Crispy Gau Gee

September 26: National Dumpling Day

In a past post on Chop Suey Day (August 29), we mentioned that Islander’s first family home in Hawaii when she was a baby was an apartment in Aiea, Oahu, located in a strip mall. She and her ‘ohana had lived above a Chinese restaurant named Waimalu Chop Suey. Chop suey was a fad food back in the day so the restaurant needed to re-brand itself to stay relevant. Waimalu Chop Suey is now famous for its giant, crispy pork-filled dumplings and calls itself the “House of Gau Gee”.

Now we make mini gau gee on the mainland to satisfy Islander’s Chinese and local food cravings. The size is smaller than the big ones at Waimalu Chop Suey to ensure that the pork filling is cooked all the way through. We fold them in the easy and traditional rectangle shape, but the dumplings can be turned into won tons as well.

These delightful dumplings make delicious appetizers and noodle toppers (gau gee mein) and are perfect pouches for observing National Dumpling Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from Foodland)

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • ¼ pound shrimp, fresh, raw, peeled, deveined and chopped fine
  • ¼ cup green onions, sliced thinly
  • 1 can (4 ounces) water chestnuts, drained and chopped fine
  • 1-inch piece ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • won ton wrappers

Directions

In a large bowl, mix the ground pork with the shrimp and green onions.

Add the water chestnuts, ginger, garlic, oyster sauce and soy sauce.

Mix well. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors blend (optional). Separate the won ton wrappers. Place a tablespoon of the pork mixture and stretch it across the middle of a wrapper. Dip finger in water and moisten along the edges. Fold over in half and press to seal. This may be done assembly-style.

Place between sheets of waxed paper. Freeze for 30 minutes to hold its shape (optional). Deep fry in hot oil at 350 degrees F until golden brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels. Serve with sauce (sweet and sour, duck, chili or hot mustard).

Notes

 Search our blog for more Chinese and dumpling recipes.

Fried Shrimp Balls

Shrimp Balls

December 20: National Fried Shrimp Day

Fried shrimp balls may have a naughty name but these appetizers are nice to eat during holiday gatherings (Christmas and New Year) and throughout the year. We like to order fried shrimp balls from the dim sum menu when we at Chinese restaurants that offer them. Some are plain and soft, but we like the crunchy thread-like coating for its artistic presentation.

Be naughty yet nice and fry some shrimp balls for the holidays and on National Fried Shrimp Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from Rasa Malaysia)

Ingredients

  • 1 pound shrimp, raw, shelled and deveined
  • 1 egg white
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • white pepper powder, to taste
  • won ton pi (thin wrappers)
  • Oil for frying

Directions

In a blender (we used our nifty Nutribullet), place the egg white and beat until frothy. Place the shrimp, salt and sugar in the container.

Shrimp Balls

Add the corn starch, vegetable or canola oil, sesame oil and white pepper powder in the container.

Shrimp Balls

Blend until all the ingredients become paste-like. Using slightly wet hands, form the paste into one-inch balls. Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes to set. Slice the won ton pi into thin strips.

Shrimp Balls

Roll the shrimp balls in the strips to coat evenly. Heat the oil and deep fry the shrimp balls until puffed up and golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels. Transfer to a plate and serve hot with sauce. Yield: 2 dozen fried shrimp balls.

Shrimp Balls

Notes

  • Thanks to our friends Pat and Phyllis S. for helping us prepare the fried shrimp balls for our blog. Phyllis helped to roll them in the won ton pi while Pat fried them in his wok.
  • Serve the shrimp balls with soy sauce or sweet Thai chili sauce.
  • The balls may flatten slightly but will puff up into rounds when fried.
  • If not coating the balls in won ton strips, deep fry plain until golden. Poke toothpicks or skewer a few fried shrimp balls for an appetizing arrangement on a party platter.
  • Search our blog for more shrimp recipes.