Dumplings With Crispy Lattice

With the stay at home order and the move to working from home, we jumped on the at-home dumpling bandwagon back in April of 2020. I have been eating dumplings for the majority of my life, but had never seen the crispy lattice/skirt (sometimes called wings) until I saw it on Instagram around the same time.

It immediately reminded me of the coral tuiles that were very popular a few years back. Really, it’s similar concept with similar ingredients, just applied to dumplings. I really like the fact that the crispy lattice adds an extra textural component to the dumplings. At school, we just made dumplings with the kids this week. I plan to show them the lattice as a demo soon, let’s hope I get it right!

How to make the skirt: Start by heating a 10″ pan with roughly 3 teaspoons of neutral oil + 1 teaspoon of sesame oil (sesame oil adds flavour) on medium heat. Once the pan is heated, add approx. 10 frozen dumplings to the pan, spaced evenly apart so it will look pretty when it’s finished (don’t forget about the orientation!). Let them cook for roughly 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile in a separate bowl, whisk 1/3 cup of hot water with 2 teaspoons of flour in a separate container. Pour the flour/water mixture into the hot pan and immediately cover with a lid to steam the dumplings. After 5-7 minutes, remove the lid, and continue to cook until all the water is evaporated and the skirt is a nice golden brown.

FAQs, Tips, Troubleshooting:
1. Depending on the amount of heat, timing will vary. Appearance is a better indicator than the timer, and you might need to adjust the heat to get the right colour (without over-/under-cooking the dumplings) .
2. To remove the dumplings, I put a plate with a piece of paper towel on top and inverting the frying pan. Be very careful because there is definitely going to be some HOT excess oil!
3. Kenji Lopez, from Serious Eats, just posted this week that using potato starch would give an even better lattice. I plan on trying that soon since we just made a big batch of dumplings.

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