In celebration of Netflix‘s acclaimedAnimated Feature OVER THE MOON, we got to partake in a special virtual Dumpling making class with Chef Ken Yau ofk.dinners, who has worked at popular local hotspots Nota Bene and Scaramouche, in addition to three-Michelin star The Fat Duck in London. Local television personality Pay Chen hosted and among my classmates was the lovely Tanya Kim!
How fitting, since food is such an integral element in the culturally-rich, visual spectacle that is OVER THE MOON!
Fueled with determination and a passion for science, a bright young girl builds a rocket ship to the moon to prove the existence of a legendary Moon Goddess. There she ends up on an unexpected quest, and discovers a whimsical land of fantastical creatures. Directed by animation legend Glen Keane, and produced by Gennie Rim and Peilin Chou, Over the Moon is an exhilarating musical adventure about moving forward, embracing the unexpected, and the power of imagination. The film stars Cathy Ang (Fei Fei), Phillipa Soo (Chang’e), Robert G. Chiu (Chin), Ken Jeong (Gobi), John Cho (Dad), Ruthie Ann Miles (Mom), Margaret Cho (Auntie Ling), Kimiko Glenn (Auntie Mei), Artt Butler (Uncle), and Sandra Oh (Mrs. Zhong).
A Clip from the Film:
A few tips from Chef Yau about Dumplings:
-All vegetables should be chopped well (maximum 1 cm in size)
-Avoid olive oil if frying; use vegetable oil
-If frying dumplings, don’t use a stainless steel pan, use a non-stick frying pan for a fail-proof fry
-Mix your vegetables with egg separately in its own bowl from the meat before introducing them together
-When stirring your ground pork, go only one way as that activates the protein
-A light dab of water acts as an agent to help seal your dumplings; never use too much of it
-Made too much? don’t worry, freeze these uncooked in an air-tight bag or container for later use!
-Use some kind of liquid if not Shaoxing Wine in your ground pork as this does wonders for moisture
-If boiling your dumplings, they absolutely have to be sealed tonight. this rule isn’t as strict when frying dumplings
-He swears by Ponzu Sauce as an accompaniment to his dumplings
I asked Chef Yau if his recipe could be used in an Air Fryer, which we are obsessed with and he didn’t see why not, though he had never tried. So we did!
Sharing Chef Yau’s recipe below with his permission. I added double the soy sauce to the filling for just a bit more flavour.
2lbs ground pork (or ground chicken)
1 bunch green onion, minced
1 cup Nappa cabbage, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bulb ginger, minced
1.5 tbsps salt
2 tbsps vegetable oil
1 tbsps soy sauce
1 Pack of fresh dumpling wrappers (if frozen, thaw out in the fridge overnight or min 30-40 mins before)
¼ – ⅓ cup Shaoxing Cooking Wine
1. In large mixing bowl, mixed chopped vegetables together with egg. 2. In separate bowl, pour wine into ground pork. Season with salt and soy sauce. 3. Mix pork into vegetables, stirring one direction only till combined. 4. Dab a bit of water (careful not to over-wet it) on edge of half of dumpling wrapper. 5. Scoop a spoon of filling onto center of wrapper. Fold edges firmly together. For added effect, you can pleat the edges into an “S”-shape repeatedly and pinch to seal. Repeat till you’ve reached desired amount of dumplings and store on a baking sheet. 6. You boiling pot of water, bringing dumplings to boil and reduce to medium/medium-low heat, covered for about 8 minutes, cooking in batches of 12 at a time. 7. Alternatively, for a crisp dumpling, you can air-fry at 380°F. Drizzle with a tiny bit of oil, pre-heating fryer for three minutes and then frying dumplings for about 6 minutes, tossing the dumplings once and placing back in fryer to finish for about 3-4 more minutes. 8. Plate the dumplings and serve with soy sauce, chili sauce or red/black vinegar.
Beef Stew and Cheddar Dumplings. Something hearty for you as the temperatures drop! Ensure that you are always cooking your beef at a low heat and a long simmer for that perfect fall-apart texture. This will last you days.
Stew: 2 lbs stewing beef 3 cups squash, chopped into chunks 1 large white potato, pellets and diced 1 cup small button mushrooms 2 carrots, peeled and sliced 1/2 large white onion, minced 1 zucchini, sliced 1/2 cup white wine 5 tbsps corn starch 5 cloves garlic, minced 3 bay leaves 1 tbsp thyme 1 tbsp Herbs de Provence Olive oil Sea salt and pepper, to taste
Dumplings: 1 1/2 cups flour 3/4 cup grated cheddar 2/3 cup whole milk 1/3 cup Crisco Golden 3/4 tsp baking powder 3/4 tsp sea salt 1 tbsp thyme 1 tbsp Herbs de Provence 1 tbsp parsley 1 tbsp truffle oil
Sour Cream (optional)
1. Season beef in salt and pepper and brown in Air Fryer in two batches at 400°F for 9 minutes each batch. Alternatively, you can sear the meat in batches in a large skillet on medium-high heat till browned.
2. Sautée garlic and onions in olive oil, using large pot.
3. Add in remaining vegetables, herbs, leaves and season with salt and pepper.
4. Add beef, wine and just enough water to reach surface of mixture. Bring to boil.
5. Reduce heat to low and simmer with lid on.
6. Simmer for 4 hours or more on low heat, stirring occasionally.
7. In a small bowl, make a slurry with corn starch and equal parts water. Stir till smooth and add into stew mixture, stirring quickly till thickened. Transfer to casserole dish.
8. Preheat oven to 350°F.
9. In a large mixing bowl mix dry ingredients for dumplings and herbs. Cut-in shortening with 2 knives till mixture resembles peas.
10. Mix-in milk and cheese till just combined.
11. Roll dough into balls, careful not to over-handle and place on-top of stew and drizzle dumplings with truffle oil and more herbs if you wish.
12. Bake 35-40 minutes or till dumplings are golden brown.
13. Allow to stand 15 minutes before serving. Serve with Sour Cream if you wish.
1. Combine flour and water, forming dough.
2. Transfer to floured surface and knead 10 minutes, adding flour gradually till no longer sticky. Roll into ball.
3. Place dough ball in large bowl and cover with Saran Wrap. Allow to stand 2 hours.
4. Prepare filling by mixing all ingredients together in a large bowl.
5. Transfer dough to floured surface and knead 5 minutes, placing back in bowl. Allow to stand 30 minutes.
6. Roll dough into a log on floured surface. Cut into 6 even sections. Take each section one at a time and cut into 4-5 more pieces and roll out flat onto floured surface till about 7 cm in diameter, as thin as possible. Dumplings will be doughy if rolled too thick. Edge of each wrap should be thinner than the center. Keep unused dough pieces covered till ready to use, to keep from drying.
5. Scoop 1 tablespoon or less filling into center of each flattened dough piece, pinching or pleating to seal tight. Keep dumplings on lightly-floured platter till ready to cook. You can freeze if you have too many. You should land with about 24-30 dumplings.
6. Heat large skillet with 2 tablespoons of Canola oil on medium-high heat. Once hot, fry dumplings (sealed side facing up) in batches of about 6-7 dumplings at a time.
7. Add a few tablespoons of water and cover with lid, reducing to medium heat for about five or more minutes.
8. Remove lid. Once water has evaporated, check bottom to ensure dumpling is golden-brown and that top of dumpling has a bit of translucence. If you want Potstickers, don’t flip the dumpling. I like both sides of the dumpling crispy, so I flip it and fry till the other side is golden.
9. Serve with soy sauce and your favourite hot sauce.