I’ve been thinking of this recipe for a long time. Truth is I’ve tried a lot of different low carb flours and it is really not easy to find the right type of flour that can stand up to the manipulation needed to make dumplings. Chinese dumplings are really a highlight in my family life. Every Chinese New Year, Auntie P’s dumplings were the highlight of the celebrations. And because kid#1 would inhale the luscious dumplings by the plateful, one day I got Auntie P to share her secret dumpling recipe. I figured we couldn’t wait once a year to get our treat!
Since going low carb however, I’ve had to forgo Auntie P’s amazing jiaozhi but I’ve never stopped thinking of them. I read around how other people dealt with the inability to use flour for the dumpling skin. Some just suggested making meatballs (no skin) or cabbage rolls (that’s not dumplings, that’s a different dish altogether). And I also had many failed experiments with fathead dough and some egg based low carb flours that I had bought locally. The attempts were so bad they were not salvageable at all.
So I finally bit the bullet. Years back I had used LC foods brand tempura flour and cake flour before. These has worked out great – different from wheat flour products but still pretty edible. When I saw that the brand had pasta flour I jumped on it. I bought a whole bunch of stuff from Netrition (and paid $60 in shipping 😫). I guess for dumplings I will do anything.
Verdict? I think it was a decent dumpling wrapper in the end. The colour was a little beige-brown but fortunately tasted better than they looked – the dumplings had a kind of nice chewy consistency when eating. In fact, I knew the dumplings were already a win when rolling out the dough because the dough didn’t break up, become stringy or develop holes. Which is what had happened on all my previous attempts!
Kid#1 was the inspiration behind this chili oil dumpling recipe. For some reason he had fallen in love with all things 麻辣 (mala or spicy Szechuan flavours). Hubs completely detests 麻辣 because years ago we had individual hotpots in Malacca and the restaurant owner gave him a super spicy mala hotpot…it was so bad that he had to resort to sharing kid#2’s very tame non-spicy chicken broth. But kid#1 has proved to be quite adventurous and has embraced the whole spicy Northern Chinese cuisine culture. He seems to be the only one with such bold tastes…I confess to being slightly timid and hesitant and I usually ask for the least spicy version available.
The chili oil dumplings were great actually and it was nice to see my parents finishing up the dumplings. They are actually truly not greedy people (unlike me!) so to see them polishing off the dumplings was extremely gratifying, to say the least. And there were none left for kid#1 who was out for dinner tonight, much to his chagrin. Anyway I’ve promised to make another batch for him and he can have a whole plate all to himself!
Low Carb Chili Oil Dumplings
- 500g minced pork (when buying from butcher ask him to mince once only)
- 1/2 cup chopped koo chye (Chinese chives)
- 1/2 cup chopped spring onions
- 10 leaves of napa cabbage (leafy parts only), finely chopped
- 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 small 1 inch knob of ginger, grated
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground pepper
- 1 tbsp arrowroot flour
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 3 tbsp sesame oil
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 2 cups of LC Foods pasta flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1 tbsp Lao Gan Ma spicy chili crisp
- 1 tbsp chili oil
- 1.5 tbsp Chinkiang vinegar
- 1/2 tsp sugar substitute
- 1/2 tsp szechuan peppercorns
- 1 tsp white sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp coarsely chopped coriander leaves
CHILI OIL SAUCE (Enough for 10 dumplings)
- Mix the filling ingredients (minced pork, koo chye, spring onions, napa cabbage, garlic, ginger, salt, pepper, oyster sauce, sesame oil, arrowroot flour and chicken stock together in a large mixing bowl. Mix by hand, massaging the meat well. Set aside, covered in the fridge while you prepare the dough.
- In another mixing bowl, mix pasta flour and salt together. Beat the egg and mix into the dry ingredients. Add the water gradually and knead well. Add a few drops of water if the dough is dry. Split the dough into 2 halves.
- Roll the first dough ball into a long cylinder about 2 cm diameter. With a knife, cut off a segment of dough (about 2-2.5 cm long). Roll the dough out with a rolling pin, then place 1 tsp of meat filling into the center of the wrapper and fold into pleated folds, sealing the ends together by pinching the edges of the dough. Continue to make the dumplings till all the dough is used up.
- Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add 1 tsp salt to the water.
- In the meantime prepare the chili sauce by mixing the Lao Gan Ma chili crisp, chili oil, chinkiang vinegar, minced garlic, sugar substitute together. Set aside. This chili sauce is enough for 10-12 dumplings. Double the chili sauce recipe if you want to eat all the dumplings the same way.
- Toast the szechuan peppercorns and the sesame seeds in a dry frying pan till toasted and fragrant. Set adide.
- Put the dumplings into the boiling water (10 at a time) and boil on high heat for about 3 minutes. Remove and place in a bowl. Continue to boil the rest of the dumplings and put into separate bowls of 10-12 dumplings).
- Drizzle the chili oil sauce over the dumplings. Sprinkle the toasted szechuan peppers and sesame seeds over the dumplings, followed by the chopped coriander. Serve hot.
NB the dumplings can also be eaten plain with Chinkiang vinegar topped by finely julienned young ginger.