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Pan-fried Xiaolongbao for Father's Day by Dad (Me)

Pan-fried Xiaolongbao for Father's Day by Dad (Me)

It may seem like xiaolongbao are hard to form, but once you try it out it's like "Hey, even I can make these." Surprise your family!

Ingredients: about 27 dumplings

Cooking time:
1 hour 30 minutes (this includes clean-up time, but it is a lot of work...)
For the dough:
Cake flour
100 g
Bread (strong) flour
100 g
Egg
1
Water
about 5 tablespoons
Lard
1 tablespoon
Filling:
Ground pork
330 g
Green onions
13 cm or so
Flavoring ingredients:
Soy sauce
1 tablespoon
Sesame oil
1 tablespoon
Salt
a scant 1 teaspoon
Sugar
1 heaping teaspoon
Miso
1 teaspoon
Lard
1 heaping tablespoon
Pepper
a small amount
Preliminaries:
Stick kanten
5 to 6 cm
Oolong tea
200 ml

Steps

1. All over the world, fathers are celebrated on Father's Day in June.
2. How about doing something good to say thanks to your family! Don't just be a passive father on Father's day.
3. This is a proposal for "Father's Who Do". But, what can you do? is the question.
4. This recipe is for times like this. This was really popular a little while back in Taiwan.
5. It's getting popular in Japan too. So, if you can make these yourself you can show off a bit. In other words...
6. ...it'll make your family say "Wow, you're great Dad!" So on Father's Day, why not go to the kitchen in the afternoon and make these?
7. If you've decided to go for it, for this day women are forbidden to enter the kitchen. Whatever happens you, Dad, must take care of it yourself.
8. I finally got everyone to sit at the dinner table and try the dumplings. They kept on exclaiming how hot they were!
9. ....and I was filled with a sense of accomplishment.
10. There's nothing you can't do! Just have fun!
11. Learning how to make these is really not a big deal. It's not difficult at all! So, let's get started.
12. Start with the prep work. Rip up the stick of kanten, put it into the oolong tea, and soak it until it has softened. Heat the tea and kanten until the kanten dissolves.
13. Once that's done, we'll make the dough next. Combine the flours, and add the lard, egg and water in that order. The dough should be about the same texture as your earlobe.
14. By the way, I always wonder: When they say "the texture of an earlobe", whose earlobe do they mean? I didn't touch mine to check.
15. But one day I want to research this question in depth. Anyway, let's stop with the silly sidetrack. Let's make the filling next.
16. Chop the set kanten jelly up very very finely, as fine as you can manage. (This is a key point.)
17. Combine all the flavoring ingredients with the pork (another key point), then add the kanten jelly and chopped leek. Mix it all up very well. Then, all you need to do is to fill the dumplings.
18. Cut the dough into portions, flatten each piece and form each dumpling. The dough should be about 1 mm thick, so aim for that.
19. Keep the cut up dough covered with a tightly wrung out moistened kitchen towel (another key point). Each portion of filling should be a bit less than 1 tablespoon. Wrap each portion in the dough.
20. If you have a bit more filling, the dough will stretch so you can wrap more than you think so it'll be fine.
21. Make sure to seal the dumplings very well. Line up the filled dumplings on a shallow tray dusted with flour.
22. Once you've formed about 5 dumplings, start putting them in the freezer (another key point). Now let's start pan frying the dumplings.
23. Line a frying pan with oil and heat. When it starts to smoke, pause for a breath and then put in some dumplings.
24. Add boiling water (another key point; not cold water) about 1/3 of the way up the dumplings, and cook over medium heat for about 6 minutes with a lid on. When there's almost no moisture left in the pan, take the lid off.
25. Lower the heat a bit, add a bit more oil and keep cooking the dumplings. This will brown them. The perimeter of each dumpling should turn the color of dark coffee (another key point).
26. If you've made it this far, all you need to do is to quickly take the dumplings out using a spatula. Start eating them while they're still piping hot.
27. These dumplings are full of delicious, hot soup!
28. I have a special custom made frying pan for this. I also recommend using a metal spatula.

Story Behind this Recipe

They say these are popular in Taiwan and in Japan too.