Jagaimo Manju: Stuffed Potato Buns

Japanese Potato Dumpling

This recipe is another “dumpling” made with crab. It’s sort of a Japanese pierogi: potato dough enclosing a delicious filling! I had crab to use up, and found this recipe in another of my Japanese cookbooks. The original recipe calls for a shrimp filling, but the author notes that it can be varied by using pumpkin rather than potatoes (or, wouldn’t sweet potatoes be good!) and filled with crab, white-fleshed fish, beef, pork, or chicken. Though I include the instructions for preparing the spinach from the original recipe, I had a craving for peas—probably the memory of the shrimp I made in Florida. I could hear sleet clicking on the roof as I cooked.

Jagaimo Manju

According to Shizuo Tsuji, the “silver sauce” (Gin-an) is often used with steamed dishes, especially white-fleshed fish. The dumplings can be formed and refrigerated to cook later in the day. I would recommend doing this, because chilling might firm up the dough so they would look more perfectly round—as in the book. Also I would make the dumplings smaller: make 6 rather than the 4 in the recipe.
From: Practical Japanese Cooking
Shizuo Tsuji and Koichiro Hata
Jagaimo Manju: Stuffed Potato Buns
serves 4
Page 82
Potato buns

  • 2 medium potatoes, 6 to 7 ounces each
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch, divided in halves

Peel and cut the potatoes into chunks. Boil in salted water until tender. Don’t cook them until mushy.
Drain, and return the potatoes to a dry pan over medium heat. Shake the pan to remove excess moisture from the potatoes. When they begin to lose their shape, remove from heat and put them through a potato ricer (I don’t have a “fine drum sieve). Add a pinch of salt, butter, 2/3 of the lightly beaten egg white, and 1 1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch. Mix well to form a firm “dough.”
Divide the potato dough into 4 equal portions and form each into a patty. Make a depression in the center of each patty and fill with some of the stuffing. Massage the potato up over the stuffing to form a smooth bun.
Preheat a steamer over medium-high heat.
Dip the potato buns in the remaining egg white, then dust all over with the remaining cornstarch. Place in small heatproof serving bowls, then stem (in the bowls) for 15 minutes. (or steam the buns without bowls)
Shrimp Stuffing

  • 10 ounces raw shrimp, shelled and deveined
    (I used crab instead)
  • 1 Tablespoon saké
  • 1 Tablespoon mirin
  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce

Chop the shrimp into 1/2″ pieces. Combine the saké, mirin, and soy sauce in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally until the shrimp turns pink.
Spinach

  • 1/2 pound spinach
  • 1 cup dashi
  • 2 Tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons mirin

Boil the spinach in lightly salted water until just tender, drain and chill in cold water to stop the cooking. Combine the bonito stock, soy sauce, and mirin in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Cool. Drain the spinach, wring out excess water, and soak in the stock. Just before serving, warm the spinach in the stock, wring out the liquid and cut into 1″ lengths. Place in the serving bowls next to the buns.
Silver Sauce (gin-an)

  • Japanese Potato and Crab Dumpling1 2/3 cups dashi
  • 2 Tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons mirin
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch, dissolved in 1 Tablespoon water
    the printed recipe called for 3 TBS each, and it turned very thick, very fast
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger juice
  • 2 Tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger (for garnish)

Combine the dashi, shoyu, mirin and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat and thicken with the cornstarch slurry. Return to a boil and add the ginger juice. Remove from heat. Pour sauce over the buns and spinach. Place a dab of grated ginger on top of each bun.

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