Sunday, 10 August 2008

Har Gau - Prawn Dumplings

Har Gau is usually on all dim sum menus. It certainly is one of my favourites, and I never thought that I'd be able to recreate them at home. The pastry is quite different to that of the potsticker dumplings. When cooked, the pastry becomes translucent and silky.

When Sunflower posted a recipe for these, I had to give them a go. Off I toddled to Chinatown to pick up some wheat starch and tapoica starch. Unfortunately I went without the recipe written down, and when faced with all the different flours, I got confused and picked up glutinous rice flour instead of the tapoica starch. I didn't have the opportunity to go back; no matter, some improvisation would have to do. As the tapoica starch makes up only 20% of the pastry base, I substituted it with cornflour instead.

In comparison to the potsticker dumplings which used bread flour, this dough was easy to work with. It didn't stick to the work top, and after a super-quick knead it transformed into smooth and silky dough. That's where the easiness ended, though. Once I rolled out the dough balls into discs and stuffed them, they were virtually impossible to fold into pleats without the dough splitting at some point. I'm not sure why this is, perhaps because I used cornflour instead of the tapoica starch? But no matter. I improvised and just pinched the dumplings closed into crescent shapes.

The filling I used, to make 18 dumplings:

180gr chopped raw prawn
1 finely sliced spring onion
1 tsp light soy
1/2 tsp sesame oil
Pinch of white pepper and of salt

You can also add diced bamboo shoots, water chestnuts for texture but I wanted to keep it simple for the moment.

They were delicious. It's worth trying to roll the pastry out as thinly as possible. I ate all 18 of them... and then had to have a lie down.


Sunflower said...

That's a lot to eat in one go by yourself! You must be hungry or they are too yummy. Well done!

Laura Paterson said...

You made your own dough?? I am soooo impressed!!

And you go girl on eating all 18 - that is definitely the kind of thing I do! ;)

Anonymous said...

I did a similar thing last month with minced prawns and steam them. The result was superb. Next time I decided to deep fry it. It was much better.

Jess said...

I like to shallow fry them as well. You place oil and water in the bottom of a scanpan/frying pan, place your dumplings in and then cover. You get a crispy bottom and a lovely steamed top!