Who doesn’t love Chinese dumplings? With their distinctive crescent shape, jiaozi are a symbol of wealth and prosperity because of their resemblance to ancient Chinese money (silver ingots). And aside from being tasty and versatile, they bring together families at this festive time not only to eat, but to cook together. In Northern China families will traditionally spend New Year’s Eve together preparing the dumplings, which are then eaten at midnight. One lucky person may find a gold coin inside – what a great start to the new year!
2 cloves garlic (pressed)
5cm piece ginger
4 dried shiitake mushrooms (soaked in water)
Chinese chives (handful)
small wedge of cabbage
small tin of bamboo or water chestnuts
400g peeled prawns or 250g minced meat (or leave out for vegetarians)
1 tbsp soya sauce
1 tbsp Chinese rice wine or Japanese sake
2 tbsp sesame oil
salt and pepper
1 pack dumpling (gyoza) skin (30 pieces)
flour and water (for folding dumplings)
2/3 soya sauce
- Thaw the packet of frozen dumpling skin in the fridge a day before.
- Boil cabbage wedge for 5 minutes. Cool in cold water and squeeze water out.
- Chop all filling ingredients finely, except the prawns or minced meat.
- Mix filling ingredients and marinade. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
- Before folding the dumplings, spread the table surface with flour.
- How to fold dumplings: Lay a dumpling skin on the table. Trace the circumference of the skin with a water-dipped finger. Fill the middle of each dumpling skin with a tablespoon of mixed filling ingredients. Hold up the back half of the skin flat against one hand while folding pleats along the front half with the other hand. Everytime a pleat is folded, press the pleat against the flat back half of the skin to seal the dumpling.
- Fill the frying pan with a thin layer of cooking oil and heat it at high temperature.
- Fry dumplings at high heat until the base turns light brown.
- Add water to the frying pan until it reaches halfway up the dumplings.
- Cover the pan and simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes until the water almost disappears.
- Pour out the remaining water and continue frying the dumplings for a few minutes until the base is brown.
- Enjoy your fried dumplings dipped in soya vinegar sauce! You could even add some shredded ginger to the sauce.
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Recipe: Michelle Ng Eriksson
Photo Credit: dominiqueb