While maintaining a routine in self-quarantine, cooking can be an uplifting and comforting way to pass the time, offering an opportunity to try something new and nourishing at home. Dumplings, hailing from diverse regions across the globe, formed by and filled with an array of delicious ingredients, whether baked, boiled, fried or steamed, are arguably the ultimate comfort food. Offering insight into their favourite doughy delicacies, London chefs, Joe Fox of Townsend, Xu co-founder Erchen Chang, fresh pasta specialist Elia Sebregondi, and Ekte’s Robin Freeman, share with Something Curated four tempting dumpling recipes to try at home.
Potato Dumplings with Potted Shrimp || Joe Fox (Townsend)
Ingredients / Serves 4
Potted shrimp butter
250g of brown shrimp
100g of butter
1 pinch of cayenne pepper
2 bay leaves
1 pinch of paprika
1 egg yolk
10g of sea salt
50g of Berkswell or Parmesan cheese, finely grated
300g of potatoes, peeled
75g of strong bread flour, plus extra for dusting
1 pinch of ground nutmeg
1 lemon, zested
- Set up a steamer and steam the potatoes for 20 minutes until soft all the way through. You can also bake the potatoes and scrape out the centre if you like.
- Meanwhile, make the potted shrimp butter. Melt the butter with the bay leaves and add the spices. When all combined, remove the bay leaves, pour the butter over the brown shrimp and allow to cool. Reserve in the pan for later.
- Once the potatoes are cooked, let them cool a little so they can be handled. Push them through a potato ricer and place in a large bowl. Alternatively, you can push the potatoes through a sieve.
- Make a well in the centre of the potato. Mix the egg, egg yolk, cheese and salt together and pour into the well. With one hand, gently start to fold the ingredients together until combined well. Add the flour and knead gently until the flour is fully incorporated and the dough is soft. Don’t overmix or the dumplings will be tough – the dough should feel soft.
- Lay baking paper on the back of a baking tray and sprinkle lightly with flour. Cut your dough into 6 pieces and place on a lightly floured work surface. Roll each piece into a long roll roughly 2cm in diameter, then cut into 3cm pieces and place on the baking trays. Continue this process until all the dough is rolled and cut.
- Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and reheat the shrimp butter gently in the pan.
- When all the dumplings have been cut, sprinkle them with a little more flour. Slide the dumplings into the boiling salted water and simmer for a few minutes – when the dumplings rise to the surface they’re cooked. Remove from the water and toss in the sauce with the parsley for a minute or two until you have a nice glossy sauce. Plate the dish and finish with a grating of lemon zest.
150ml cold water
Pinch of salt
40g dried shiitake mushrooms
185g fresh shiitake mushrooms
125g oyster mushrooms
100g lotus root which can be found at a Chinese supermarket or local grocery. If you can’t find it, taro or potato also work.
Vegetable oil, for cooking
10g fresh root ginger, peeled and finely diced
50ml Shaoxing wine
40ml light soy sauce
- Mix everything together and knead for 15mins, let it rest for 30mins.
- It’s then ready to be used. Cling film and keep in the fridge when not using it. These can be kept in the fridge for a day or two or in the freezer for a week.
- To make the filling, soak the dried shiitake mushrooms in 600ml of filtered water and set aside for an hour.
- Meanwhile, chop up 8mm dice the fresh shiitake and oyster mushrooms. Peel and grate the lotus root.
- Once the dried shiitake mushrooms have soaked, strain and place the mushroom liquid aside. Chop the soaked shiitake to the same size as the other mushrooms.
- Place a frying pan over a medium-high heat and add a splash of vegetable oil. Fry the ginger and all the mushrooms until all are properly sweated. This should take around 10 minutes.
- Add the Shaoxing wine and cook this down, seasoning with soy sauce.
- Add the grated lotus root to continue to fry, adding some of the mushroom soaking liquid until it binds the mixture nicely together for around 10 minutes.
- Set aside the mushroom filling.
- To make the dumplings, set a large pan of water on to boil.
- Remove the cling film from the dumpling dough and divide it into 12g balls similar to the size of a marble.
- On a floured surface, roll out a dough ball into to form a circular disc around 1-2mm thickness, 7cm diameter. Place a tablespoon of the mushroom filling in the centre.
- Fold the dumpling dough in half and pinch the edges together to enclose the filling. Roll out the dough to a round disc, put the filling in the middle. fold the rolled out dough in half and pinch the edges to close. Meet the tips of each side of the dumplings, pinch and close off to make that shape. Repeat with the rest of the dough and filling.
- Sprinkle a pinch of salt in the boiling water. Drop in the dumplings in batches and boil for about 3-5 minutes or until they all float to the top.
- Serve with the red chilli oil.
Pumpkin Gnocchi with Gorgonzola & Sage || Elia Sebregondi (Officina 00)
Ingredients / Serves 4
500g delicia pumpkin
50g coarse sea salt
400g red skinned potatoes
140g 00 pasta flour
5g table salt
20g Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
1 egg yolk
A knob of butter
5-6 sage leaves
A handful of Gorgonzola, crumbled, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 200C fan. Lay the pumpkins and potatoes on a baking tray covered in a layer of coarse sea salt and bake for around 40-50 minutes, until cooked through.
- Place in a large mixing bowl, discarding the skin, and smash into a purée with the flour, table salt, Parmesan and egg yolk.
- Scoop into a medium-sized piping bag and pipe long sausage shapes, then cut these into gnocchi.
- Cook the gnocchi in a pan of boiling salted water for a couple of minutes, until softened.
- Meanwhile, heat the butter and sage in a frying pan, swirling the pan every now and again, until the butter is brown and the sage leaves are crisp. Toss the gnocchi in the butter and stir in the Gorgonzola just before serving.
Vegetarian Kroppkakor || Robin Freeman (Ekte)
1kg potatoes cooked and put through the fine moulin/grater – cool down to room temperature
200g plain flour
Salt and pepper to taste
Make a dough that is still a bit wet so it will stick to your hands – work with flour on your hands when rolling the dumplings
500g mixed wild mushrooms – chopped
50g cooked chestnuts – chopped
2 cloves of garlic minced with thyme in olive oil
Fry mushrooms, garlic/thyme in butter
Season with salt and pepper to taste
3. Make the dumplings
Measure out 30g of dough and flatten a bit
Put 15g of the filling in the middle and roll up with some flour
Put a large pot of water with salt to boil
Do about 10-12 kroppkakor at a time then put into the boiling water with salt
Boil gently until they float then give them 30sec extra – lift out
4. To finish
Serve straight away or cool down and refrigerate and fry in butter until evenly golden brown when needed. Serve with a sauce and side of your choice – we do them with some simple sage cream and roast pumpkins in Ekte but experiment with fillings, sauces and accompanying vegetables as these are quite versatile.
Feature image: Elia Sebregondi’s Pumpkin Gnocchi with Gorgonzola & Sage