Ying's ideas of easy Chinese home-cooking

Beef Dumplings in Sour Laver Soup

酸汤牛肉饺

It’s getting a bit chillier especially after dusk and my pal stays home working mostly these days, so I am preparing something warm and easy to be cooked – beef dumpling. Instead of dipping in vinegar, I will make a sour soup.

Serve 2, about 25-30 dumplings

Ingredients –
Packed dumpling wraps, nowadays it’s quite easy to obtain in supermarket. Usually if I am making Guotie (pan-fried dumplings) I would make dumpling wraps myself, because they need thicker wraps. But if I make soup or steamed dumplings than I would just buy from the markets;
Beef mince, 250g;
Chinese green radish, 200g. If you can’t find green radish, then the usual Chinese white radish, daikon, moo, are all okay;
Laver, half sheet;
Dry spring shrimp, about 2 tbsp;
Light soy sauce, salt, sugar, white pepper, Chinese black vinegar, starch flour, sesame oil, water, spring onion, fried shallot chips.

How to do –
(you could use a food processor when making the filling)
1. Beef mince in a big mixing bowl, add in 1tbsp of light soy sauce, 1 tsp of sugar, 1 tsp of white pepper, 1 tbsp of starch flour, and mix well, set aside;
2. In another bowl, shred the radish in, add 1tsp of salt in the shredded radish, mix and wait for one or two minutes;
3. Squeeze the radish with your hand, don’t pour off the juice, will be needed later;
4. Mix the radish with the beef mince, at this stage you would see the mixture is a little lumpy;
5. Now this step is the most important. Add in the juice of radish to the meat mixture. Use a mixing spoon or a pair of chopsticks to stir the mixture in one direction till all juice blends in and the mixture becomes starchy and sticky. It may need a bit effort. In this way, the meat filling would become firm and juicy after cooking;

6. Now wrap the dumplings. Sprinkle a thin layer of flour on the tray and on top of the dumplings;
7. In a soup pot, add in laver, dry shrimp and 3 cups of water, bring to boil and simmer for 15 minutes;
8. While the soup is simmering, poach the dumplings. This is how we poach the dumplings to make sure they are fully cooked – in a big deep pot, add about half full of water, bring to boil, add in the dumplings, lid on; when the dumplings float up, add about one cup of cold water in, lid on; when the dumplings float up again, add more cold water in, lid on. This time when the dumplings float up, they are fully cooked. Drain and place them in serving bowl;
9. Season the soup with 4tbsp of Chinese black vinegar, 1tbsp of sugar, 1tbsp of light soy sauce, and 1tsp of salt. I like it a bit sour so I usually add quite a lot of vinegar, but it’s pretty much up to your preference while seasoning;
10. Spoon the soup on the dumplings;
11. Sprinkle some drops of sesame oil and garnish with chopped spring onion and fried shallot chips.

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