BUFFALO WINGS SOUP DUMPLING W/ SKIN CRACKLING
YOU’RE TRYING TO TELL ME THAT YOU DON’T WANT THIS?
You’re probably looking at this and asking yourself three questions.
A). Isn’t dim sum month over?
B). Why do we need a soup dumpling that tastes just like buffalo wings?
C). Are we making soup dumplings at home now? Is that what it’s come to?
Look, all very legit questions, deserving very responsible and adult-like responses. But I’m afraid that in the absence of an adult in this room, I will have to assume the task of answering them myself. In my best effort to be thorough to Question A), I guess, I lied. OK, next question.
Why do we need a soup dumpling that tastes like buffalo wings? Okay, who’s being the baby now? Grow up. Adulthood is not about needing things. It’s all about wanting things. And you’re trying to tell me that you don’t want a delicate pouch of dumpling filled with melty minced chicken and a sudden explosion of red-hot and tangy stream of sticky juice and spicy, garlicky butter? Where everything is so carefully contained within a subtly yeasty wrapper so thin that one could almost see through its sinister intent, resting on top of a shard of chicken skin cracker that shatters into intense poultry-ness, only to be cooled down by a dollop of sour cream twinkling with crumbled blue cheese? All is one. One is all. Spicy, tangy, juicy, fatty, crispy, creamy, delicate, intense… all in an ecstatic dance of all the best stimulating senses. You don’t want that? I think you need that. OK, next question.
Are we making soup dumplings at home now? Yes we are.
Because? See answer to Question B. Plus, it’s easier than you think.
- 2 tsp (10 grams) water
- 1/2 tsp (2 grams) instant yeast
- 1/2 tsp (1 gram) all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp (200 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp (3 grams) salt
- 102 ml (102 grams) hot water at 130F/55C
- 1 cup (240 grams) chicken stock
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp (98 grams) Frank's original hot sauce
- 5 tbsp (66 grams) unsalted butter
- 2 grated garlic
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp (20 grams) tabasco sauce
- 1 tbsp (7 grams) powdered unflavored gelatin
- 2 tsp (14 grams) honey
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- *CHICKEN FILLING:
- 10.6 oz (300 grams) skinless chicken thighs
- 2 tsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp ground paprika
- 1/2 tsp chicken powder
- 1/4 cup (55 grams) sour cream
- 1 tbsp (15 grams) crumbled Danish blue cheese
- 1/2 tsp fish sauce
- MAKE DOUGH: In a small bowl, stir together 2 tsp water, instant yeast and 1/2 tsp AP flour. Let sit at room-temperature for at least 1 hour, or up 24 hours. The longer it sits, the more "sour" and complex it becomes, but I wouldn't do it for more than a day. We want the subtle flavor of this yeasted base, but we don't want the dough to rise. So before mixing it into the final dough, microwave on high for 15 seconds to kill the yeast (the mixture should become thick once cooked).
- Microwave a cup of water on high for 1 min or until it reaches 130 F/55 C. Now, add the cooked yeast-mixture into a stand-mixer with dough-hook, along with 200 grams AP flour, salt and 102 grams of hot water. Mix on low speed, scraping a couple times, until the dough comes together. Then knead on high speed for 5~8 min until the dough becomes extremely smooth and elastic. The dough should PULL AWAY CLEANLY from the bowl. It's soft, slightly tacky but NOT sticky. Add more flour or water until it's right. Plastic-wrap the dough and let rest for 2 hours at room-temperature.
- MAKE BUFFALO WING JELLO: Boil chicken stock in a small pot over medium-high heat until it's reduced down to about 40% left (I just eyeball this). Add Franks' original hot sauce (see note), unsalted butter, grated garlic, tabasco sauce, gelatin, honey, Worcestershire and fish sauce. Cook until the gelatin has fully melted. Flash-freeze for 15 min until the mixture solidifies because of the gelatin.
- MAKE FILLING: Cut chicken thighs into small pieces then add to a food-processor, along with fish sauce and paprika. Pulse/run the processor until the meats are coarsely ground. Add the solidified buffalo wing jello, and pulse again until everything is evenly mixed. If you're pre-making the filling, keep it REFRIGERATED at all time until needed.
- MAKE DUMPLINGS: I've developed a very easy way to make a perfectly shaped soup-dumpling with that tiny steam hole on top. Watch the video for guidance. Divide the dough into 26~28 small pieces (doesn't have to be precise). Coat a piece with flour, then roll it out into a very thin disk, with the edges thinner than the center. Place about 1 tbsp of filling in the center, then insert a wooden skewer (without the sharp tip) in the middle half-way into the filling. Bring the edges of the dough upward together circling the skewer, then pinch and twist the dough right at the edges where the filling stops. Twist the dumping whiling pinching the dough until the dough beaks off. Pull the skewer away from the dumpling along with any excess dough. Repeat with the rest.
- DO NOT KEEP the dumplings sitting at room-temperature for more than 10 min. As you go, once you fill out a small tray, cover with plastic-wrap and transfer into the freezer (not fridge) if not cooked immediately.
- MAKE SKIN CRACKING and SAUCE: (You can do this while making the dumplings) Preheat the oven on 400ºF/200ºC. On a large baking-sheet lined with parchment, lay the chicken skins flat in a single layer. Cover with another piece of parchment, and press down with another large baking-sheet. Bake for 15 min, then turn the skins around with a tongs, cover again, and bake for another 8 min. Transfer to a cooling-rack until needed (make this right before steaming the dumplings or else it will get soggy). Mix sour cream, crumbled blue cheese and fish sauce together. Set aside.
- STEAM DUMPLINGS: Line a large steamer with cheese clothe or a large leaf of cabbage. Place the dumplings on top, cover, and steam on high heat for 6 min for fresh dumplings, and 8 min if frozen. Serve immediately on top of a piece of chicken skin crackling and a dollop of blue cheese sauce.
Apparently everyone agrees that Frank's original hot sauce is the best for making buffalo wings. But if you have your own favorite, by all means.