Saturday, March 16, 2013

Crisp Dumpling Membrane 2

It works! On both counts!

I'd previously written briefly about Serious Eats' post mentioning how to get that crisp connective sheet of extra "skin". I tried to find another word, since it's not part of the dumplings' own skin. Admittedly "membrane" doesn't seem right either, but I decided to go with it to try to be clear that I was talking about a different thing...well whatever. I'm open to suggestions. Or just relying on context to talk about the "skin"...

Anyway, I tossed my dumplings in corn starch before pan-frying them, and then let the fluid thoroughly evaporate, waiting through the sticky-goo-period, until the starch fried and crisped up. Transferring the dumplings to a plate was a little tricky. I ended up first shaking loose the dumplings/membrane before inverting a plate over the pan and flipping the pan over again. The dumplings plopped right onto the plate, though the membrane shattered on impact. Maybe a slightly smaller plate that could fit into the pan, directly on the dumplings would avoid the membrane-shattering drop.

Also discussed in my earlier post was concern about whether pan-frying sticky rice dumplings would work. Using a non-stick skillet, I had no trouble with releasing either the membrane or the dumplings proper. I'm not sure if their being frozen helped things, too; maybe freshly made dumplings would stick more easily.

I will say, though, that if you pan-fry your sticky rice dumplings, maybe fry them both top and bottom. Without soup to moisten and flavor the outside, I found the dumplings to be a little too sticky on the uncrisped sides, their presence too strong relative to the filling, without flavor to give the stickiness some kind of meaning (as nian gao and mochi are sweet).


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