When I mention “We are having dumplings for dinner”. I get a prompt reply “oh mom that’s great, looking forward to it”. These words echo in our house when dumplings are on the menu.
This ubiquitous dish can found in every nook and corner restaurant in Northern China and there are some famous specialty restaurants that only specialise in serving dumplings with a whole gamut of fillings. It is almost a religion in itself.
Dumplings are quite popular during Chinese New Year’s and are seen as sign of prosperity.
Having lived and grown up in China for close to 8 years, my boys have fond memories of dumpling days that remain a very special memory. Our home caretaker would lovingly prepare these tiny bite sized dumplings for their tiny mouths with their choice of fillings & my boys would be impatient waiting for it and often end up playing with the chopsticks at the dinner table waiting to be served.
Their gleaming faces would be so excited to take a first bite of the juicy dumpling but the hot steam would repel them and the whole expression on their face would change in minutes…Only to be satiated later by cooling it down to the point that they can wolf it down hungrily.
Back in Australia, I started making my own after having bought the pre-packaged ones couple of times from the frozen section of the supermarket, realising that the taste is so different from the freshly made ones.
It is a whole big process and gee gaw wrappers are quite convenient if you have decided to go with the fillings of your choice.
Making the wrapper from the scratch is also not a big deal though but time consuming. Honestly, though the taste has a surreal difference.
- 500g chicken thigh fillet
- 1 carrot
- 1 bunch spring onion
- 1 inch ginger
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup chopped coriander
- 1/2 green bell pepper
- 1/2 Red bell pepper
- 2 to 3 button mushrooms
- 1 tbsp Soya sauce
- 1 tsp Maggie seasonings
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 tsp cornflour
- salt to taste
- For Wrapper from Scratch
- 1 cup plain flour +2 tbsp Self raising flour
- warm water to knead.
- Knead a soft dough using warm water. Cover and keep it aside for 1 hour.
- To prepare the fillings, mince chicken, carrot, ginger, garlic, spring onion, coriander, mushrooms, peppers in a mincer. Add the seasonings and cornflour and keep it aside.
- Divide the dough into small walnut size ball and roll round circles. Stuff a tbsp of fillings and seal it with water.
- Use a steamer to cook . It takes 10 to 12 minutes on medium fire to steam the dumplings. You can also cook them on a skillet using oil. Check the links below the post and a easy tutorial for sealing the dumplings.
This post was quite helpful to me along with this youtube video for showing the easy way to pleat. Also check my previous post on making vegetarian dumplings from scratch