Sui Gaw (水餃) | KitchenTigress

Sui Gaw (水餃)

There're 3 components to sui gaw: wrappers, filling, and broth. Wrap thin pieces of dough with a meaty filling. Cook these dumplings in a rich, umami broth, and you have delicious sui gaw.

Good sui gaw wrappers are thin but they don't tear when they're boiled. Thankfully, these are available readymade.

Good homemade broth is pretty straightforward. Just simmer pork and/or chicken gently for a couple of hours using a 1:1 ratio. So, if you need 1kg of finished broth, use 1 kg of pork/chicken meat/bones.

The filling isn't too difficult either. Here are a few tips:

🦐 Use prawns that are fresh, and make them as dry as possible. The fresher and drier the prawns are, the firmer they'll be after they're cooked. To dry prawns well after they're rinsed, blot them with paper towels.

🐟 Dried sole is a crucial ingredient. It's grilled or roasted till dry and crisp, then pounded so that it's not too small (you wouldn't be able to taste it) nor too big (would be gritty).

Dried sole gives sui gaw filling a unique toasty flavour. And if the stock is simmered with a few chunks of the dried fish, that's even better.

🐷 Sui gaw filling must have lard. Otherwise, it'd be dry and rough.

🍄 When a lump of minced lean meat is cooked, the proteins join together to form a tight, hard ball. That's not nice at all. Lard and dried mushrooms help keep minced meat soft. So do water chestnuts, which also add sweetness and crunch.

💄 Before cooking the dumplings, blanch them in boiling water to wash away excess flour on the wrappers and also some of the lye. Lastly, add some veggies to the sui gaw broth. A bit of green on food is like a slick of lipstick on women.

(Recipe for 28 large pieces, or 34 small ones)

250 g minced pork
100 g minced lard
200 g prawns
shell, keeping the shells and heads for making stock; devein, rinse and dry thoroughly with paper towels; cut pea-sized
½ tsp salt

30 g dried mushrooms
break off stalks; soak caps in 3 tbsp water till soft, about 30 minutes; squeeze dry, reserving the liquid; chop roughly; stalks and liquid may be used for making stock
20 g dried sole
tear into small pieces, toast till brown, crisp and fragrant, pound into 2-3 mm bits
120 g water chestnuts (6 pieces)
peel, rinse and chop roughly into 3-4 mm bits
1 tbsp egg
1 tbsp light soya sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
½ tbsp Shaoxing wine
½ tbsp white sesame oil

28 large or 34 small sui gaw wrappers
1 beaten egg (add 1 tbsp to filling) if making crescent-shaped dumplings
1 litre chicken or pork stock, seasoned to taste
250 g green leafy veg, such as nai bai (奶白) or choy sum (菜心)
rinse thoroughly, cut bite-sized

3 tbsp fried shallots
ground white pepper

1. Thoroughly mix minced pork, lard, prawns and salt. Gather mixture into a ball. Throw mixture back into the bowl, hard. Repeat 3-4 minutes. Add water chestnuts, mushrooms, sole, egg, light soya sauce, oyster sauce, wine and oil. Mix evenly.

2. For unpleated dumplings, place 25 g filling on a wrapper. Smear some egg on edges of wrapper and fold to form crescent shape. Press edges to seal.

For pleated dumplings, use 20 g filling per wrapper. Pleat as show in the video (2:21-2:37), then use water instead of egg to seal edges.

3. To cook dumplings, bring pot of water and chicken stock to a boil. Keep stock simmering gently. Over high heat, blanch dumplings in the water till half cooked. Increase heat for stock to high. Transfer dumplings to the stock with a slotted spoon. Boil gently till cooked through. To test, place a dumpling in a spoon or ladle and press with chopsticks. Dumplings are done if hard.

4. Transfer dumplings to serving bowls with a slotted spoon. Add vegetables to stock. Bring to a gentle simmer. Turn off heat. Divide vegetables and stock between serving bowls. Top with fried shallots. Serve immediately, adding ground white pepper to taste before eating.