Ba Wan (肉圓)
Dumplings in various forms are known throughout history and across almost every culture and the origins of many of them are very difficult to discern. These particular dumplings are said to have been created by a man named Fan Wanju in or around 1898. At that time, Southwest Taiwan was suffering from severe flooding. It is said that in order to feed the victims of this terrible flooding, Fan Wanju dried and ground sweet potatoes into a sort of flour which he formed into balls and cooked.
Over time, the dumplings began to take the form of a filled pocket of very thin dough. Today, these dumplings are a favorite food in Taiwan and are especially popular at the night markets. The fillings vary according to region and personal preferences of the cook, but a fairly standard filling would consist of ground pork, bamboo shoots, and mushrooms formed into a ball and wrapped in a thin dough formed of corn starch, sweet potato starch, and rice flour. They are often served with a sweet and savory sauce.
A filled dumpling made with a thin, nearly translucent dough and often served with a sweet and savory sauce.
For the dough: rice flour, sweet potato flour or starch, corn starch, water. For the filling: mushrooms, ground pork, bamboo shoots, seasonings to taste (salt, pepper, soy sauce, sugar, etc.) For the sauce: rice flour, water, sugar. Recipes vary from region to region and cook to cook.