At a recent Chinese cooking lesson, we learnt how to make these Chinese pork dumplings that you might find in dim sum restaurants.
For Chinese New Year, some Northern Chinese families will come together to make these dumplings. They will wrap it in such a way that the dumpling resembles old gold ingots. By eating loads of these dumplings, it will mean you will have much prosperity in the new year.
You need to have nimble fingers to wrap these dumplings. It’s a bit like food origami. After careful observation of the technique, we attempted to wrap some ourselves with mixed results. But they still tasted great. With a little bit of practice, I’m sure we’ll be able to make perfect dumplings.
To make these at home, just buy the ready-made pastry from an Asian supermarket. They come either fresh or frozen. I don’t think it’s worth the hassle of making the dough yourself unless you feel inclined to experiment. If you don’t like pork, you can use minced chicken or prawns for the filling instead.
Jiaozi Chinese Dumplings
- 225 g plain flour
- 150 ml cold water
- ½ bunch of coriander
- 3 spring onions
- 1 cube of ginger I used about an inch1 clove of garlic
- 5 Chinese mushrooms if dried, soak in warm water
- 1 bunch of Chinese chives
- ¼ of a cabbage Chinese or Western
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- Sieve the flour into a mixing bowl
- Gradually add the water, while mixing with a fork/hand
- Once all the water is added, fold into a ball
- Knead for 5 minutes on a hard surface until slightly elastic consistency is reached (this should be a ‘play dough’ consistency – you may need more/less water for the correct consistency – use the measurements as a guideline only)
- Once consistency is reached, roll out the pastry to roughly 1-2mm thick
- Use a 70mm diameter circular cutter to cut out as many pastries as possible
The filling and marinade
- Finely chop all filling ingredients
- Mix with marinade
- Mix with any of the above fillings
- Place filling in the centre of the dough
- Fold the bottom centre over the filling to form a semi circle and pinch the top tight
- Pinch the 2 corners of the semi circle together leaving 2 symmetrical ‘Mickey Mouse ear’ shapes between your centre fold and the corner folds. Not the folds are assymetric.
- Now pinch the ears in towards you to make 4 layered folds
- Fold over into a ‘half moon’ shape so that the dumplings sit easily on a plate
- We learnt to pleat the dumplings too, not too successfully.
Cooking ( we had ours deep fried on the night but you can cook it like this below)
- Heat 2 tbsp vegetable oil in a frying pan to a high heat
- Place dumplings in pan – base down
- Now turn the heat down to medium and fry dumplings until base is golden brown
- Using a lid as a shield, pour hot water into pan until dumplings are 1/2 covered. Cover quickly with lid
- Cover with lid for 5-10 mins on medium heat until all water has evaporated
- Once pan is completely dry of water, allow dumplings to crisp up on the bottom for a further minute
- Serve with a mixture of equal amounts of soy sauce, vinegar and matchsticks of ginger.
This recipe is from the School of Wok.