The Taro Puffs on the dim sum cart go round and round…round and round.
Using the recipe from Asian Dumplings, I became drunk on success after my first attempt at Taro Puffs, those lacy, crisp bundles of soft starch that envelop pockets of pork, roaming about the dim sum world.
What if…I thought. What if, I replaced taro with a more versatile starch, one that could be blank canvas for all my
evil amazing plans. I tried to research if the lacy crunch that defines the taro puff would translate to a potato. Andrea Nguyen, the author of the Taro Puff recipe and inspiration for my tinkering, seemed like a logical place to begin my research.
This did not bode well for my potato idea. Luckily I’m perfectly willing to take the risk of failure, because let’s be honest, even without lacy crispies, my idea involved deep-frying potatoes stuffed with bacon and sour cream.
Sure enough, the lace-rating of the potato based dumpling was maybe a three out of five. It was a lace-trimmed pair of panties to the taro puffs’ five out of five, doily at your grandma’s house level of laciness.
As predicted, though, shoving bacon, sour cream and chives inside mashed potatoes mixed with lard and deep-frying the whole lot made for a crunchy snack that could induce a dropping of those previously-mentioned, lace-trimmed panties.
I served these as a mid-afternoon snack to a group of football watching menfolk, and received an email from one of their wives the next day inquiring about the ‘potato football crack’ I had fed her husband. All in day’s work, folks.
Bacon stuffed Potato Puffs
- 2 Large Potatoes
- 1.75 ounces Wheat Starch
- 1/3 Cup Just-Boiled Water
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Sugar
- .25 Cup Lard
- 7 Slices Bacon (cooked to crispy and chopped)
- 1 tsp Cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp Water
- 1 Tbsp Chopped Chives
- .25 Cup Sour Cream
- A lot of Canola oil
- *Prep the Day Before*
- Peel and chop potatoes into chunks
- Steam potatoes for 30 minutes
- While potatoes are steaming, mix the wheat starch slowly with the 1/3 cup of just-boiled water
- You want the wheat starch/water mixture to be, in Andrea\'s words \'like frosting\'--I generally don\'t use all of it.
- Also while the potatoes steam, mix the filling:
- Make a slurry of the cornstarch and water
- Mix the slurry, the chives, the bacon and the sour cream together.
- Cover and refrigerate the filling
- When the potatoes are done, let them cool for 10 minutes
- Mash up 1/2 pound of the potatoes with the wheat starch mixture, then add the lard, the salt and the sugar
- Cover and refrigerate the dough
- *Day of*
- Divide dough into 12 balls
- Flatten one ball in your hand--it doesn\\\'t need to be a perfect circle, this is a very inexact science
- Spoon a tiny dollop of filling into the center
- Close the dough over the filling-it doesn\'t need to be sealed, it\'s okay if there is filling on the outside, it\'s okay if it\'s an ugly shape.
- Repeat with the other 11
- Heat the canola oil in a pan with decently high sides (not, for example, a frying pan)--you\'ll want enough oil that it will almost cover the dumplings when they\'re dropped in, so use your judgment
- Heat the oil to 360 degrees F
- Drop in dumplings (I did four at a time, but if you have a bigger pan, you can probably do more)
- After about a minute, turn the heat down and wait another 3 minutes or so
- remove from the oil, drain and repeat with the other dumplings.
Still confused? I continued to run with the Taro Puff twist theme, this time using butternut squash and a duo of fillings: one made of mushrooms with hot bean sauce, the other with sun-dried tomato and goat cheese. Neither was good enough to bother posting a recipe, and really the sun-dried tomato ones weren’t even good enough to eat. Even less lacy than the potato–we’re talking a camisole trim level here–the squash was a little soft to hold up to the fillings. However, I was able to shoot some photos of the prep to help you out, since the technique is the same for all.