Mugwort Dumplings

The recipe for a traditional Hakka dumpling that is almost impossible to find in Singapore

By SALT Magazine | 17 October, 2017 | Food, Recipe
2017-10-17 18:01:14 2017-10-25 11:54:06

Chef Pang Kok Keong has been getting in touch with his Hakka heritage. His new menu at Antoinette offers an European spin on traditional Hakka fare (or is it vice-versa?) like his abacus seed-inspired Hakka Gnocchi that features root vegetable dumplings with sauteed morels and cured pork, finished with foie gras. The recipe below comes from his attempts at recreating a traditional Hakka mugwort dumpling, called 艾草粄 (ai cao ban), which he encountered while in Taiwan.

Mugwort Dumpling
Chef Pang Kok Keong’s mugwort dumplings

Makes about 13pcs | Level: Hard | Total time: 4hr

For the dumpling skin:
60g mugwort
100g sweet potato
300g glutinous rice flour
20g sugar
8g salt
160g water
50g corn oil

  • Blanch mugwort and shock in ice water to keep it a vibrant green. Puree in blender until you get a green paste.
  • Steam sweet potato until soft and blend until smooth.
  • Knead glutinous rice flour into the sweet potato puree, then add sugar, salt, water, and mugwort puree to form a dough.
  • Add oil, knead until smooth. Rest the dough for 30min.

For the filling:
15g dried shrimp
60g dried shiitake mushroom
650g white turnip
30g preserved sweet turnip (cut from the whole block, do not use the pre-shredded ones)
55g preserved salted turnip (cut from the whole block, do not use the pre-shredded ones)
80g carrot
120g fatty minced pork
fish sauce to taste
white pepper powder to taste
20g garlic
15g fried shallot
12g oyster sauce
Sugar to taste

  • Soak dried shrimp and chop them up.
  • Soak shiitake mushroom and slice thinly
  • Julienne white turnip, blanch in boiling water and squeeze out excess moisture. Julienne the preserved turnips and carrot.
  • Season minced pork with fish sauce and pepper.
  • Heat oil up a wok then add dried shrimp, mushroom, and garlic and fry until fragrant. Add minced pork, cook through.
  • Add all the turnips and carrot, then fried shallots. Season with the oyster sauce, sugar and simmer until all the ingredients are cooked through, 6-8 min. The filling should not have any excess liquid. Dish up the filling and let it cool.

To assemble:

  • Portion the dough into balls of about 50g, roll out and stuff with the filling. Form the dumplings by folding the dough around a ball of filling, pinching it shut so a single pleat forms down the middle of the dumpling.
  • Place dumpling on a bamboo leaf brushed with oil. Steam for approximately 12-14min. Remove from steamer and
    brush with shallot oil. Let cool and before savouring them.

Note: fresh mugwort can be hard to find, chef Pang suggests Chinatown or Tekka wet market.

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