Maine Lobster XO Dumplings with Chili Vinaigrette

By: Chef Karen Akunowicz, Boston

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Karen Akunowicz is James Beard’s Best Chef Northeast 2018 and an award-winning Cookbook Author.

5 dumplings


1lb cooked Maine Lobster meat
1 cup of water chestnuts, chopped fine
3 Tablespoons of sliced scallions
½ cup of XO (recipe below- or store bought is fine)
2 teaspoons of kosher salt
1 Tablespoon Mayonnaise
2 whole scallions, sliced lengthwise and stored in ice water

One package of twin marquis dumpling wrappers

Toasted Chili vinaigrette
1 cup low sodium soy sauce
⅔ cup black vinegar
1 cup of toasted chili oil

1/2 cup of dried shrimp
1/2 cup of dried scallops
1/2 cup of Chinese sausage
3 pieces of sliced ginger
5 whole garlic cloves
5 dried chilis
2 cups of canola oil


For the Dumplings
Start by combining the Maine Lobster, water chestnuts, scallions, xo, salt, and mayonnaise together in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Combine well and set aside. In an airtight container like a Tupperware container or a glass jar, add the low sodium soy sauce, black vinegar and toasted chili oil. Seal lid tight and shake to combine. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water up to a boil.

Fill a small bowl with warm water. Lay a dumpling wrapper on a clean work surface and scoop 1 Tablespoon of the filling into the center of the wrapper. Dip your finger in the water and paint the edges of the wrapper. Fold the square into a triangle with the top of the wrapper pointing up like a little hat. Press the top edges together and then seal the dumpling, working your way down the sides. Draw the bottom two corners of the triangle together to form a kerchief shape. Dab a bit of water of the edges of the corners and press tightly to seal. Repeat with the remaining filling and wrappers. The dumplings can be made up to 1 week in advance and stored uncooked in an airtight container in the freezer.

Turn the pot of boiling water down to a simmer. In small batches drop 5 dumplings into the water a time and simmer for 30 seconds. Remove with a spider and place onto a cookie sheet with a little bit of canola oil. Add the five dumplings to a bowl, dress with two tablespoons of Toasted Chili Vinaigrette and garnish with long scallions.

For the XO
Rehydrate the shrimp and scallops in hot water for an hour (it is safe to combine them to do so, they are all going to the same place).

Heat the canola oil in the wok (or a saucepan) until simmering. Add the rehydrated shrimp and scallops to the pan.

When they start to turn golden, add the Chinese sausage, ginger and dried chili.

After about 5 minutes, add the garlic.

When the entire mixture is a golden brown color, strain out the oil, and process in a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, use a sharp chef’s knife and chop as finely as possible. Work those knife skills!