Pork Sticky Rice Dumplings

Happy Chinese New Year everyone!  Although I am a little bummed to be missing our traditional family celebration back at home, I will be celebrating today on my own.  2013 is the year of the snake, which is my year, so I am doubly excited!  Maybe this luck will help me figure out a topic for my thesis soon?  Please?

This dish brings back a lot of memories.  When I was a young preteen my doctor told me I “supposedly” had a gluten sensitivity because I was having some sinus problems.  And for some reason, we decided to listen to him, and I went off gluten for almost a year.  Now, this was way back before gluten free was a thing.  There were no gluten free cake mixes in the store, no one had ever heard of quinoa, and all gluten free food was plain awful.  No, I’m not bitter.

Despite my less than thrilled attitude about my new diet, my mom did her best to try and make me good food and recreate classics that I loved, all while I dreamed of McDonald’s cheeseburgers.  She ran all over town to speciality stores to get special, foreign ingredients and scoured for gluten free recipes wherever she could.  She made me cookies that crumbled instantly at the touch, and she made gray pasta that had to be eaten immediately before turning to mush, and bread that was always a little “off”. Now, I complain with love, but I would have starved if it weren’t for my mom, but the weird foods from this era definitely stick out in my mind.

This recipe comes from that era.  Before you all click off this page and never return, this was one of the best recipes my mom found. A salty filling is put inside a dumpling dough.  The dumpling is then deep fried, giving a crunchy outside and a sticky chewy inside.  The description sounds strange, but I promise it’s good.  It’s the only gluten free recipe that I pulled out of the archives to eat today.

Oh, and Mom: I haven’t forgotten about how you lied and made me get blood drawn for this gluten free test.  Never forget.  But with all the work you put into my diet, we can call it even.

PORK STICKY RICE DUMPLINGS
From My Mom

For the Pork Filling:
4 ounces pork loin, diced
1 teaspoon mirin
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 scallions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon seame oil
1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 cup water
3 ounce dried shrimp
Oil, for deep frying

For the Dough:
3 cups glutinous rice flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1- 1 1/2 cups water

DIRECTIONS

For the Pork Mixture:

In a bowl combine pork, mirin, and cornstarch.  Mix to coat.  Heat canola oil in a wok or large skillet over medium heat.  Add pork mixture and cook for 3-5 minutes, until cooked through and browned.

In a bowl whisk soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, cornstarch, and water together.  Add scallions and sauce to pan.  Bring to a boil and let simmer until thickened, about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add dried shrimp and toss.  Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

For the Dough:

In a large bowl combine rice flour, sugar, and 1 cup of water.  Stir together until a soft dough forms, adding additional water 2 tablespoons at a time as needed.  Turn onto a lightly oiled surface and knead until dough comes together.  Roll into a log and cut into 15 pieces.

For the Dumplings:

Heat oil to 350-375°F in a wok, deep pan, or deep fryer.

Take pice of dough and flatten on a hard, oiled surface.  Form into a 2 inch circle.  Spoon about 1 teaspoon of pork filling in the center.  Pinch closed.  Repeat with remaining pieces of dough.  Using a slotted spoon transfer dumplings to hot oil.  Fry until dumplings are golden brown and rise to the surface, 4-5 minutes.  Drain on a wire rack.  Eat immediately.

Makes 15 dumplings.

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