Crystal dumplings are a unique kind of dumpling that takes the name crystal as it looks a bit like a crystal on the outside with it’s almost translucent skin. Obviously this dish doesn’t contain a crystal.
Sometimes Taiwanese families will cook crystal dumplings around Chinese New Year because both the look and name of this dish sounds pleasant. You will find often in Chinese, Cantonese and Taiwanese cuisine people love to serve food with a name like dragon, phoenix, pearl, gold, diamond, crystal or something else.
I tried using a couple different recipes for the pastry in this dish but in the end I found the easiest but best recipe is simply to use potato starch and sweet potato starch. If it’s too difficult for you to find sweet potato starch then just potato starch on it’s own is fine.
For the filling I used beef mince instead of pork mince for a change. An awfully large number of Chinese and Taiwanese dishes use pork or chicken as their main meat ingredients but I don’t always want to use this ingredients. My work partner told me “change is the spice of life” last week and that has stuck with me. I really dislike falling into a certain cooking pattern so for this and my new few blog posts I’ll be using completely different ingredients.
Another thing I’m thinking about doing is expanding my website to include some western dishes that I have learnt over the years. Through college, eating out in different cities, friends and working as a chef I have learnt a lot of really tasty Western recipes.
So here is the recipe for today. It’s not pork or chicken and also it hasn’t been deep-fried. I hope you will enjoy it and remember give me some feedback.
Credits: Preparation photos were taken by myself but final photos were taken by Chris at: http://www.chrisradleyphotography.com
Ingredients for filling
- 500 g beef mince
- 1 small carrot chop finely
- 2 stalks celery chop finely
- 1/2 onion thinly sliced
- 1 slice ginger chop finely
- 2 shitake mushrooms soften in hot water and chop finely
- 1 tbsp deep fried shallots
Seasonings for fillings
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1/2 tsp Chinese five spice powder
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup rice wine
- 1.5 cups water
- 1 tbsp rock sugar
Ingredients for pastry
- 1 cup sweet potato powder
- 1 cup potato starch
- 1 cup hot water around 95 degrees
- Few drops Vegetable or sunflower oil
Taiwanese sweet chili sauce ingredients
- 3 tbsp miso sauce
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 2 cups water
- 3 tbsp ketchup
- 2 tbsp glutinous rice flour
Procedures for filling
Heat a wok with 2 tablespoons oil. Stir fry the onion and ginger until onion gets a little bit golden and brown colour.
Add mince and keep stir-fry it until outside of mince cooked.
Add celery and carrot and keep stir-fry it for another 5 minutes.
Add all the seasonings and water. Bring it to the boil first then turn the gas power down to medium and reduce down the sauce until it’s nearly dry.
Procedures for pastry
Add salt, sweet potato powder and potato starch into a big bowl and pour the hot water a little bit once.
Add some oil to knead the mixture until it’s not sticky anymore.
Cover a wet clothes on top of the mixture and leave it for 10 minutes to relax the mixture.
Final procedures for crystal dumplings
Separate the pastry mixture to appropriate size of small balls and flatten it by your hand.
Put 1 teaspoon of filling in the middle and close tightly by your hand.
Use your fingertips to change the shape from a ball to a triangle shape.
Boil a pot of water and cook the crystal dumplings in it. They are cooked when the dumplings float on top of the water.
Sweet chili sauce procedure
Mix everything evenly in a small pot.
Bring the mixture to boil and turn to low heat to cook it until the mixture turns fairly sticky.
** You can use soy sauce as dipping for crystal dumplings or you can also try to make this Taiwanese sweet chilli sauce at home.
Popo is almost as great as those dumplings 🙂 Okay, they tie.
lol. I know…they tie.
Very sweet presentation 🙂
Thank you very much. 🙂
Your recipes always get me excited. I really must start making some soon. Thanks.
Now following you. I’d love you to pop over and view my site too at http://www.acquiredish.com/
Great to meet you, Debs
Thank you Debs, I will certainly visit your website sometime. I always loves Indian food and thank you for share with me those information. 🙂
Popo wants your attention in the worst way, and that’s exactly how he’s going about getting it!
I know Popo wants my attention but it was a bad but cute way. I had to move his big fat butt to write my cooking note down. lol
I have had crystal dumplings in restaurants but never imagined I could make my own, thanks for the recipe and directions.
I love these crystal dumplings when I lived in Taiwan. I can buy it in UK so I decided to make it myself and it’s not that difficult at all. I hope you will give it a go and please let me know how you get on with it. 😀
your dumplings look delicious!! I have never had crystal dumplings, thanks for teaching me something new today!
I hope everything in your world is going well, its been awhile since we talked!
