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111. Steamed dumplings with marrow, prawns, egg and Fensi filling


How to make steamed Chinese dumplings with marrow, prawns and eggs

Chinese steamed dumpling

steamed dumpling with marrow filling

Happy new year!!

After three continuous ‘culture notes’ on Chinese new year, let’s come back to talk some ‘real’ stuff — food! :)) As dumpling is the most popular ‘must-have’ food during the Chinese new year celebration, I would like to share more dumpling recipes. However, this recipe is slightly different to the previous ones, as these dumplings are steamed, and with a new filling — marrow prawns, egg and Fensi. But the way of rolling the pastry sheet and wrap it up are still the same.

As you know, the ‘famous’ Chinese dumplings are normally boiled, but dumplings can also be lightly fried (like Japanese dumplings), and steamed — with slightly different way of making the pastry sheet.

Steamed dumplings are probably not very common in many Chinese restaurants, but you might be familiar with all the steamed ‘dim sim’. Steamed dumpling is very similar to steamed ‘dim sim’ in that respect, but in much bigger size — that is why we always say northeast people are generous in food — serve more and eat more. Ha…

Different to normal boiled dumpling pastry, which is kneaded with plain flour and cold water, the pastry of steamed dumplings is made with plain flour and hot water, and the pastry sheet is slightly thicker than the ones for boiled dumplings.

And this time, I made filling with marrow, prawns, egg and Fensi. Marrow is not easily made into fillings as it contains too much ‘water’, it is definitely not easy to make into boiled dumplings, as its ‘water’ could easily touch the edge of the pastry sheet, makes it difficult to ‘seal’, and also very easy to ‘leak’ during boiling. But it can be avoid when steaming. Also, again the trick with Fensi makes it easier — as Fensi can help absorbing the sauce, thus making the filling drier.

The best way of reducing the ‘water’ from the marrow to the minimum is to spread some salt on chopped (minced) marrow, and let it sit for 10 minutes, then squeeze the ‘water’ out to get ‘drier’ marrow.

Also when prepare the fillings, I used to say that, (especially with meat fillings,) if you prepared ‘spice water’, it can replace five spice powder. However, in this recipe, as we try to minimize the water, obviously it is not a good idea anymore. But if you don’t have five spice powder, you can lightly fry some anise star, cinnamon stick, and sichuan peppercorn, couple of garlic, and bay leaves in oil, then just use that oil to mix into the filling. The taste is probably even better. (I will put picture out for this method next time.)

Here is how I made it — well, more like how my mum would make it. :))


For pastry sheet: plain flour, and hot water.

For the filling: marrow, fresh prawns (I did mix in a small handful dried prawns, but not necessary), egg, fensi, oil, salt, sesame oil, light soy sauce, five spice powder.


For the pastry sheet:

1) Mix 4 cups of plain flour with 1 1/5 cup of hot water, knead it into a dough.

2) Allow the dough sit for 20 minutes, then knead it again, and divide it into small portions, (see the post for making dumpling pastry sheet), say around 3cm diameter small ‘balls’, and press them down, then roll them into flat sheet. (see the post for making dumpling pastry sheet)


For the filling:

1) Chop the marrow into smallest piece possible (minced) (I used half of the marrow for this recipe). If you like, you can get rid of the excess water from the marrow like I mentioned before.

Chopping the marrow

2) Chop the prawns into mince. (I used around 250g).

Chopping the prawns

3) Stir fry 2 eggs in the wok, make it into smallest pieces, allow it cool down.

4) Soak a small bunch of Fensi in the warm water for half hour or more. Then chop it into smallest pieces, and get rid of the excess water, before mixing into the filling.

5) Mix four above ingredients together, add in around 3 tablespoons of oil, and 2 tablespoons of sesame oil, 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of salt (but if you have got rid of the water with spreading salt already, add less salt at this step), 2/3 teaspoon of five spices powder.

Mixing the ingredients

Making the dumplings see the post for how to wrap up the dumpling.


1) Before placing the dumplings in steamer, dip the bottom of the dumplings into a little oil, for avoiding the dumplings getting sticky on the steamer sheet.

Making the dumplings
Putting the dumplings in the steamer

2) Steam the dumplings with full fire, after the water is boiling in the steamer, keep on steaming for further 5-7 minutes. —- Done!!!

Hope you like it!

Related posts:

7.3 Chinese dumplings: the fillings
36. Won ton soup (folding, boiling and serving)
Culture Note: The first 5 days of Chinese new year celebration
122. Simple Chinese fish recipe: jiao zhi fish


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