This is a quick, cheating version of dumplings where the craving outweighs the desire for a trip out for your secret local best; particularly so when that secret local seems to also be everyone elses and the idea of a line up or quick n dirty yum cha leaves you cold.
The need for dumplings often comes on hard and fast – they are easily one of the most intensely powerful comforting foods ever devised by a species – silky skins barely containing a bolus of what one can only presume is meat and vegetable in varying degrees – quite simply they are ahhhmazing.
Despite the shortcuts of bought bbq duck – there is still the folding and steaming effort involved here but the payoff is legendry. The sweetness of the hoi sin combined with the softness of the meat and the odd surprise crunch of crisp duck skin you accidently/purposefully left in there make these little pillows of goodness belong in the bedroom of your mouth. Immediately.
200g BBQ duck meat, coarsely shredded
2 egg yolks
1 carrot, peeled, grated
¼ cup Chinese cabbage, finely chopped
½ red onion, peeled, finely chopped
1/2 tablespoon freshly shredded ginger
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 x 40 pack wonton wrappers (I used square wrappers)
2 green onions, finely chopped
½ tbsp. Aleppo pepper
½ cup hoi sin sauce or dark sweet soy sauce
Juice of ½ lime
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
To make the dumplings mix the dumpling ingredients (except for the wrappers) in a bowl. Arrange 4 wrappers on a work surface; keep the rest covered with a damp paper towel. Brush the edges of the wrappers with water and drop 1 tablespoon of the filling in the centres then fold all four corners to meet at a peak in centre and squeeze edges to seal. Place peak-side-up on a lightly floured tray and continue with remaining wrappers and duck filling.
Heat oil in a large frying pan, add dumplings, peak-side-up (making sure they don’t touch one another) and cook in batches over medium-high heat for 2 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a large bamboo steamer placed over a wok of boiling water and steam until skins are slightly translucent and filling is cooked through (4-6 minutes).
Combine the dipping sauce ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine. Toss the fresh and cooked shallots. Top dumplings with the shallots mixture and serve with the dipping sauce.