The Most Delicate Dumpling Taro Puff Wu Gok Recipe
This is a special dim sum dumpling because the wrapper is made with taro. After deep frying, the outside will puff up into a beautiful delicate crust, while the middle layer maintains the soft and creamy texture. It is like a crispy, flaky mashed potato stuffed with a savory filling - very interesting. Although this dumpling is mind-blowing, the recipe is complicated and challenging. Many skillful dim sum masters aren't able to achieve the perfect result. Therefore, I included as much detail and tips as possible to ensure your success.
- 400 grams of taro
- 200 grams of water
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 1 tsp of sugar
- 160 grams of wheat starch
- 130 grams of lard
- 1 tbsp of oil
- 114 grams (4 oz) of ground pork
- 40 grams of Cantonese sausage
- 3 shiitake mushrooms, previously soaked for 2 hours and diced (save the soaking liquid)
- 60 grams of carrot, minced
- 114 grams (4 oz) of shrimp, diced
- 1 tbsp of Chinese cooking wine
- 1/2 tsp of black pepper
- 2 tsp of oyster sauce
- 2.5 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp dark soy sauce
- 2.5 tsp of cornstarch
- 2.5 tbsp of the mushroom soaking liquid
- 1/4 cup of scallion
- 2-3 cups of oil to deep fry the dumplings
Make the Wrapper
Make the Filling
Chose the Right Taro
- There are more than 100 varieties of taro, but in the USA, you're most likely to only come across two of them:
- Dasheen (C. esculenta var. esculenta) is large, dense, and heavy and has a higher starch content, which is excellent for this recipe. However, it is so large that you'll sometimes find it sold cut in smaller sections. Please avoid using the end section where connects to the taro stems because it is low in starch.
- Eddoe (C. esculenta var. antiquorum) is smaller, ranging in size from that of a fingerling potato to that of a large lemon. It has a lower starch content and moist texture once cooked. Tachniquely, you can use it for this recipe, but the dumplings might be less crispy.
- Safety Note: Most edible taro contains oxalic acid crystals, which can cause itchy skin for some people (I don't react to it, but my mom is sensitive to it). Oxalic acid crystals will dissolve once cooked and lose their effect. However, if you have never touched it, it is better to wear gloves to handle the corm.
Make the Dough
- Peel the taro, slice it into 1/4 of an inch thick slaps, then stack the slaps and cut them into strips.
- Put the taro strips, salt, sugar, and water into a sauce pot. Put on the lid, turn the heat to medium, and bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the stove and add wheat starch immediately. Use a potato masher to mash the taro and combine it with the wheat starch until everything becomes crumbly.
- Can corn starch, potato starch, or tapioca starch be a replacement? Yes, but you will have to test it many times to find the correct water-starch ratio and the perfect frying temperature in order to get the puffy appearance.
- Add the taro and wheat starch mixture into a food processor and use the lowest speed to mix until a rough dough forms. If your food processor is small, do this in 2 batches.
- Add the pork lard and continue to mix at low speed until all the oil is well absorbed. If necessary, stop the food processor a few times and mix with a spatula to help to incorporate everything.
- You are looking for a non-stick, soft, and oily dough. Put it in a sealed container and chill it in the fridge for at least 24 hours. The starch needs a long time to fully retrograde; otherwise, the dumplings will not puff perfectly.
Make the Filling
- Soak the dried shiitake mushrooms 2 hours in advance. Dice them finely and reserve the soaking liquid.
- Finely dice the carrot, Cantonese sausage, and shrimp; if you don't have Cantonese sausage, use your favorite sausage.
- Turn the heat to high and heat the wok until smoking hot. Add oil, ground pork, the diced mushroom, and diced sausage. Stir for a few minutes until the pork changes color.
- Turn the heat to low. Add carrot, Chinese cooking wine, white pepper, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and dark soy sauce. Continue to stir until well combined.
- Quickly mix the cornstarch with the mushroom-soaking liquid and add to the wok. Stir to bind the filling slightly. Add the shrimp and continue to cook until it changes color. Turn off the heat and mix in the diced scallion. Set the filling aside.
Wrap the Dumplings
- Take the taro dough out of the fridge. As the lard solidifies, it becomes firm and loses some ductility. Knead it on the working surface for a few minutes until it becomes soft and elastic.
- Divide the taro dough into 20 even pieces, 35 grams each.
- To wrap the dumplings, roll a taro dough in between your hands until it becomes a smooth ball, then use your thumbs to shape it into a small bowl.
- Put about 15 grams of filling in the bowl and pack it tight, then carefully bend the bowl in half and pinch the middle to close the dumpling; set it aside and continue to fold the rest.
Deep Fry the Dumplings
- Heat the oil and use a thermometer to monitor the temperature between 390° F and 400 F.
- Deep frying is the trickiest part of this recipe. If the temperature is too low (below 370° F), the wrapper will peel off and float everywhere; your dumpling will have no crust. On the other hand, if you fry it too high (over 420° F), the surface will set too fast before it gets a chance to blossom.
- If you don't have a thermometer, test the temperature by dropping a small dough into the oil and letting it fry for 20 seconds. If the dough forms a porous crust, the temperature is correct.
- Place the dumplings on a flat strainer with 1/2 inch space between each other to allow them to puff; Slightly press the dumplings against the strainer so they stick to the tool, preventing them from floating around while deep frying.
- With the help of the strainer, immerse the dumplings in the oil and fry until the taro wrap puffs into a golden honeycomb structure; this will take a few minutes. Please use large cookware and fry the dumplings in batches to prevent overflow.
- Remove the dumplings from the oil and use paper towels to absorb the excess grease, then serve. You don't need any dipping sauce because it is delicious on its own.