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Wheat starch and Asian dumplings?

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I want to make some garlic chive dumplings and have been comparing recipes found online. Recipes vary and so I have a couple of questions for anyone with experience making these delicious morsels.

First of all, wheat starch - I assume this is not just a quaint translation of flour, but a separate product not commonly used in western cooking. I'm willing to track this down at an Asian market, if need be. But just in case I'm wrong and this IS the same thing as wheat flour, or if a substitution of wheat flour would make no difference to the recipe, please enlighten me.

Secondly, I see some recipes that call for a mixture of wheat starch and other flours, including tapioca or sweet rice. I'm hoping to produce the kind of dumplings with almost perfectly transparent wrappers - the kind that show the bright green filling very clearly. If anyone can tell me which dough ingredients will produce this effect, I'd be ever so grateful. And if you can also tell me whether it's possible to crisp up such a wrapper by frying (after steaming or not), that would be awesome. A soft, translucent dumpling skin that's lightly browned on top and bottom is pretty much my Platonic ideal of a dumpling.

If you've got any other pointers on this sort of dumpling, I'm all ears, and thank you in advance.

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  1. Wheat starch is a different product. You will find it at an Asian grocery. It gives the wrapper some translucence and also produces a very white wrapper. Wheat starch contains no gluten, it is what is left after making seitan.

    If you want to get serious about making Asian dumplings I would suggest that you get a copy of Andrea Nguyen's book Asian Dumplings. It is a treasure trove and has great info from all over Asia.

    1. I would suggest "side fry" -- only try to brown one side in about 1/2" of oil in a pan.
      The shape of your dumplings -- pleated top "beggar's purse" or twisted "Won ton" or crimped edge jaozi.or whatever else-- will change how well you can brown part of your dumpling.