I made these dumplings twice now before writing about them, and let me just tell you that these are absolutely magical. If you are a fan of truffle salt or oil, you will love these. If you never had truffle flavored anything, you need to try these, especially if you are a mushroom lover.
My friend Cassandra and I were inspired to make these when we had them during my bachelorette party last August. I was taken to this amazing Japanese restaurant called Koi in Bryant Park (Manhattan). They’re expensive at $20 for 4-5 dumplings, but my friends and I found these so irresistible that the price tag simply didn’t matter. Side note: If you’re ever at the restaurant, I also recommend the Foie Gras on Seared Tuna with White Truffle Oil as well.
Of course, learning to make these at home has been very much worth the investment! These dumplings are life-changers.
If you have never eaten anything made with truffle oil, you are missing out! It is a distinctive earthiness that is really hard to replicated without it. What’s trendy lately is truffle oil on French Fries. Those are fantastic.
**A cautionary note on Truffle Oil, however–you should never use too much, and you should never use it to cook. It should be a finishing product–you drizzle/sprinkle a little at the end. In the case of these fabulous dumplings, they are a part of the emulsion process, but the truffle is never used to, let’s say, fry the dumplings. The oil is too expensive to waste, and it can easily become overpowering if you use too much.
If you’re not sure where to get Truffle Oil or Truffle Salt, I would go to a more gourmet grocery store such as a Whole Foods or Wegmans. If your area does not have truffle oil or salt, Amazon has good quality and well priced truffle oil and salt as well.
The mushrooms, enoki and shiitake, are best found in Asian grocery markets, but usually a higher end grocery story would have these as well. Shiitake are relatively popular and will be easy to find dried. If you can’t find these mushrooms, you can omit these, but I personally think mushroom’s natural earthiness play well with the truffle-forward flavor of these dumplings.
The sauce of choice is sake butter, and like it sounds, it’s simply Japanese rice wine, dry Sake, and butter reduced in a pan. We add ginger and a bit of lemon for freshness. It’s dynamite. If you don’t have sake, you can simply do a ginger-butter sauce and do fine. This recipe is forgiving with omission. The one thing you cannot take out of these dumplings is the truffle salt and oil–everything else is recommended, but not mandatory.
For $20 for 4-5 dumplings, what adds the luxury is the seafood: at Koi, they serve these dumplings with lobster. We decided to substitute lobster with langostino for cost-effectiveness reasons, but I personally would say that scallops would be my meat of choice second to lobster for this dish. Again, you could choose not to put seafood in here and just eat the dumplings, but it does add to the allure of this dish.
This dumpling recipe we found was from the head chef at Koi, but we made tweaks that we thought would be more practical for the consumer (for example, the recipe calls for actual truffle which, if you were able to find it afford it, costs about $5,000 for a pound). Because we actually ate these dumplings at the restaurant, we were able to tweak until we completely got the right flavor. Cross-referencing and having the best version of a dish is the best way to re-create a masterpiece.
These recipe is a great make-ahead as it is a little bit of tedious work, but you can yield so many dumplings that you can boil them up for a party in no time. It takes about two minutes in boiling water to cook the dumplings themselves, and the sauce comes together in about five minutes.
Edamame Dumplings (Makes about 50)
Ingredients for Dumplings
- 1 pound cooked edamame, shelled (we steam these in the microwave first–they are in the frozen section. Make sure they’re shelled!)
- 4 ounces of milk (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 stick of butter
- 6 ounces of good quality truffle oil (white)
- One tablespoon of truffle salt (stir and add more to taste)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 50 wonton wrappers (usually one package is fine)
- 1/2 of 1 lemon’s worth of lemon zest (optional, but recommended)
- 1 egg
Ingredients for Sake Butter
- 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into large pieces
- 2 tablespoons of peeled and minced ginger (use a Microplane if you have it)
- 1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon good-quality sake (feel free to add more)
- A tablespoon of heavy cream (if desired)
- Seafood: Lobster, Scallops, Langostino, Shrimp (in order of preference), two ounces or more.
- Mushrooms: Enoki and Shiitake (add to sake butter sauce and garnish dumplings with uncooked enoki). You would need about an ounce of each.
- Garnishes: Pea shoots and/or scallions for freshness and green on the plate.
- In a bowl, beat the egg with 1/4 cup of warm water to make an egg wash.
- If you have a frozen, microwaveable bag of edamame, follow the instructions on the bag.
- Once steamed, boil the edamame in the milk and butter for 6 minutes, until tender.
- Strain the edamame, but keep the milk and butter that you used to boil it.
- In a blender, blend the edamame, adding the reserved milk and butter and the truffle oil until it reaches a smooth consistency. Season with truffle salt, pepper, regular salt, and optional lemon zest.
- Taste until you think it tastes good. Feel free to add more butter, salt, or lemon as needed.
- Assemble: Place a spoonful of filling in the center of each wonton wrapper. Brush each with the egg wash at the edges of the wrapper. Fold on the diagonal like a triangle. Use your index fingers to press air out. Flip wonton to the back and fold left and right edges over. Flip the top piece on top of the edges. Flip dumpling back over and squeeze the ends to puff up shape. Place dumplings on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- When ready to serve, get a pot to begin boiling water to cook your dumplings.
- As the pot of water is boiling, begin making your sake butter.
- Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add ginger and cook, stirring, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup sake (or more) and bring to a boil; cook until reduced by 2/3, about 3 minutes. Add heavy cream, if desired. Bring the whole mixture to a boil; cook until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add remaining butter in batches, whisking constantly. Once all the butter has been incorporated and mixture is thick and creamy, remove from heat.
- Add about 10 dumplings at a time for about two minutes.
- In a pot, boil the dumplings until clear and tender, about 1 to 2 minutes. Once they float to the top, they’re done. Drain and keep aside. Place five dumplings in a bowl, and pour sake butter over top, with optional lobster and mushrooms. Garnish with scallions and/or pea shoots, and bon appetite!