Ever heard of steamed pork dumplings? These are one and the same! Except the pork in question is, of course, bacon.
For the last day of Bacon Week I got to try another new recipe – dumplings! I’ve never steamed anything other than vegetables before (and them almost always in the microwave, not over the stove or in a steamer), so I thought this would be an interesting foray for my last bacon post of the year.
The dough itself is pretty straight forward, although interestingly it’s composed of both all-purpose and cake flour. Cake flour has a much finer consistency than all-purpose and contains less gluten. Gluten is what makes your baked goods chewy, so using cake flour means you have a lighter consistency, as opposed to bread flour, for example, which has a much higher gluten content to ensure your breads are tougher and chewier. The more you know!
The filling was also delightfully straight forward! Most recipes for pork dumplings called for a pork roast or ribs of some sort, so I did a simple trade-up for the same weight of bacon. The only other requirements were some shallots and hoisin sauce!
Once the dough had risen, I rolled the whole thing into a snake and then chopped that snake into 12 even pieces. Each piece was then rolled by hand into a ball. Then, one by one, I used a rolling pin to flatten each ball into a circle, deposited a small helping of the filling right in the center, then folded the edges in and pinched to form a little dumpling shape. Easy peasy!
Then came the tricky part – as I mentioned, I don’t actually have an official steamer (everything I read assumed you had a bamboo steamer. Are bamboo steamers a standard part of your kitchen?). Instead I did a little googling and then whipped out my colander/steaming basket that I very rarely use. I’d read that you could steam the dumplings with a colander, so I attempted to do just that – with moderate success.
I had to do the steaming in batches, but that wasn’t a terrible inconvenience. I cut 3 small squares of parchment out to keep the dumplings from sticking to the basket and spaced them evenly with the intent of keeping them from touching. As I said, a moderate success.
Here you can see the steamer in action! The basket was placed above a pot of simmering water and left there for around 15 minutes. I felt proud as I watched my little hand-made dumplings expand and get steamed into deliciousness.
So everything sounds like it went smoothly, right? Well, mostly it did, but there were some noted differences between my dumplings and ones I’ve eaten before. The biggest one was the size of the dumplings. I feel like the dough was thicker than it should have been, and as they steamed they puffed up a lot. Each bite was probably 2/3 dough and at most 1/3 filling. I probably should’ve rolled the dough thinner, or added more filling. Or both! Additionally, I think I could have steamed all of them longer. Most dumplings came out with an under-done top (that is, still doughy), while the bottom and sides were more well cooked.
Otherwise, they were pretty good! I’m looking forward to trying other versions of dumplings in the future (probably with “real” filling).The traditional annual Bacon Badge[/caption]Thanks for reading along with me this week for Bacon Week! I hope you enjoyed something a little different!
Steamed Bacon Dumplings
This is another experimental recipe, just like the doughnuts. Use and tweak this recipe at your own discretion! Adapted from FoodNetwork.com.
Makes 12 dumplings
Follow Food Network’s directions precisely!
- 1/2 pound bacon
- 1 bunch diced scallions
- 3 tbsp hoisin sauce
Follow Food Network’s directions precisely!
- Cook the bacon to where it’s still slightly chewy and not crispy.
- Pat down the bacon to remove as much grease as possible, then cut into small chunks (I used scissors and cut the strips into approximately 1/2 inch sections).
- Mix together the bacon, scallions and hoisin until evenly combined.
- Roll out a ball of dough into around a 3″ circle.
- Put a small scoop of the filling into the center of the dough.
- Fold the edges of the dough together and pinch at the top.
- If you have a steamer, steam the buns for around 15 minutes.
- If you don’t have a steamer, break out your metal colander and find a pot it will fit inside without touching the bottom. Put a couple inches of water into the pot (the colander shouldn’t touch the water, either!) and set it to simmer. While you wait, cut 3-4 small squares of parchment paper and place them in the colander, each with a “raw” dumpling on it. Don’t crowd them – use your discretion to decide whether you should add 3 or 4 at once. Once steam starts rising from the pot, place the colander and dumplings inside for ~15 minutes.