In a large bowl thoroughly mix all ingredients - aside from those in the Cold Water Dough and the Spicy Soy Dipping Sauce - together by hand. Cook a tester to check for seasoning. MAKING THE DUMPLINGS: Place a small mound of filling in the middle of the wrapper. (Be very careful not to touch the edges with the filling, as this will impede proper sealing of the dumplings. Nothing is worse than dumplings breaking during cooking.) Fold the wrapper in half to form a half moon shape. Starting on one end fold/pinch the wrapper tightly together. Proceed with this fold/pinch method until the dumpling is completely sealed. There will be approximately 10 to 14 folds per dumpling. Rest the dumplings with the folded edges straight up.
COOKING THE DUMPLINGS: Use a large stock pot with plenty of water. Add a small handful of salt, as if you were cooking pasta. Make sure the water is at a rolling boil before adding dumplings. Once the dumplings are dropped, gently stir so that they do not stick together or stick to the bottom. Do not try to boil too many at a time, as it will take too long to cook resulting in soggy dumplings. Overcooking also causes the dumplings to break apart.
For the Cold Water Dough: In a stainless steel bowl, mix flour and salt. Slowly add cold water to flour in 1/4 cup increments. Mix with chopsticks until a ball is formed. On a floured surface, knead dough until it becomes a smooth, elastic ball. Place back in bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Allow dough to rest for at least 1 hour. Working on a floured surface with floured hands, roll out dough to form a long 'noodle', 1 inch in diameter. Cut 1/2 inch pieces and turn them over so cut sides are facing up. Flatten with your palm and roll out thin using a rolling pin. The dumpling wrapper should end up about 3 inches in diameter. For the Spicy Soy Dipping Sauce: Combine all and serve in a small bowl. PLATING: Serve dumplings on a large platter lined with lettuce with a bowl of dipping sauce on the side. One family tradition is the serving of the dumpling 'broth' at the end of the meal since inevitably some of the dumplings do break and flavor the water. Waste not, want not.
Copyright 1998, Ming Tsai, All Rights Reserved