Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) often tastes horrible, especially when a prescription is simply a number of ground ingredients boiled in water. The good people at website Soundinner have embarked on a culinary experiment to change that.
The recipe below makes use of pu'er tea, Sichuan peppercorns and turmeric. Fermented black tea from southern Yunnan is utilized for its cholesterol-lowering properties. Peppercorns, according to TCM, help "release humidity from the bones" and are thus valued as a remedy for arthritis. Traditionally turmeric has been used for its anti-cancer attributes and also for helping to keep the skin from drying during seasonal weather changes.
For the dough:
2 tablespoons dried turmeric
80 grams white flour
For the filling:
250 grams green beans
4-5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Sichuan peppercorns to taste
salt to taste
4 grams pu'er tea
Start by preparing the dough for the dumplings. Mix together flour and turmeric in a bowl. Break the egg into the middle of the mixture and stir vigorously until you have a stiff dough with a noticeable yellow tint. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge overnight to rest.
For the filling of the dumplings cook the beans in boiling, salted water for eight to ten minutes. When cooked, set aside one tablespoon of cooking water and drain the rest. In a food processor, grind the beans with the spoonful of cooking and olive oil. This can also be done with a hand mixer.
Add salt and the numbing Sichuan peppercorns to enrich the flavor. Place a tea towel or sheet of cheesecloth over a colander and transfer the bean mixture into it. Twist the tea towel and squeeze tightly to strain out any residual water. When finished, place the beans in a bowl in the fridge.
The following day, roll out the dough as thinly as possible and cut into 7.5-centimeter rounds. Using a pastry bag add the filling, or alternately spoon in the beans. Close the dumplings by folding over and pinching the edges together.
Cook the dumplings in salted, boiling water for three to four minutes. While doing this, prepare the pu'er tea, making sure not to steep for longer than four minutes — already a very long infusion time!
Drain the water, place the dumplings in a soup bowl and serve, pouring the tea over the dumplings directly from the pot. Enjoy!