Dumplings

Chinese Dumplings – with Juicy Pork filling

I must say that our numerous visits to various Chinese restaurants in the China Town, in Central London, just to taste their authentic dumplings, have always been tantamount to a massive disappointment. They never lived up to our expectations, especially, when it came to flavours, I found the outermost layer, very soft and moist but the inner filling was almost flavourless.

 So, while experimenting with dumpling-making for a while, to my delight, I came out with such exciting results. As a matter of fact, the overall taste is completely based upon the filling. Pork mince is best for this recipe and by adding a lot of spring onions along with other ingredients, make it supremely delicious.

Surely, it became an instant hit with my family and with my friends.  I even went as far as making sea-weed, the most favoured Chinese side dish.  In fact, in place of real sea-weed, which is hard to find,  I deep-fried savoury cabbage! Well, it tasted very satisfyingly crunchy and flavourful just like the original version of fried sea-weed.

First, make the dough with the following ingredients :

Enough for 30 – 35 dumplings.

  • Place 300g of plain flour in a bowl and make a well in the middle.  Now, pour 1/2 cup of boiling water into the well, cover the bowl and let it rest for 5 min.
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  • Open the lid and run through a wooden spoon.   Again cover and leave for 10 mins.
  • Now pour 1/2 cup of warm water gradually while kneading the flour with your hand.  Add more warm water if needed and knead until the dough becomes soft to touch and not sticking onto your fingers.  Cover and let it rest for 30 mins.  In the meantime, make the filling.

What you need for the filling;

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 Pork mince or Chicken mince300 g
Spring Onion – Class A  – 120 g1 bunch
Soy sauce (dark)4 tbsp or more
Blended sesame oil4 tbsp
Brown Sugar3 pinches
Ginger – shreded1 inch root
Salt3 pinches
Corn flour4 tbsp
Rice vinegar1 tbsp
Cabbage – shredded1 cup (optional)
  •  Pork mince is a better choice for this recipe as it gives very flavourful results.
  •  A cup full of shredded Chinese cabbage along with spring onions could be added to increase the volume if you are making them for a larger family or a gathering.

Let’s make:

Steam in the rice cooker
  • Divide the dough into equal size balls
  • Lightly flour the surface of the kitchen worktop or a wide chopping board.  Place a ball of dough and roll it to a flat round disk, using a rolling pin
  • Place a tablespoon of meat mixture on the middle
Place the filling in the middle of the flatten disk

.Bring both sides together and pinch on the pleat making them tightly clasped.

  • Make enough for one round of steaming. While one batch is in the steamer, you can go ahead making the next batch and place them on a dusted surface
  • The final step is to steam the dumplings. Brush oil on the bottom of the steamer and arrange dumplings without sticking to each other.  Now, steam on high flame for about 5 mins.  You will see the colour of outer cover changes and start glistering when cooked enough.
Chinese dumplings
  • Switch off the flame and take out dumplings one by one, very gently, with the help of soft-edged tongs and place on a plate.

Let’s make the dipping sauce

  • 2 tbsp  – Dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp  – warm water
  • chopped coriander leaves
  • a few pieces of chopped red chili for a fiery blend. (avoid chili when serving kids)
chil

Whisk all together and serve in a separate bowl next to dumplings with chopsticks, a fork or a spoon. In place of this sauce dipper, you can opt for Chinese chilli oil or chilli paste which are ideal dippers for these dumplings.

Sea-weed fried

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  • You simply have to shred the curly cabbage as thinly as possible
  • Then deep-fry in hot oil.  Just a min or two is enough for them to get crispy. Do not over frying will lose its lovely green colour
  • Now add sugar and salt as per your taste
  • Yummy sea-weed is ready to devour with delight!

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