Wednesday, August 18, 2010

World of Pierogi Challenge: Willow Leaf Dumpling

How many people does it take to make dumplings? Five!
The August Daring Cook's Challenge asked us to make pierogi and encouraged us to make non-traditional filling as an optional challenge.  According to their recipe, pierogi dough seemed to contain either eggs or milk, none of which I can safely consume. I happened to be in Taiwan on business, so I decided to make dumplings, using unique local ingredients: bamboo shoots, Taiwnese chives, mushroom (I am still looking for its English name).

For Father's Day, I stayed with my grandparents for the weekend.  My grandfather was a famous banquet chef with 40 years of culinary experience.  What I have learned this weekend have revolutionalized my dumplings forever; I have learned a brand new way of making dough and filling. My previous post on making dumpling is now officially inadequate.

It will take about 4 posts to explain all the ingredients and the process in detail, and I will do so when I get back to Vancouver (don't have time right now).  If you are interested in making pierogi, check out Daring Cook's recipes.

Beacuse the dumplings were for steaming, I mixed a cup of flour with boiling hot water first to cook the dough. This would prevent the dough from over expending when steaming the dumpling.  After the flour mixture cooled, I mixed in more flour, a pinch of salt, corn starch, and few drop of vegetable oil.  Then, I kneaded for a good 15 minutes.

The dough is then rolled out into a long log and, with a knife, cut into small thumb size pieces. I rolled them into balls, flattened into coins, and then rolled out into pieces of skins.

Filling: Lettuce, carrot, garlic, Taiwanese leek, bamboo shoots, mushroom, ground pork, soy sauce, sugar.  The proportions were rather unscientific unfortuantely.

Dumplings are named after the way they are folded and shaped.  This are the Willow Leaf Dumpling, which is designed for steaming or boiling.  This folding method is rather difficult to explain; I think I will make a video of it instead.  For frying, check out my other dumpling.

The dumplings were then steamd for a good 10 minutes. How do you tell if your dumpling is ready? Gently pinch your dumpling to see how the dough reacts.  A cooked dumpling should have the same "taughtness" and texture as the back of your hand when you make a fist.

The August 2010 Daring Cooks‟ Challenge was hosted by LizG of Bits n‟ Bites and Anula of Anula‟s Kitchen. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make pierogi from scratch and an optional challenge to provide one filling that best represents their locale.


  1. Have you posted a video with the folding technique?

  2. Please do. They look amazing but i can't figure out how to fold them..?