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Old 06-21-2017, 01:10 PM   #1
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Chinese Dumpling Advice

I really really enjoy Chinese dumplings, but I find them hard to make. I need that "aha!" moment where I suddenly get what to do. Can anyone help?

I often find that the dough is almost too soft to fold (it gets sticky and starts tearing), even if I do 50% hydration dough. I've seen some recipes go right up to 70%+ and some as low as 40%. I'm not sure what to aim for!

Secondly, can anyone explain the significance of adding boiling/hot water instead of normal water? I often find this makes the dough gummy and less extensible when kneading.

Thirdly, should I be using a high or low gluten flour?

Finally, any tips on rolling out? I find rolling out with flour leaves my dough with a very dry surface which is then not at all ideal for folding (even worse when combined with the "soft dough" problem!

Thanks!

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Old 06-21-2017, 03:00 PM   #2
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I used Ming Tsai's recipe for years until I discovered frozen wrappers at the Oriental market. They have basically the same taste, which really isn't much since it's just flour, water, salt, and will make the process go much faster. Using a tablespoon scoop, I can fill and pleat 50 in about a half hour versus a couple of hours, or more, if I have to roll out the dough. Just Google 'Ming Tsai potstickers' if you still want to make your own, but I would encourage you to give the frozen wrappers a try if you have access to an Oriental market.
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Old 06-21-2017, 03:50 PM   #3
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The frozen wrappers are great! I use them for pierogi as well.
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Old 06-21-2017, 05:06 PM   #4
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Another vote for buying your wrappers. Dumplings, pierogi, ravioli, crab rangoon, etc. All kinds of options.
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Old 06-22-2017, 07:26 AM   #5
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are you guys talking about egg roll wrappers?
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Old 06-22-2017, 07:31 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GA Home Cook View Post
are you guys talking about egg roll wrappers?
No, Dim Sum dumpling dough, like what is used for pot stickers or soup buns.
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Old 06-22-2017, 08:26 AM   #7
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They are smaller and a different dough. You can get them in squares or circular discs. They are about 3.5" square or diameter. They will be labeled pot sticker, won ton, gyoza wrappers.
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Old 06-22-2017, 08:36 AM   #8
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yep I saw the won ton wrappers. they were about 4" square
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Old 06-22-2017, 10:08 AM   #9
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Guess I really didn't answer your question. I always used unbleached all purpose flour. No idea about hot versus cold. I started using a tortilla press for the initial flattening. It did cut down on rolling time a little bit.
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Old 06-22-2017, 11:46 AM   #10
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Almost every recipe I've seen for dumplings has always used VERY hot water, if not even calling for boiling water. Plus the resting.

I've read quite a few recipes for making them but haven't done it yet. Keep saying I'm going to.. even have the little tiny rolling pin for it!

One hint I can give you is to make sure you leave the centre of your disc thicker than the edges you are pinching together.
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Old 06-22-2017, 12:00 PM   #11
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Here is a link for a youtube video... fascinating!

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Old 06-22-2017, 12:51 PM   #12
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Switching to bread dough for filled pasta and asian wrappers has eliminated much heartache! Especially for making ravioli. I find I can make the wrappers thinner yet they're much less likely to fall apart with the higher gluten flour. Same for pot stickers. As to premade wrappers, I find the current brand available at our usual grocery store is more likely to break than some others I've tried.
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Old 06-22-2017, 01:21 PM   #13
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Quick question:

Which type of dumpling are you asking about? Our recommendations about frozen wrappers applies, to my knowledge, to the second type only
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Old 06-23-2017, 01:07 PM   #14
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Definitely the second type. I love steaming things! Thanks for the advice thus far. I especially like the idea of using a tortilla press to get it nice and round :D
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Old 07-25-2017, 08:56 PM   #15
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Won ton wrappers will do in a pinch. Frozen potsticker wrappers are great.
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Old 07-25-2017, 08:58 PM   #16
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Potstickers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Quick question:

Which type of dumpling are you asking about? Our recommendations about frozen wrappers applies, to my knowledge, to the second type only
These pictures are great, I'm hungry now.
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Old 07-26-2017, 11:31 AM   #17
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Thanks for the video link for soup dumplings - I'm going to give this a try :)
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Old 07-26-2017, 04:47 PM   #18
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I don't have a tortilla press. Can I use a pasta machine to flatten balls if dough?

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Old 07-26-2017, 09:07 PM   #19
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some wrappers should really be sort of thicker in the middle and thinner on the outside edges. I'm pretty sure I have a video some where that shows how to do it but just can't look for it now.

so I don't think I could recommend using your pasta machine. Then again, it depends on which type of wrapper you are aiming for.

to quote..."so many wrappers, so little time."
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Old 07-27-2017, 05:45 AM   #20
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Here is a link for a youtube video... fascinating!

When Karen made soup dumplings, the "aspic" was made using only pigs feet, pig leg bone and fat less pig skin. It solidified without the need for gelatin. The dumplings were great, but a PIA to make from scratch.
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