Siu Kow is the Cantonese pronunciation of dumplings, or shui jiao in Chinese. In English, it literally translates to “water dumplings”—which in this case, it’s aptly named because the dish is commonly served as a soup dish at Cantonese noodle shops or delis. I love Pork Dumpling (Siu Kow) Soup and often have it at Sam Woo Restaurant, which has a few branches in the Los Angeles Metro Area. Their siu kow is legendary—filled with the perfect ratio of ground pork, shrimp, water chestnuts, and wood ear mushrooms. Every bite is savory, luscious, and crunchy. In my research for this recipe I enjoyed countless servings of the delicious Siu Kow soup at Sam Woo Restaurant.
Makes 12–20 dumplings or serves 4–6 as part of a multi-course meal
- 1 pack store-bought siu kow or wonton wrappers
- 4 cups (1 liter) water
- 1 green onion (scallion), trimmed and cut into small rounds, to garnish
- 1 small wood ear mushroom
- 6 oz (175 g) ground pork
- 4 oz (100 g) shelled and deveined raw shrimp, cut into small pieces
- 2 peeled fresh or canned water chestnuts, minced
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped green onion (scallion)
- 11/2 teaspoons oil
- 1 teaspoon Chinese rice wine or sherry
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 3/4 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 dashes white pepper
- 13/4 cups (425 ml) homemade Chicken Stock or 1 can (14 oz/400 g) store-bought chicken broth
- 1 cup (250 ml) water
- 3 dashes white pepper
- Salt, to taste
- Make the Filling by soaking the wood ear mushroom in warm water for about 15 minutes. Cut it into thin strips.
- Combine the wood ear mushroom and all the Filling ingredients. Chill the Filling in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- To assemble the dumplings, place a piece of the wrapper on your palm and spoon about 1 tablespoon of the Filling onto the wrapper. Do not overfill. Dip your index finger into a small bowl of water and circle around the outer edges of the dumpling wrapper. Fold the dumpling over and finish by pressing the edges with your thumb and index finger to ensure that the dumpling is sealed tightly and there is no leakage. Repeat for the remaining wrappers and Filling.
- Place the dumplings on a floured surface or baking sheet. Cover them with a damp kitchen towel to prevent drying.
- Bring the water to a boil in a pot. Gently transfer the wrapped dumplings into the boiling water and boil until they float to the top, about 2–3 minutes. You may have to boil the dumplings in more than 1 batch, according to the size of your pot.
- Remove the dumplings with a slotted spoon, drain the excess water, and cover them to prevent drying.
- Make the soup by bringing the chicken broth and water to a boil in a pot. Add the white pepper and salt to taste.
- Transfer 3–4 dumplings into a soup bowl, add some of the Soup into the bowl, garnish with some chopped green onion and serve immediately.
COOK’S NOTE: There are different sizes of siu kow or wonton wrappers in the market. Use 1 teaspoon of the Filling if the wrappers are smaller, which yields more dumplings.
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