If you are looking for a dish to wow the crowd, these cute little Pak Choi-looking dumplings are for you. These steamed crystal dumplings used the translucent wrappers made from starches and have a delightfully chewy texture.
While common dumpling wrappers use plain flour as the main ingredient, but to get that distinctive translucent looks of crystal dumpling, you will be needing wheat starch and potato starch.
If you wish to go for a vegan version, feel free to use Pak Choi, carrot, mushrooms or any vegetables you fancy. You may also wish to pre-cook/stir fry the filling in advance so the filling would be tender and fully cooked.
Ingredients (Make 20 dumplings)
For the wrappers
90g wheat starch (plus extra for dusting)
30g potato starch
120ml hot water
1 tsp spinach powder/macha powder/a few drop of nature dark green food colouring*
1 tsp lard/vegetable oil
a pinch of salt
1 carrot, peeled and cut to 20 thin round slices
For the filling
200g minced pork
100g Pak Choi, finely chopped
2 slices of ginger, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Seasonings for minced pork
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp cornstarch/potato starch
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp water
light soy sauce
*Note: I made two batches of wrappers - one with mocha powder and the other with nature green food colouring. You may notice there is a colour difference in the photos. The darker ones are from the mocha powder batch.
bamboo steamer/a heatproof dish with steamer rack
Instruction to make the doughs
Mix wheat starch, potato starch, lard and hot water with a spoon in a large mixing bowl.
Knead the dough for 2-3 mins until smooth.
Divide the dough into two equal portions, save one portion for the white base part.
To make the green dough for the “Pak Choi leaves” part, add 1 tsp mocha powder/spinach powder/desired food colouring in it and knead to combine.
Rest the doughs in a covered container for 30 mins.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling.
Instruction to prepare the filling
Season the pork in a mixing bowl.
Mix in the chopped garlic, ginger and Pak Choi.
Instruction to prepare the two-colour wrappers
Roll both doughs into two 20cm ropes.
Use a rolling pin to flatten the green dough rope lengthwise.
Wrap the white dough with the green dough, pinch and slightly roll it on the working surface to seal the gap.
Divide the dough into 20 pieces.
Press each mini dough into a small disc, roll it into a thin wrapper (about 4” width)* with a rolling pin, dust with wheat starch and set aside on a tray.
Cover the tray with a damp tea towel/cling film to avoid dry out.
Repeat for the rest of the dough pieces.
*Note: The thinner the wrapper, the more translucent look the dumpling will have. Using a 10-12g dough piece rolled into a 4” wrapper is my go-to practice, you may go for an even thinner one if wished.
Instruction to assemble and steam the dumplings
Place a dumpling wrapper on your palm and add 1 tsp of filling in the centre.
Bring up the side, gently pitch and squeeze with your thumb and index fingers to seal the dumpling top.
Repeat with the rest of the filling and wrappers.
Bring water to boil in a wok/large saucepan over high heat.
Line a parchment paper on the bamboo steamer, or oil the heatproof dish.
Place the dumplings with a carrot slice underneath on the steamer/dish and steam for 8 mins over high heat with lid on, until they are fully cooked and become glassy looking.
I also tried different food colouring to see which ones work best for me. The below ones have used nature green food colouring instead of macha powder, the end result is slightly transparent, IMHO, looks more "crystal-like"😂let me know if you have also tried other colouring method/ingredient.