At Wednesday night’s workshop meetup we had our first foodie lesson. With Chinese new year falling over the weekend, it seemed a good opportunity to indulge our exotic side with some traditional Jiao Zi, Chinese dumplings.
If you’re wondering why we’re all in coats, scarves and about 15 layers it’s because the church hall where we hold meetings is FREEZING!
For the paste:
- 1 decent bunch spring onions/scallions, chopped
- A small bunch coriander
- 1 thumb galanghal or ginger
- Juice of half a lime
- 1 medium heat red chilli
- A splash of sesame oil
- 1 tbsp soft brown sugar
- 1 packet (roughly 450g) pork mince
- 1 packet (roughly 450g) turkey mince
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp shao xing (Chinese cooking sherry/rice wine)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cornflour
- ½ tsp white pepper
- About 100 dumpling wrapper (available frozen from Asian supermarkets)
- Vegetable oil for deep-frying
- Blend your paste ingredients together to create a flavoured minced scallion paste.
- Combine all the ingredients except the wrappers with the paste and mix well. I use my hands to make sure it’s well distributed.
- How comes the making of the dumplings! Peel a wrapper from the pile, place across the palm of your hand and put about a small ball of filling in the centre. Use your finger to run a small amount of water around the outside and fold the wrapper over, sealing along the damp end. If you’ve got friends to help with this bit drag them in – it can be time-consuming, but strangely therapeutic!
You can cook your dumplings in one of three ways:
- Heat vegetable oil in a wok/large pan until a piece of bread/dumping wrapper dropped in immediately rises back to the surface and begins to turn golden crisp. Fry the dumplings a few at a time, turning to ensure they turn golden brown all over, then remove and leave on kitchen paper to drain before serving.
- Bring a pain of water to the boil, and poach the dumplings for about 3 minutes each, ensuring the middles are cooked through before serving. You can also cook them in a simple broth or soup this way
- Cook your dumplings in a steamer. You can do this from raw, or Alysa assures me you can fry them up first and steam them to finish!