Time: 30 minutes.
Saying Chinese dumplings (饺子) being the symbol of a race with 5000 years tradition is definitely not an overstatement. The Chinese dumpling is a traditional food invented during the Han Dynasty. It was first created by a doctor who wrapped medicine and some mutton using thin bread dough. The wrapped dough eventually got popular and grown to the Chinese dumplings we know today.
The Chinese dumpling is a rather interesting dish. The dish itself is highly flexible and one could either steam (蒸), bake (烙), pan-fry (煎) or deep-fry (炸) them. One could also substitute the fillings with any kinds of meat or vegetables; or even make them salty or sweet. Among these variations, steaming is the best way to characterize the Chinese way of cooking – ensuring minimal nutrient loss while maintaining maximum tastiness without compromising the consumer’s health.
Chinese dumplings are eaten all the time throughout the year but have particular importance during special occasion such as Chinese New Year or the Winter Solstice. They signify two core elements: family (团圆) and wealth (招财进宝). Interestingly, the shape of the Chinese dumplings resembles the gold (元宝) used in business monetary transaction. The Chinese strongly believe eating dumplings during Chinese New Year would give them an unstoppable flow of wealth throughout the year.
- 300 g minced pork [Alt: Half minced prawn, half minced pork]
- 250 g spring onions [Alt: Half spring onion, half water chesnut]
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 1 tsp cooking wine
- 1 tbs sesame oil
- 300 g dumplings skin
- 3 cups of water [Alt: Pork broth]
- [Optional] 1 tsp oyster sauce
- [Optional] Cellophane noodles (冬粉)
1. Mix all the chopped ingredients into a bowl. Mix only in one direction until it comes together as a sticky lump (起胶).
2. Place the meat onto the middle of the skin. Dap the edges with some water using your finger. Fold them in half.
3. Push them inwards, creating a staircase-like structure on the dumplings. Repeat this process until you used up all the skins and meat. Avoid contact between the dumplings.
4. Immerse the cellophane noodles for 15 minutes and then boil them with 3 cups of water for 5-7 minutes. When it softens, add in the dumplings and cook them for about 7-10 minutes. Season the soup with some salt, pepper and sesame oil.
5. You may prepare some Thai chilli dip sauce for the dumplings by clicking here. Some coriander would be most delightful. The chilli dip goes extremely well with the dumplings.
6. Serve your dumplings soup into a bowl and eat them with the sauce! Bon apetit!
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