For as long as I can remember, because of an allergy to crustaceans that began when I was still in grade school, when making dumplings, I’ve never added chopped shrimps to my pork and vegetable filling. Never mind that every decent cook I knew told me that dumplings just aren’t the same without shrimps.
Well. Now that I am slowly overcoming my allergy and I can eat shrimps and all it relatives in small amounts, I added chopped shrimps to the steamed pork dumplings that I made a couple of days ago. And guess what? Everything that I’ve been told about shrimps making a world of difference? It’s all true. Shrimps give the filling a softer texture. And the added flavor… ah, priceless.
And there’s one other ingredient that can turn a good dumpling into an unforgettable one. Sesame seed oil. Serious stuff. A drizzle goes a long, long way.
So, are you making dumplings for the Chinese luna new year festivities? Don’t forget to add chopped shrimps and sesame seed oil to your meat and vegetable filling. They do wonders.