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Aug 7, 2009 02:14 PM

tofu in pork dumplings?

Ok, so I searched but did not find anything... Does anyone use tofu to create a more smooth and velvety texture in their dumplings? I've seen this on a couple cooking shows, but haven't ever seen it in a recipe. Do i cook the pork then mix it with the tofu, chives, seasonings before stuffing? Does it actually improve the texture? is it worth doing? help!

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  1. i had a question a few weeks ago about my sui mei, that the pork was making the texture weird. I don't remember them ever being like this, and I've made these things for 20 years roughly. I've been thinking it's the grind, so I even minced the meat further by using a little round blade. I was given the same advice, use tofu.
    The person that responded, I'll have to check for you, said to use tofu to improve the dumpling texture.

    Since then I've been on the internet looking and I've seen it mentioned a few times. It might be the difference between a good dumpling and a great dumpling.

    1 Reply
    1. re: chef chicklet

      i guess i didn't read far enough down the post, because yours did come up when i searched, and i read about your conundrum. Luckily I know my local meat man at the grocery store and he said he'd grind the pork extra fine for me.

    2. I wouldn't use tofu to accomplish this.
      For Sichuan style dumplings, my Chinese friends (and probably most restaurants) use some cornstarch mixed in with the meat to smooth and soften the texture and reduce somewhat the shrinkage of the filling when cooked.
      You also don't want the meat to be too lean...that'll make the texture all wrong as well.

      For siu mai, a bit of a rougher texture is desirable (to me anyway)...a coarser grind of meat (again, not overly lean) and some ground shrimp added. At least, that's how the nest restaurant siu mai I've had were made...

      2 Replies
      1. re: The Professor

        thanks prof, is the shrimp and pork cooked pre dumpling filling?

        1. re: kubasd

          No..definitely not precooked. The pork and shrimp stuffing (crabmeat is also a traditional mix with the pork) will also have some salt, white pepper, a bit of sugar, and just a dash of soy sauce. Stuff into the skin open-topped (for siu mai) , place on a plate, and cook in a bamboo steamer until done (around 20 min or so).

        1. Trying searching "mandu." This korean dumpling uses tofu in the filling. I didn't see a posting on Chow, but Hannaone has a mandu recipe on his website. Let us know how it turns out.

          1. I use silken tofu in my pork dumplings. I add it to the raw pork and then add sauteed shallots, and mushrooms chopped fine. Mix in garlic chives, hoisin, maybe a little sriracha and mix. I don't know how authentic they are but they sure are good!