of Cooking with
author of Cooking
Time Is Family Time
with Lotus Root Dumplings
4 servings as a main course, 6 as a first course
Countless parents have told me that shrimp was the only fish or seafood
their child would eat. Therefore, I've included a number of different
ways to use shrimp. This recipe really appeals to kids when they taste
it because there is a delicate sweetness imparted by the shrimp and
mirin, a sweet Japanese cooking wine made from glutinous rice. Mirin
is available in Japanese markets and the gourmet section of many supermarkets.
Much sweeter than sake, it is a wonderful flavor harmonizer when used
in small quantities as in this recipe.
medium-sized lotus root, approximately 8 inches
pound medium shrimp
- 2 scallions
salt to taste
- 2 teaspoons
mirin (Japanese cooking wine) to taste or substitute white
with a teaspoon of sugar added
To fill the dumplings:
- 1 package
wonton wrappers cornmeal
To make the dough with the food processor:
For the dipping sauce:
Equipment: Bamboo Steamer, blender or food processor
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 inch piece of ginger, unpeeled
- 1 scallion
To make the dumpling filling:
1. Fill a medium sized pot two-thirds full with water and place over heat and
bring to a boil. While the water is heating, older kids can peel the lotus
root with a vegetable peeler while younger children help peel the shrimp.
Transfer the peeled lotus root to the boiling water and let it simmer for 30
2. When shrimp are peeled, prepare a bamboo steamer for cooking, including
oiling each cooking chamber. Steam the shrimp until pink and no longer
translucent, about five minutes. Adults should remove them from steaming
chambers with tongs onto a cutting board. When cooled, let older children
chop the shrimp. Be sure to supervise, always making certain kids curl in
their fingertips! Transfer the chopped shrimp to a medium mixing bowl.
3. When the lotus root is cooked, drain it in a colander and cool. Older
children can help slice the lotus root into one-half inch thick slices.
Place the slices in a blender or food processor. Let children take turns
pressing buttons to grate for five second intervals, about five times,
scraping down the sides with a spatula after each interval until the lotus
root is evenly grated.
4. Let small children help slice the scallion with a table knife. Place the sliced scallions into the bowl with the shrimp.
4. Place the thin rolled dough on the sheet pan, cutting it if you need to
make it fit. Have children sprinkle a bit of flour over the dough, and cover
it with plastic. Continue with the remaining dough.
5. With a wooden spoon, let older children add the lotus root to the shrimp
and scallions and mix well. Now you are ready to season. Have kids add
salt, pinch by pinch to the bowl, tasting after each pinch so as not to add
too much. Next let them measure 1 teaspoon of mirin and add it to the bowl
and mix well. Taste again. Add more mirin, a teaspoon at a time, until the
flavor is balanced: slightly sweet and not too salty. The filling is ready
to be placed in dumpling dough and steamed.
To fill and cook the dumplings:
1. If possible, purchase round wonton wrappers. Unwrap the wonton wrappers
and remove about eight sheets. Cover the remaining squares with a cloth and
reserve. Sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal and set aside. Using a spoon,
place just enough filling into the center of one wrapper, leaving a 1-inch
margin along the edges. Place the wrapper with filling in the palm of your
left hand (if left-handed, place in your right palm) and using you right
hand, bring the sides of the dough up around the filling and gently twist.
2. Place the dumplings into the steamer chambers and steam about 5-7 minutes
until cooked thoroughly. Serve the dumplings hot with dipping sauce on the
side and use chopsticks to add to the fun.
To make the dipping sauce:
1. In a small shallow dish, combine soy sauce and sugar.
2. Grate the piece of ginger finely and add to the soy mixture.
3. Slice the scallion thinly, and add to the soy mixture. Taste to check
seasoning, adding more soy sauce or sugar to balance flavor.
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