The same filling can be wrapped differently (pleated) and cooked differently (steamed) to produce an entirely new dish. Instead of completely enclosing the filling, as for wontons made for soup, the dough is gathered around the filling and pleated to form a cylinder. The cylinder is flattened on the bottom so that it can stand up. Steamed dumplings have a distinct texture. Steaming highlights the flavor and retains the identity of the ingredients and the wrapper instead of dispersing them into the broth in which they are cooked. Similarly, the flavor of the wrapper is more pronounced. These dumplings make an attractive appetizer. They reheat well and can be made ahead of time. Serve on a bamboo steamer.
© 1981 Ken Hom. All rights reserved.