Cook’s Recipe: Steampunk Pork Dumplings

The flock of dirgibles soared overhead as Thaxus adjusted his cracked goggles. Surviving a fall from that height was impressive in its own right, but trying to find a way to get back up there was going to be an issue. Thinking of his plan to return to the sky, Thaxus limped through the local market and found just the thing to restore his strength: dumplings.

Two weeks ago, Tom and I ventured to Steampunk City with a group of friends. Like any time when Tom and I are together, we ended up spending a while discussing what exactly would be steampunk food. Is it simply Victorian era cuisine or is it based around the air explorers? The longer I thought about it, the more I began to think that food would be created as a byproduct of an abundance of thermal energy in the form of steam. So my idea is that a majority of the food is cooked but the maximum temperature may be that of boiling water – 212 degrees F (100 C). It’s a minor change, but completely alters how food is prepared.

But the longer we talked about steam and food, the more and more I really wanted to make some dumplings. And not the American kind of biscuit dough steamed in a stew, the Asian kind that’s stuffed with meat. So I threw caution into the wind and said to myself, I’m going to make some!

Pork Dumplings
Makes around two dozen

Ingredients
For the dough…
2 cups of flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/3 cup of water
1 medium egg

For the filling…
1/2 pound of ground pork
1 ounce of fresh ginger
3 cloves of garlic
3 green onions
1 ounce of a red bell pepper
1 teaspoon of soy sauce

For the cooking…
Water
3 tablespoons of sesame oil

Equipment
Mixing bowls
Measuring tools
Food processor

Directions
Making the dough…

In a large bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Mix together the water and egg in a cup. Make a well in the middle of the flour and begin adding the liquid to the dry ingredients. Knead the dough with your hands, regularly adding liquid until the dough is holding together. Once the dough feels elastic, separate it into two even sized balls and cover to allow it to rest.

Making the filling…

In a food processor, blend together the garlic, green onion, red bell pepper, ginger and soy sauce until it looks finely minced. Then mix it together with the ground pork and set aside.

Divide the dough into smaller pieces, about the size of your thumb, and flatten them into circles about four inches in size. Fill each wrapping with a tablespoon of the filling and sealed the dumpling by folding it over.

Took cook the dumplings, fill a frying pan with about an inch of water and two tablespoons of sesame oil. Once the water comes to a boil, add in the dumplings and cook until the water evaporates over a medium heat. The remaining oil will allow the bottom of the dumplings to get a nice fried crust. Serve with a dipping sauce of mixed soy sauce, sesame oil and hosin sauce.