Not the usual run of things for BBM but he figured that since it’s something really close to his heart/stomach and it comes by only once year, it’s worth posting and sharing. Besides it’s a pretty crafty thing to learn and make. Hopefully one day, with much more practice, he’ll master the art of the dumpling wrapping and make them for Pinkxi. Here’s how Pinkxi’s gran makes them.
Soak dried bamboo leaves overnight to reconstitute them. If you can get dried banana leaves, you can strip them into vines and use them to wrap the dumplings.
Wash glutinous rice till the water is less murky. Set aside to soak overnight. The next day, drain off and fry with shallots, dried shrimps, pepper, dark soy, coriander powder, salt till fragrant. Set aside.
Retain yolks from salted duck eggs and cut to size if necessary.
Braise sliced pork belly. Fry chopped garlic and shallots. Add pork belly then dark soy sauce, sugar, salt, pepper and coriander seed powder to the wok. Once browned, add some water, let simmer to make sure the pork belly is soft and then reduce the gravy. Remove pork belly from gravy.
Soak dried chestnuts overnight and half them. Soak dried shitake for half a day and half them if necessary. Once shitake is reconstituted, set aside, do not pour away the shitake stock. Add chestnuts, shitake and some mushroom stock into the gravy in the wok. Bring to boil and simmer till chestnut and mushrooms are soft.
Stir fry black eyed peas with dark soy, shallots and sugar.
Before using bamboo leaves, check that there are no slits in the leaves. Hold 2 bamboo leaves in place. Preferably of different length and the shorter one is in front. Leave some space between the leaves and not overlap completely.
Fold the leaves in the center to make a cone/cup. Make sure the bottom of the cone/cup is nicely tucked in and does not have any opening.
Now it’s time to add the ingredients:
This is the tricky bit. Fold down the leaves to cap the ingredients with your index finger, with thumb and middle finger, fold down the side flaps. The cap will form a pointy beak. Then fold the beak to one side and hold down firmly with thumb.
This is another tricky part. Hold the leaves in place firmly and use the vine to tie round the dumpling. The leaves must not be loose after tying.
Make sure the vine is taut and no corners are exposed. Once it’s checked, trim off unnecessary end of leaves. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add a few tbsp of salt into the water and submerge the dumplings fully to boil. Suggested boiling time is about 75-90 minutes. Then remove from pot and hang to dry for a few hours…….and tuck in!
Extra dumplings should be frozen whole after airing. All there’s to do is to steam and serve them as and when necessary.
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