Joanne Chang, mastermind behind Boston’s much-loved Myers + Chang, has a new collection of recipes out that will stoke your fire for modern Taiwanese food like you’ve never imagined. These braised short rib dumplings are a hearty, comforting, spicy way to beat chilly weather.
I made these special dumplings for Lunar New Year during the Year of the Goat. I used braised goat for that batch, and we passed small plates of food around the dining room for a wild dim sum celebration. I adapted this recipe to use our Asian braised short rib that we make every week for our banh mi at lunch. The rich braised short rib stands up to the fierce chili oil and is crazy addictive. These dumplings are steamed instead of cooked like pot stickers. We fold them “big hug”–style so they kind of resemble an Italian cappelletti. —Chef Karen
Braised Short Ribs
- 1/2 Asian pear, cored
- 1 quart chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 scallions, white and green parts coarsely chopped
- 1 medium garlic clove, smashed
- 1 1-inch knob fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
- 2 whole star anise
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as canola
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless English-style short ribs, trimmed and cut into 2-inch medallions
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Sichuan Chili Oil
- 1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
- 1/4 cup chili oil
- 1/4 cup black Chinkiang vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons peeled and grated fresh ginger (about 1-inch knob)
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 16-ounce package round dumpling wrappers (we like Twin Marquis brand)
For the ribs
Preheat the oven to 350°F and place a rack in the center of the oven.
Cut the Asian pear in half and place in a large bowl. Add the stock, onion, scallions, garlic, ginger, star anise, soy sauce, sugar, honey and sesame oil and stir well. Set aside. The braising mixture can be made up to 1 day in advance and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
In a large braising dish or Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat until hot. Season the short ribs all over with the salt and pepper. Carefully place them in the braising dish and turn the heat down to medium. Sear for 3 to 4 minutes on each side until well browned and caramelized. Pour the braising mixture over the ribs and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil (or cover with the lid if using a Dutch oven). Place in the oven and braise for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until the meat is tender enough to pierce with a fork.
Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature. When cool enough to handle, shred the short rib meat with your hands into a large bowl, discarding any fat from the meat. Strain the braising liquid into the bowl to cover the beef, discarding the solids. Placing the meat in the liquid keeps it moist. The meat will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
For the chili oil
In a small skillet, toast the Sichuan peppercorns over medium-low heat until they start to become fragrant and floral and pop a bit, 4 to 6 minutes. Use a spice grinder, coffee grinder, or mortar and pestle to grind them to a powder. In a blender or in a medium bowl using a whisk, combine the ground Sichuan peppercorns, chili oil, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, and mustard. The Sichuan Chili Oil can be made up to 2 weeks in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Whisk together to recombine before serving.
For the dumplings
Drain the short ribs of any juices, reserving about 1/4 cup of the juices, and shred the meat finely. Return the reserved juices to the meat to keep it moist. We are going to use what we call the “big hug” fold on these dumplings. Fill a small bowl with warm water. Lay out a dumpling wrapper on a clean work surface and scoop 1 tablespoon of the braised short rib in the center of the wrapper. Dip your finger in the water and use it to paint the edges of the wrapper. Fold the dumpling round in half, pushing out any excess air, and seal the edges of the wrapper all around. Join and seal the two pointed ends together below the base of the dumpling. Dab a bit of water on the ends for a better pinched seal. Repeat until you have used all the braised short rib.
The dumplings can be made in advance and stored uncooked in an airtight container in the freezer. The easiest way to freeze them is to place them on a flat plate or tray and freeze until dumplings are completely frozen, then transfer the frozen dumplings to a resealable freezer bag or an airtight container and return them to the freezer. Thaw in the refrigerator on a flat plate before cooking.
Fill a large skillet with about 1 inch of water and place on the stove over high heat until the water boils. Line a bamboo steamer with a lettuce leaf or parchment paper and put as many dumplings as will comfortably fit without touching into the steamer. Cover with the lid and place the steamer directly in the water in the skillet. If you don’t have a bamboo steamer, use a double boiler lined with a lettuce leaf or piece of parchment paper instead. Cook on high for 6 to 8 minutes, until the wrappers are cooked through. Transfer the dumplings to a small bowl and dress with a generous spoonful of the Sichuan Chili Oil. Serve immediately.