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Homemade Dumpling Wrapper Skins
Posted By Jim On 11/24/2009 @ 12:15 pm In Personal Finance | 18 Comments
Last weekend, my lovely wife had a few of her classmates over for dinner and a movie. For dinner, we made homemade dumplings  from “scratch,” except for the skins which were store bought. We must have made close to two hundred dumplings, evenly split between a shrimp and pork filling and a pork and cabbage filling. After a quick 12 minute steaming, a little crisp frying in some sesame oil, we enjoyed the dumplings with some wine.
We made as many dumplings as we had store-bought dumpling wrappers (or are they called skins?) and we still had filling left over, about a cup and a half worth of each. Since raw shrimp and raw pork don’t last very long in the fridge, we needed to make up the rest of the dumplings quickly and pop them in the freezer.
So last night, after an afternoon of football games, I found myself at home with no skins… so I thought I’d try to make skins from scratch.
OK, it’s just really simple dough.
Combine in a bowl and knead until it has a “smooth elastic texture.” If you aren’t familiar with how to knead dough, here’s an Epicurious video  that explains the process in two minutes (they talk about bread dough but it’s the same idea).
Once you’re done, roll the dough until it takes on a cylindrical shape. Then you want to cut off a quarter to a half inch piece that you will then roll into a circular shape. I recommend only cutting off one at a time in the beginning until you get proficient enough in the rolling/flattening process to know how much dough you need to create wrappers thin enough for your tastes. Remember to use flour to prevent the skins from sticking to the table/board and to the roller.
When I revealed in my homemade dumpling  post that we bought skins from the store, a few readers commented and emailed me that I should try to make homemade skins because they were better. After doing it and sampling my own creation, I have to agree that homemade is tastier because the skins aren’t dry.
The store-bought skins have a bit of toughness, even after steaming, that the homemade dumplings skins didn’t. The edges of the store-bought skins were also drier, which is inescapable. Another benefit of homemade is that you can add spices to the skin dough, which I didn’t do but will probably try next time. A little salt and pepper will add some depth to the skin’s flavor.
The trade-off is that making homemade dough, kneading it, and flattening out skins adds quite a bit of time to the dumpling making process. However, if you have the time and the inclination to try something new, give this a whirl because it’s a lot of fun to add to your cooking repertoire.
(Photo: joygant )
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 homemade dumplings: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/homemade-pork-shrimp-dumplings.html
 Epicurious video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWj8oHMPFm0
 joygant: http://www.flickr.com/photos/joygant/2510639211/sizes/l/
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