Sunday, February 3, 2013

Beef Gau Gee. Hawaiian Style fried meat dumplings

Hawaiian is the ultimate melting pot, our foods and cultures are a fusion of different ethnic groups. Gau Gee is a very popular appetizer on the Islands, especially on Superbowl Sunday!! My dear friend/blogger Moni of Foodie Forever inspired me to make some this weekend. It is very simple recipe.  Traditionally, the filling is pork and may be with shrimp. I am making a beef version with a "Kūlia" twist with some Thai basil and garlic chives.

Gau Gee is actually Chinese, it means dumpling in Cantonese. Chinese will usually have it steamed, in soup or as pan fried pot stickers style. They are usually not deep fried. The classic Hawaiian style is fried. We Islanders do love our fried food! I made one full recipe here, I only fried a few. The rest were laid out on a tray separately and it is in the "natural" freezer outside right now. It's 2 degrees F. I wrapped up the tray and left it out, it will be frozen in about 15 mins! I can then store them in a Ziploc bag! When I am ready to make some dumpling, I can easily take a few out at a time.

The wraps are store bought. I am using a Hong Kong style soup dumpling wraps from the Asian Store. You can easily substitute with the wonton wrapper in your local grocery stores.

Hawaiian style Chinese meat dumpling with beef, Thai Basil and Garlic Chive

1 packet Chinese dumpling (Sue Gow wraps) or wonton wrapper
1 lb ground beef
2 large sprig of Thai basil, remove the stem, keep the leaves only and chopped
3 tbsp chopped garlic chives
2 sprig of green onion, chopped
3 tbsp Shoyu sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp grounded ginger
Dash of white pepper
1 tsp flour with 1/8 cup of water. Mix together to make the "glue" to seal the edges of the dumpling.  It is a rather thin mixture.
Oil for deep fried or pan fried.
In a large bowl, mix beef with chopped Thai basil, garlic chives and green onion
Season with Shoyu, sesame oil 
Add 1 tsp cornstarch, this helps to reduce the moisture in the dumpling and it will splatter less when you fry it.
Sprinkle in white pepper and ground ginger
Mix well.
On a large board, lay out a few dumpling wraps, you should have only the amount you can work with at one time. The wraps will dry out and crack. Also over the packet with a wet towel.
Place 1 tsp of filling in each center of each wrap.
Use your finger or a brush to paint the edges of the wrap

Fold it in half and press the edges tightly to seam. Make sure you press as much "air" out of the dumpling as possible, this will avoid it exploding in frying.

Continue with the rest of the filling. This will make 36 dumplings.
Prepare a deep fryer of a pan of oil, about 1" Heat the oil to 350 degrees. 
I am using the classic "Chinese" method here. When you place a chopstick in the hot oil, you will notice the oil with bubbles along the side of the wooden chopstick. The oil is ready for frying.
Place a few dumplings in the hot oil and fried till golden brown, It only takes 2 mins on each side. 
Drain well on some paper towel before plating
Serve with a Shoyu vinegar sauce, ketchup or sweet and sour sauce.

Shoyu vinegar sauce
4 tbsp shoyu
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
Chopped green onion for garnish
Mix everything to together.

Happy Superbowl day!

Make 36 dumplings.