Monday, 18 October 2010

Steamed Sticky Pumpkin Dumplings

I saw these whilst blog-hopping at the weekend and thought they were great!  I saw them here at Precious Moment.  I tweaked the recipe a little as I wanted to make savoury pumpkins.  My mum loves pumpkins and sweet potatoes so I often bookmark recipes with pumpkin in them.  Today was the first time I'd actually made something pumpkin related from a blog.

Our not very orange pumpkins!

I actually ended up using Butternut Squash.  I have seen small squashes in the supermarkets right now but I used Butternut Squash as its easier to peel - less knobbly bits I suppose.  The squashes are fascinating as they come in different shapes and colours - must take a sneaky snap next time.  The great thing about them is they are smaller than pumpkins so are easier to cut through and to use up.  We had squash braised with belly pork slices today for dinner at mum's - delish!  (Sorry no snaps of that one!)  Love Mondays, that's dinner at mum's day & it was great 'cos as I helped her do the prep for dinner I was prepping the ingredients for these Pumpkin Dumplings and mum also cooked the filling for me.

Anyway, this is what we did:

Pumpkin Dumpling

300 g butternut squash, peeled and in 1 inch cubes
150 g glutinous rice flour
100 g rice flour
150 g minced pork (any other meat will be acceptable too)
2 shallots, finely diced
1 small carrot, finely diced
50 g butternut squash finely diced
1 spring onion, finely chopped (only as I cut up too many for dinner!)
seasonings: salt, pepper, sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil
cornflour paste to thicken
1/2 cup water

Steam the squash until tender.  (As I was at mum's and she always makes soup, I put the squash in a sieve and put it in the soup pot for about 10 minutes or so until soft.)
Mash the squash thoroughly with a fork.  Ideally until no lumps left. 
Mix in the flours in several batches.  Mine seemed on the dry side and I began to doubt whether it would come together, but with some kneading, it soon became a dough.
Fry the shallots in some in oil until fragrant.  Add the minced pork and continue to mix breaking up the meat as it colours. 
Add the carrot and squash and fry for 1 minute before adding the water.  Season according to taste.  The seasonings mentioned are basics to what my mum uses and what our palate is accustomed to.  You can adjust it how you like with chilli, curry powder, spices, herbs etc. 
Cook for a few minutes before thickening with cornflour paste.  You want any sauce to coat the fillings and not be runny or you will encounter problems when wrapping.
Pinch a walnut-sized piece of dough and roll between your palms until smooth.  My dough felt dry and was cracking (maybe the squash isn't as wet as pumpkin mash?) so I put a drop of oil in my palm and kneaded the dough to make rolling easier.  Flatten with your fingers into a 2 inch circle, place 1 teaspoon of filling in the centre and wrap to enclose the filling.  Flatten the ball slightly to resemble a squat shaped pumpkin and mark ridges with the back of a knife.
Use a small strip of pumpkin peel to resemble the stalk and place in the centre of the dumpling.  I used some of the peel from the dark green squash we had at dinner.  Cloves make a good substitute stalk.
Place on a greased steaming rack and steam over a moderate heat for 10-15 minutes. 

Think we made too much filling as this is what's left over!  Or I was too stingy with the filling!

My pumpkins were rather yellow/green in colour as the butternut squash wasn't very deeply yellow/orange in colour.  Perhaps the butternut squash was picked too early in the season and deep orange colour hadn't developed yet?  It looked liked cubed mango before I mashed it!  My younger brother complained that the dumpling skin was too thick and he didn't get enough filling to eat!  As the dough was on the dry side it wasn't so pliable and was prone to cracking.  This made wrapping tricky and probably why the skin was thick.  Next time I will add flour slowly and stop when the dough is wet enough.  I'd probably add 1 tablespoon of oil whilst mixing the dough to make it easier to work with.

The filling can be changed to suit your mood.  Crisp water chestnut pieces would be nice, Chinese mushroom will give it a meaty fragrance, dried shrimps will give it a pleasing sweetness too. 

I shared a dumpling with my brother but almost chomped it all before I remembered to take a photo! 

We made 16 dumplings from this batch of dough and had far too much filling left.  Maybe next time I would halve the quantity of meat.  Now, what shall I make with the left-over cooked meat filling?


  1. Wow....this looks dainty and fine workmanship. I can eat 10 at one go. Must be delicious from the look of it :) thanks for sharing the there are plenty of this squash in the market. Joanna told me that it is the season now in UK :)

  2. I will try one day to make them in savoury. Am sure my hubby like like them.

    Thanks for sharing. No problem to link. My pleasure.

  3. Thanks Elin! Sure are plenty of squash - here it's an Autumn vegetable, great in soup and really nice when you add it to a braised meat dish. Maybe Joanna will try some aquash whilst in UK?

    Edith, I hope you try a savoury version too! I found it hard to get a thin skin, but maybe better next time!