These homemade dumplings with peanut chilli sauce have given me my Yum Cha buzz back.
I have been going to Yum Cha for as long as I can remember. I love the chaos of the experience. I love too many people jammed in to a restaurant, the cacophony of chatter making it hard to hear yourself think. I love watching deft wait staff driving trolleys laden with dumplings between tables, a conga line of shiny carts waiting to entice. I especially love ordering too much, eating the succulent dumplings well beyond the time when I should have stopped and sitting back in my chair, full of Yum Cha goodness. I always promised to eat less next time and always broke my oath.
And then I gave up meat and dairy and with it 90 per cent of the Yum Cha menu. It kind of took the fun out of the experience. I simply stopped going, or went and watched others eat, and the idea of making my own dumplings seemed so daunting. What I fool I was. All those dumpling-less years. Dumplings are so simple and my homemade dumplings with peanut chilli sauce are easier still. I process the filling in the processor. Hello my little dumpling friend.
These dumplings are clean and green and just wonderful. The smoothness of the spinach works wonderfully with the slight crunch of the water chestnuts. Add a spicy sriracha sauce sweetened with coconut sugar and littered with chopped peanuts and it is happy Yum Cha to me all over again.
The thing that put dumplings in the too-hard basket was the wrapper. I didn’t know how to make them and the folding just seemed to crafty to an all-thumbs girl, like myself. But it’s easy! There are 3 ingredients in these dumpling wrappers and, thanks to Mary’s Test Kitchen dumpling tutorial and this nifty dumpling folding tutorial from Tipsy Walsh there are no technical excuses to speak of.
My homemade dumplings with peanut chilli sauce make for a great afternoon in the kitchen and something the kids can help with. You’ll overeat them and have the Yum Cha experience at home. Enjoy, xx
Homemade Dumplings with Peanut Chilli Sauce
- 1 1/2 cup organic all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water
- 3 cups English spinach
- 20 grams chives or a loose handful
- 1 cup canned water chestnuts drained
- 3 cm thumb fresh ginger finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoon chia seeds
Peanut Chilli Sauce
- 1 garlic clove finely chopped
- 2 tablespoon sunflower oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoon coconut sugar
- 2 tablespoon sriracha sauce
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon tamari
- 1/4 cup peanuts chopped
- 2 tablespoon water
- For the dough, put the flour in a mixing bowl and make a well.
- Add the boiling water slowly, mixing the batter with chopsticks to distribute
- Using clean hands, bring the flour and water together in to a rough ball
- Knead the ball on a clean counter for around 2 minutes or until smooth.
- Rest the dough for 30 minutes in the mixing bowl with a plate or cling film covering.
- To make the filling, put the spinach, chestnuts and chives in a food processor and blitz to a fine chop.
- In a large fry pan or wok, heat the sunflower oil and add the ginger and garlic for one minute.
- Add the spinach mixture and cook for around 1 minute.
- Add the soy sauce and cook for another minute.
- Add the sesame oil and chia seeds.
- Give a final stir and remove from the heat.
- For the sauce, heat the oil in a saucepan, add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add the sugar and stir for 10 seconds.
- Add the sriracha sauce, the tamari and apple cider vinegar. Stir for a minute.
- Stir in the peanuts.
- Add two tablespoons of water to thin and bring to a boil.
- Once at a boil, remove the sauce from the heat and pour in to a serving bowl.
- After the dough has rested, cut it in to two, leaving one half in the bowl covered.
- Lightly flour a clean counter and roll the dough out to around 2mm thickness.
- Depending on which dumpling fold you are using, cut the dough into squares or circles (I have provided a link to an excellent tutorial in the text of this post)
- Lay the wrappers on top of each other sprinkling a little cornflour between each.
- Repeat with the second half of the dough.
- Spoon a little over a teaspoon of spinach filling in the centre of the wrapper.
- Wet the top half only of the wrapper and fold the dumpling in half to form a triangle pressing the edges together to seal.
- Repeat until your mixture is finished.
- Quarter fill a large saucepan with water and bring to the bowl.
- Put the dumplings in a parchment lined steamer and steam for 10 minutes.
- Serve with the peanut chilli sauce, fresh chives and black sesame seeds.