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Truffle Pate and Beef Dumplings


Truffle pate and beef dumplings

Truffle pate and beef dumplings

Truffle pate and beef dumplings

Truffle pate and beef dumplings

Truffle pate and beef dumplings

What’s your favourite dumpling flavours? For me it’s always been pork and chives as that’s what mum makes at home. When we go out for dinners though, we will get a variety: pork and cabbage, beef and onion etc but I’ve not made any with beef at home… Until this week!

This truffle and beef flavour is based on a yum cha dish – steamed beef mince balls with coriander – which is one of my favourite dishes to have at any yum char place. The truffle pate I’ve added is of course non-traditional, but it’s rather magical as the earthiness of truffle works so well in this recipe. We couldn’t get enough of them when I trialled the recipe in the weekend.

Pan-fried and then steamed; this is the perfect way of cooking these dumplings. The left overs went into my daughter’s lunch box the next day.

Definitely making more of these for the freezer, as part of our meal prep solutions.

What other flavours of dumplings have you tried? Let me know in comments!

Ingredients:
Dumplings

  • 500g beef mince
  • 1 small bunch coriander, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, grated
  • ginger, 5cm long, grated
  • 1 egg, size 7
  • 2 Tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp mirin (or Chinese wine)
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp potato starch
  • 2 Tbsp truffle pate
  • 2 tsp black pepper, grounded
  • 60 sheets (1 pack) dumpling wrapper


Vinegar-soy Dipping Sauce

  • 4 Tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Black vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

Instructions

  1. Grate the garlic and ginger with a micropane and add to ground mince. Add all the ingredients in and stir to mix thoroughly.
  2. Add Truffle pate and mix well.
  3. In the mean time, take the dumpling wrappers out of the fridge and let it return to room temperature before starting to make the dumplings. They are more pliable when rested i.e. if you are greedy you can fit more into each dumpling.
  4. Take a little spoonful of filling and place it in the middle of the wrapper. Dip your finger into the bowl of water and wet the edges of the wrapper lightly.
  5. Fold the wrapper over the filling, forming a moon shape.
  6. Hold the dumpling in your left hand, like holding a taco.
  7. With your right index and middle fingers, flex the dough towards the left to form one pleat.
  8. Press the dough down together against your left thumb, which is just supporting the other side of the dumpling.
  9. Repeat 5 times. (There’s a short video on my Insta highlights, under “Savoury recipes” .)

Here are 2 ways of cooking dumplings, both delicious! The pan-fried way produces dumplings that have more bite in the wrapper which we quite enjoy.

If you aren’t ready to cook them all, you can freeze them in trays. Just dust with plenty of flour to ensure they don’t stick to the bottom of the tray or box. Once frozen, you can store them in sealed bags too. Cook from frozen, never defrost!


For boiled dumplings:

Fill half of a large pot or saucepan with water and bring it to a boil. (note not to fill over two-thirds of the pot as you will be adding more water later on.) Add 1 tsp salt to the water and add 30 dumplings in, be careful not to over crowd the pot.
When the water returns to a boil, pour in half a cup of cold water and wait for it to return to a boil. At this point, you add a second half cup of cold water. This is repeated until you have added water three times in total and the water has returned to a full boil. The dumplings are ready! Repeat to cook the rest of the dumplings, if not freezing for later.

Pan fried dumplings:

Heat a large pan with 2 tsp of oil. When the pan is hot, place dumplings in, flat bottoms down, in a circular pattern. Cook on medium high for 1-2 minutes till the bottom is nicely crisp. Pour in hot water that goes to a third of the height of the dumplings. Note: it will bubble like mad! Cover with lid and let it cook for 2-3 minutes on medium heat. Keep an eye on it to make sure the water hasn’t evaporated too quickly. Once the water has evaporated, a lattice skin will form on the bottom of the pan. Take it off the heat, and carefully place a plate over the dumplings. Flip the pan while holding the plate with the other hand so that the cooked dumplings are transferred over to the plate entirely, without breaking the lattice skin. (Imagine flipping an upside down cake on a plate) If flipping isn’t an option, just remove dumplings with tongs.

For the vinegar-soy dipping sauce, mix ingredients together and serve alongside warm dumplings.

Truffle pate and beef dumplings

Review: The White House Restaurant, Wellington


To celebrate local produce in the Greater Wellington region, more than 100 restaurants put out special menus for the month of August in the name of Wellington on a Plate. Out of all those restaurants, I’ve decided to try The White House, an establishment situated on Oriental Parade. In search of dishes that I don’t normally prepare myself, I had wanted to try their degustation menu. However once I spotted their normal dessert menu, I had my eyes set on one special item that meant this will be an a la carte evening.

To start, I was served a warm cauliflower velouté drizzled with truffle oil and sprinkled with more truffle powder. On the side is house made bread and butter.

Cauliflower veloute
The first impression was the smell. The truffle smell was intoxicatingly earthly, and I think it is an acquired taste. Those who read my earlier post about the food show would know that I like truffle, so this was something I was very eager to try.

But no I had to take photos first of course.

What surprised me next was that the truffle oil on top trapped the heat and it was still very hot when I finally started to eat it. The soup was extremely smooth, just thick enough and the truffle was a perfect match to the cauliflower. Hmm ideas are now flowing abound in my head over what I could do to a humble cauliflower.

Main: Medium rare Angus pure beef fillet, fried scampi, Worcestershire spatzli, ham poached young carrots, carrot puree, oxtail juice

WOW. That’s my impression when the plate was laid in front of me. The beef was cooked perfectly. The carrot purée smear was done with such precision it showed how confident the chef was in plating up. I need to practice that! The oxtail juice sauce was exquisite – the thickness was just right, not runny yet not too thick nor congealed. When you lift it with the fork, it has a certain tension and elasticity to it, rendering it sticky. Nice.


The spatzli, a German type of pasta, is the one that I didn’t initially get, but as I tried more of the dish the more I feel this was the right carbohydrate to go with it. It is quite light and together with the sauce it made a nice combination.

Sides: Hand cut chips with truffle salt.

These were very good (because of the truffle element) but were a tad bit soggy and perhaps too salty (I hear my GP saying “low salt diet” in the back of my mind).

Dessert: Snow egg, passionfruit fool, meringues and passionfruit granita.

This was beyond description. The snow egg was a baked meringue, soft and pillowy. The passionfruit granita cuts through the fool, and the crunchy meringue florettes made a perfect contrast to the snow egg. I’m obsessed with the tartness from fruits cutting through richer and creamer sauces lately, and this one is right up there amongst the best. Heavenly.

What a perfect end to the meal.

Score: 9/10 just a point off for the less than perfect chips.