Deep fried Taro dumplings/Wu Gok/ Woo Gok-Khoai Mon Tau Chien Xu

Vietnamese food

Make 20 dumplings
The dough:
   1.5 lb peeled large taro (buy extra for whole unpeeled taro), cut into chunky pieces
   1.5 tsp baking powder
   1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
   3/4 cup Wheat starch
   3/4 cup boiling water
   1 Tbs sugar
   1/2 tsp salt
The filling
   1/2 lb pork, finely chopped or ground
   1/4 lb shrimp, peeled, coarsely chopped or ground
   4 large dried shiitake mushroom,s soaked in warm water until soft
   1/2 tsp five-spices powder
   1 tsp sugar
   1/2 tsp salt
   4 Tsp water from soaking shiitake
   1 green onion, thinly slices.
   1 tsp garlic powder
   1 Tbs cornstarch
   1/2 tsp sesame oil
   1/8 tsp ground black pepper
   1 Tbs vegetable oil and extra for deep frying

The dough
1.  Steam taro until soft like you cook potato or boil them.  Put pieces of taro in a medium saucepan and add cold water until taro almost gets covered.  Bring it to a boil over medium high heat, then turn the heat down to medium low, cover and simmer until tender about 15-20 minutes.  A folk can easily be poked through them.  Turn off the heat.  Drain all the water out.  Cover and let it sits on the warm stove (help get risk of excess moister )
2.  Put wheat starch in a heatproof bowl.  Add boiling water, stir vigorously.  The flour will be thickened and turn opaque white.
3.   Mix all the ingredients of the dough together- mash taro first with a large spoon or potato masher until well mash, add butter, wheat starch, and the remaining ingredients,mix well.  Cover, and let the dough chills in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

The filling
1.  Cut the mushroom stems and discard. squeeze the mushroom dry, and finely mince them.
2.  Mix corn starch with water.  Set aside
3.  In a large saute pan, heating 1 tbs oil over medium high heat.  Add green onion and mushroom, stir until the green onion get light golden brown.  Stir in pork, shrimp and the remaining ingredients until the pork is almost cooked through.  Add cornstarch mixture and cook until the mixture thickening.  Remove from heat.  Let it cool down.

Make the dumplings:
1.  Take the dough out, knead it a few times just to turn the dough in a uniform mass (not like you’re kneading the bread dough).  The dough is not sticky so no oil or flour needed. Divide the dough into 20 balls about 50 gram each (about 4 Tbs/ lightly large than the golf ball).  Flatten it in your palm. Put 1 heaping tsp filling in the center and fold the dough around to cover the filling like an egg or half moon shape.
2.  Turn on the oven at 200 oF.  Heating oil in a deep side pot or pan or use a deep fryer or a medium electric  fondue pot  at least 1.5 inches high.  Keep the oil at 340-350 oF,  put one dumplings in a strainer and lower it down slowly into hot oil-the dumplings should be immersed completely in hot oil. Adjust the oil temperature depending how fast the dumpling turning brown.  Do not add more than one at a time and wait for the temperature raising up again before adding another one.  Turn one or twice to make the dumplings brown evenly if it is browning too fast-lift it up and immerse it down to hot oil again a few times.  The flakes is formed depending on the oil temperature-too hot oil will produce less and finer flakes but if the oil is not hot enough then the dumplings will be soaked with oil. Drain on a cooling rack on a rimmed baking sheet and keep warm in oven or just drain them on napkin or brown bag paper if serve right away without using oven.  Serve hot or warm.  The dumplings will remain crunchy for a short time.  The filling maybe too hot when out of hot oil so be careful if you serve for young kids.  The extra dough and filling can be kept separately in the fridge over night and take them out to room temperature before making the dumplings.

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