Marie Surakal has adapted her family’s traditional Thai filling by adding vegetables she’s come to love since cooking and living in America. The sweet potato, carrots and peas lend a natural sweetness to the savory chicken base.
Golden Bag Chicken Dumplings
Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice and water. Add the chives to the boiling water and boil for 5 seconds. Use tongs to immediately transfer to the ice water. When cool, drain the chives on paper towels, patting very dry.
Bring the water in the saucepan back to a boil. Add a pinch of salt and the sweet potato and cook until almost tender, about 3 minutes. Drain well and reserve.
Mix the oyster sauce, sugar, cornstarch and pepper in a small bowl to make a sauce. Combine the chicken, garlic, cilantro and 2 tablespoons of the sauce mixture in a large bowl. Mix until well blended; reserve the remaining sauce.
Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the chicken mixture and cook, stirring and breaking the meat into small bits, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms, carrot, peas and reserved sweet potato and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the remaining sauce and cook, stirring until the sauce thickens and evenly coats everything, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt. Transfer to a bowl, then refrigerate to chill, about 1 hour.
Put a spring roll wrapper on a work surface and put 1 heaping tablespoon filling in the center. Draw up all the sides of the wrapper and gather around the filling to form a pouch. Wrap one chive around the cinched part at least two times, then tie to secure. Repeat with the remaining wrappers, filling and chives to make more dumplings.
Fill a saucepan with oil to a depth of 3 inches. Heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350 degrees. Working in batches, add the dumplings to the hot oil (avoid overcrowding) and fry, turning to evenly cook, just until golden brown and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Serve hot with the sweet chile sauce.
Thai Sweet Chile Sauce
Combine the sugar, vinegar, sambal, garlic and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer rapidly, stirring occasionally, until syrupy in consistency, about 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature and serve.
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