Steamed chicken dumplings

By Nuit Regular
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Dipping sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons thin soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sweet soy sauce
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons white vinegar

Chicken dumplings:

  • 1 teaspoon white peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup packed thinly sliced cilantro roots with 3-inch stems (see page 16) or cilantro stems
  • 3 tablespoons minced unpeeled Thai garlic or peeled regular garlic
  • 1/3 cup thin soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Thai oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon tapioca starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 pound (450 g) ground chicken
  • 5 fresh water chestnuts, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 package (12 ounces/340 g) wonton wrappers (3-1/2 inches square)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons Garlic Chips, without the garlic oil (page 308)
  • 1 fresh red spur chili, seeded and finely diced


  1. To make the dipping sauce: In a small bowl, combine the thin soy sauce, sweet soy sauce, and white vinegar. Stir well before serving.
  2. To make the filling: Using a stone mortar and pestle, grind the white peppercorns to a fine powder. Add the cilantro roots and garlic and grind to a fine paste. Transfer to a medium bowl.
  3. Add the thin soy sauce, oyster sauce, one tablespoon of the sunflower oil, tapioca starch, and salt. Using your hands, mix well. Add the ground chicken and water chestnuts. Massage the filling in a circular  motion with your hands. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour the remaining onetablespoon sunflower oil into a small bowl. Dip a large melon baller into the oil and use it to scoop balls of the chicken mixture onto the baking sheet, dipping the melon baller into the oil between scoops to prevent sticking. (If you do not have a melon baller, use a spoon and your hands to make small balls.) You should have about 40 balls.
  5. Hold your hand as if holding a candle, with the bottom three fingers of your fist held tightly. Place a wonton wrapper on top of your fist so that it covers the hole made by your thumb and index finger. Place a chicken ball on the middle of the wonton wrapper. Push down on the chicken ball with a finger while at the same time lightly squeezing with your index finger and thumb to form a tube-like shape of the wonton wrapper. Use scissors to cut away excess wonton wrapper so the wrapper is flush with the filling. Stand the filled wonton on a plate to gently flatten the bottom. Repeat until all the dumplings are made.
  6. In a large pot over high heat, bring the water to a boil. When the water is boiling, cover with a steamer tier lined with parchment paper or lightly coated with sunflower oil. This will prevent the dumplings from sticking to the steamer. Place the dumplings in the steamer, leaving 1/2 inch space between dumplings, cover, and cook until the chicken is light grey and no longer pink and the wrapper is light yellow, three to five minutes. Continue until all dumplings have been cooked. Using tongs, transfer the dumplings to a plate. Top with the cilantro leaves, garlic chips, and red spur chili.
  7. Stir the dipping sauce and serve with the hot dumplings.

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