I could eat dumplings for every meal for the rest of my life, and I think I wouldn’t have one complaint. But sometimes unless your fried dumplings have that delicious crispage underneath (you know what I mean), you’re kind of being cheated of the full deliciousness.
FUN FACT: The dumpling crispage of which I speak is called “cha-cha” in Taiwanese, which incidentally is a homonym for the Taiwanese word to describe a bitchy person.
My uncle Sheegoo — and kitchen scientist extraordinaire — recently showed me how to perfect the crispage every single time. Since dumpling crispage is not a zero-sum game, I am willing to share this secret so that you too, can achieve the perfect cha-ness.
START FRYING THE DUMPLINGS
1. Pour 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan and spread the love all over the surface of the pan. Lay the dumplings in the pan and let sizzle for a minute or too.
2. Add 1 cup of water (or enough for the water to rise about halfway up the dumplings). Cover and cook on Medium High to High heat.
MAKE THE DUMPLING CRISPAGE POTION
3. Meanwhile, mix in a small bowl:
1/2 cup of water
2 Tsp flour
1 Tsp vinegar (optional)
4. When the water in the pan is almost boiled away, pour the potion evenly over the dumplings and let the dumplings cook uncovered on High Heat, until the moisture is gone. A thin layer of crispage will form under the dumplings and in between them.
5. Check under the dumplings until they are browned and crisp to your liking. You should be able to slide the dumplings from the pan to a plate in one motion! Just be quick about it.