Lobster Dumplings with Chile & Cilantro Accents

June17

 My friend Laura brought this recipe unassembled to my place for a  summer lunch and we showed the rest of our co-workers how to form and steam the dumplings.  This dish is expensive to make and very time consuming and it is worth the investment of both.

Friends & fellow foodies-Allan and Laura

1 ½ lb. live lobster

6 c loosely packed spinach leaves (about 8 oz.)

1/3 c chopped jicama

2 whole green onions, minced

½ lb ground chicken

1 T finely mined fresh ginger

2 T thin soy sauce

1 T dry sherry

¼ t freshly ground white pepper

40 won ton skins, preferably round

Cornstarch for dusting

Sauce:

2 c whipping cream

½ c white wine

2 t dark sesame oil

½ t salt

Large pinch saffron

1 T very finely minced fresh ginger

Garnish

¼ c Thai chilli sauce

½ c chopped fresh cilantro

Over highest heat, bring 4 inches of water to a vigorous boil in a large pot.  Add the lobster, head first, then cover the pot and steam until the lobster turns bright red, about 6 minutes.  Remove the lobster from the water and cool to room temperature,  cut the lobster in half lengthwise with a heavy knife or poultry scissors.  Remove all the meat.  Cut the lobster meat into pieces small enough to fit inside the dumpling.

Thoroughly wash the spinach leaves.  Ina 2 ½ qt. saucepan, bring 1 inch of water to a vigorous boil,  Add the spinach and turn it in the boiling water until it wilts, about 20 seconds.  Transfer the spinach to a colander to drain, then rinse with cold water and drain again.  Using your hands, press all of the water from the spinach, then mince.  In a large bowl, combine the lobster, spinach, jicama, green onions, chicken, ginger, soy sauce, sherry and white pepper.  Mix with your fingers until thoroughly combined.

Within 5 hours of cooking, fold the dumplings: if the won tons are square, trim into circles.  Add 2 t filling the centre of each won ton skin.  Moisten the edges with water and fold the won ton in half over the filling., then pinch the edges together firmly.  Moisten each end of the dumpling , then touch the ends together so that the dumplings look like caps.  Place the dumplings in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with non-stick cooking (parchment) paper and dusted with cornstarch.  Refrigerate uncovered.

Make the sauce: in a small bowl, combine the cream, wine, sesame oil, salt and saffron, then refrigerate.  Separately set aside the ginger and garnishes. 

Last minute cooking: Bring 6 litres of water to a vigorous boil,  add the dumplings and give them a gentle stir.  When the dumplings float to the surface, after about 3 minutes gently tip them into a colander to drain.

While the dumpling water is coming to a boil and the dumplings are cooking, place the sauce in a 12 inch sauté pan.  Bring to a rigour boil over high heat and cook until the sauce thickens enough to lightly coat a spoon, about 2 minutes.  Stir in the mined ginger.  Taste & adjust seasonings, especially for salt & pepper.  Transfer the dumplings to a bowl, add the sauce, and toss gently.

Place the dumplings and sauce on a heated platter.  Garnish the edge of the sauce with dots of chile sauce.  Sprinkle on the cilantro and serve at once.

Kath’s quote: “A truly destitute person is not one without riches, but the poor wretch who has never partaken of lobster.”-anonymous


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