Photograph by Nicholas Cope Food Styling by Maggie Ruggiero Prop Styling by Linda Heiss


Crystal Shrimp Dumplings

Starters from Issue 8 – Winter 2016 – Origin

Researchers recently found that the dumpling squid, a species from the southern coast of Australia, when faced with the choice to seek safety from a hungry predator or continue to copulate, usually chooses sex. When faced with the choice to eat our dumplings—delicate, translucent blue-tinged pouches filled with pale pink shrimp—or get it on, you may just opt for the former.

makes about 32 dumplings

dumpling filling
  • 10 oz cleaned shrimp, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup finely chopped water chestnuts
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped scallion whites or pale greens
  • 2 tsp tapioca starch (aka tapioca flour)
  • 2 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

  • 1 cup wheat starch (available in Asian markets)
  • ½ cup tapioca starch
  • 4 tsp canola or vegetable oil

garnish and assembly
  • soy sauce and garlic chile sauce, food coloring if desired

  • 1

    Stir together filling ingredients along with ¼ tsp salt. Keep chilled until ready to assemble.

  • 2

    Stir together starches and ¼ tsp salt in a large bowl. Stir in 1 cup boiling water with a wooden spoon to form a lumpy dough. Stir in oil, working it in until cool enough to handle but still warm. Transfer to a surface and knead, without flour, until smooth. (Knead with a very lightly oiled hand if there’s any cracking.) Divide into 4 pieces and wrap each in plastic. Rest dough for 10 minutes.

  • 3

    Roll 1 piece of dough into an 8-inch log and cut into 8 pieces. With lightly oiled hands, flatten each into a ¼-inch thick disk and very lightly dapple dough edges with food color if you like. Keep covered in plastic.

  • 4

    Cut a resealable plastic bag into 2 sheets and lightly oil. Working in batches, press hard, flattening dough between the plastic sheets, using the bottom of a skillet, into a thin, 3½-inch round. Place a tsp of filling into the center of round and bring up edges to make a small purse. Keep dumplings covered while forming more.

  • 5

    Steam dumplings in a steamer basket over rapidly boiling water in batches until translucent and puffed, about 7 minutes. Serve with soy sauce and garlic chile sauce.


    Note: Dough can rest 6 hours at room temperature or you can cook the dumplings ahead and resteam them for 4 minutes to serve. Dumplings can be frozen ahead. Defrost, then steam 3 to 5 minutes.