I know it’s been awhile since we last talked. I know it’s my fault because I had few weeks holiday and I turned so lazy for a good while. But now things will be back on the track. I will visit your blog more often. I hope everything in your world is going well too. I know you’ve been a little bit down recently. But please, don’t forget we are your friends and we will support you as always. 😉
Another beautiful post and recipe from you:) I have noticed those words are very common, it’s very interesting. I love your traditional dishes but it will still be a treat to see your western dishes as well. These dumplings look beautiful and delicious. I didn’t know you could make a dough from potato starch, thanks for the lesson. So glad you mentioned the substitute,it would be hard for me to find sweet potato starch. Popo is adorable! he or she? looks like a gymnast:)
Many thanks for your lovely comment. Popo is a boy and he does look like a gymnast 😀
These dumplings look amazing and you have an AMAZING blog. Thank you for visiting my blog which in turn brought me here, because I LOVE IT. I think I might spend some time browsing around now, I have a real soft spot for Asian recipes 🙂
Many thanks for your comment. I love your blog too and I actually just left a comment for you 🙂 I hope you will come back to visit my blog soon. Have a nice day!
I haven’t had these for ages as there’s no dim sum place where I live. I’m so glad you showed a recipe with beef as I don’t like to deal with pork. Just one of my many strange habits. Anyway popo is adorable, it seems lazy but still adorable, hehehe!
Thanks for the great recipe! 🙂
Thank you so much for your comment, Emily. 🙂
Thanks for stopping by my blog! I enjoyed your comments…and thanks for this recipe, I have been looking for this kind of dumpling wrapper recipe for a while.
My boyfriend thinks I have gone mad or is feeling guilty about something because after being together for 6 years, I haven’t done anything more than boiling water and burning baking beans – and suddenly I have been cooking up a storm since I found your blog! Love your recipes, and despite what anyone says – they look great and taste exactly how I remembered it from growing up in Taiwan!!!
Thank you so much Jenny. Your comment is one of the kindest and most sincere I have received since I started this blog. One of the main reasons I started this blog was because I missed good old Chinese and Taiwanese food that I also ate whilst I was growing up so I started cooking these recipes and shared them online.
Lol about the boiling water and burnt baked beans, my husband is no better than that!
Again, thank you so much for your comment. I hope you can keep cooking and if there are any dishes from Taiwan that you really want to learn I’ll see what I can do.
These look delicious.. I really need to bite the bullet and give dumplings a try! I love your dishes and am looking forward to some of your Western cuisine as well
Thank you very much Evan. I love your wedding cake too. The couple are so lucky to have you to make them the wedding cake. 😉
That is cool. I haven ever seen them before.
Thank you very much. 😀
Popo is very cute. Not helpful, but cute! The dumplings are so lovely with that white/clear exterior, you did such a beautiful job with them. And I agree, variety is the spice of life so I think it’s great that you are trying out new things and new flavours.
Thank you very much for your kind comment.
Popo is not allow in the kitchen anytime now because he is just mess around too much when I cooking. So, he is officially banned from kitchen lol.
oh wow, the dumplings are soooo pretty! 🙂 thank you for posting the recipe! i’ve tried making dumplings myself (although they’re not as pretty as the ones you make) and i’m glad you posted a dumpling recipe that i can also try one of these days 🙂
Thank you very much for your lovely comment. I’m not much better when I make dumplings first time. But as every body knows, practice will always make you getting better and better.
By the way, love your table setting for 24×24. 😉
Yum… I’ve only had crystal dumplings with shrimp in them, but this looks really good. Popo looks as helpful as my cat, who just yells meows at me until I pay attention to him.
I wonder can I replace with red bean paste? Will the recipe of the skin still be the same?
Normally in Taiwan we eat crystal dumplings savoury but I don’t think there’s any reason why you can’t change the filling to red bean paste. It will just become sweet. If you give it a go do let me know how you got on and I might give it a go myself.
Just found it online. Crystal dumplings are usually steamed. So your recipes can be boiled in water without falling apart? I had some problems with boiling. Any suggestions? Thanks.
Hello I wanted to ask if you know how to make SWEET crystal dumplings? No disrespect or such but I had gone to this Chinese buffet after finishing I went for my desert I really enjoy the dumplings there but this time that I went there were 2 types those normal white ones that look like a ball it was filled with something yellow. But this 2nd dumpling trying it for the first time it was very squish and warm when I bit into it the outside had a coating of what looked like sugar but tasted like coconut, then the dumpling skin was clear and on the inside was that same yellow stuff from the previous dumpling but tasted a little bit more vanillaey(: any idea???
Sorry for the late reply.
I’m not too sure what kind of sweet crystal dumplings it is but if you have name of that crystal dumplings I might be able to searching for recipes for you.
Can we make it with corn starch??? we dont get potato or wheat starch easily in India.
Be honest, I have never use corn starch to make this dish before. Would you like to make just a small ball of dough from corn starch and cook it and see if the texture is similar? I think this is probably the best and quickest way to find out if you can use corn starch to make this dish. Good luck!