and Salt. Carefully add Boiling Water and quickly stir with chopsticks or spoon until combined. Then add Oil and knead until smooth.
- Divide the dough in half, roll each into a log, cut each log into 12 pieces, then cover with damp tea towel to prevent drying.
- Lightly oil the work surface and the scraper. *Note: Dusting with Starch makes the dough dry. I recommend to use Oil.
- Place 1 piece Dough on the work surface, flatten with your palm, then use the dough scraper (OR something similar) to press it down into a thin round wrapper as you move the scraper in circular motion.
- Place 1 heaped teaspoonful of filling in centre and wrap it. You can find many wrapping technics on the internet. Today I started folding pleats on one side, keep folding pleats until the wrapper becomes a cup shape, then close and secure the edges.
- Repeat with the remaining dough.
*Note: Work 1 piece at a time. Dough needs to be worked straight away, and do not leave the dough to rest, otherwise it becomes unworkable.
*Note: If the dough feels a little bit dry, knead it with your hands, form into a ball, then press it into thin wrapper.
*Note: I have found this method is much easier than rolling pin method.
- Line a steamer basket with baking paper with holes, place the dumplings, keeping space between each. You can use Cabbage OR Wombok Leaves instead of Baking Paper.
- Steam for 15 minutes or until cooked through. *Note: You can steam in many ways. The below picture is a saucepan steamer, though not many dumplings could fit in. I lined it with baking paper with holes.