These popular snacks are also called “water dumplings” because they float in a wonderfully clear broth. I have enjoyed them in all parts of China but my favourites are to be found in the street stalls of Guangzhou where the cooks have the knack of making them just right every time. Fine quality, thin pastry wrappers and a good filling are essential, but a good rich, clear chicken stock is also a basic requirement. Use thin round wrappers for these dumplings if they are available. Otherwise use square wonton wrappers instead. This dish could serve as a soup course or as a substantial snack.
Soak the mushrooms in warm water for 20 minutes or until they are soft. Rinse under running water to remove any remaining sand. With a sharp knife, remove the stems and discard. Finely chop the caps. Combine the chopped mushrooms with the rest of the filling ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.
Place 2 teaspoons of filling in the center of a wonton round. Fold over the round into a half-moon shape. If you are using a wonton square, fold over to make a triangle. Pinch the edges together to seal well. Fill all the wonton wrappers.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil and blanch the dumplings for 3 minutes. Remove the dumplings, drain well, and set aside.
Bring the stock to a simmer and season with salt if necessary. Add the dumplings, and simmer for 1 minute. Garnish with the onions and serve at once.
© 1990 Ken Hom. All rights reserved.