Wednesday, 15 September 2010

A Digression into Dumplings

This was an article I wrote for a magazine at uni on how to make dumplings, and I was so proud of it (mostly of how I managed to stand up for 4 hours on end making them no not complaining once) that I wanted to share it on here! So taking a step back from the birthday recipes, dumplings are dominating the day.

If you don’t go to Cambridge University or are a student (in which case, well done for finding my blog!) then you might not get some of the places or other things I’ve referred to. If so, just look at the photos, ‘cos they’re pretty.

It’s delightful, it’s delicious, it’s delovely. (Sorry, it’s too easy)

It’s dumplings.

And for most of you, nothing quite makes a Chinese meal like a plate of steaming hot ‘shui jiao’, maybe with the exception of…two plates of the stuff. But how can you gorge on these with the limited resources that is a) our student loan and b) our gyp room? Easy! a) make them yourselves and b) improvise. Xinmei shows you how.

You will need: You can substitute with:

Dough Extra strong bread flour
Filling A packet of pork mince
1 egg
Vegetables (I used carrots, celery, mushrooms, Chinese mushrooms, and spring onions), diced finely
Garlic, minced
Ginger, minced
Chinese rice wine

Mixing bowl

Rolling pin
Chopping board
Steamer/deep saucepan

Sainsbury’s basics flour

Whatever’s on offer in the shop/ leftover in the fridge

White wine

Wok (if you don’t even have one of these, then shame on you!)
Wine bottle
Table surface
If you don’t have a saucepan with you, you should probably stop reading.

1) Make the dough by pouring about a third of a big bag of flour into the wok. Gradually add half a cup of water and mix until it forms a dough. Begin kneading and add more water if necessary. This really is trial and error – keep kneading and adding more water (or flour if you add too much water!) until the it feels like playdough. Keep it covered with a wet cloth to prevent the top from drying out (alternatively, don’t bother), and leave to rest for 30 mins.

2) Make the filling by putting all of the filling ingredients into a saucepan or bowl and mix together. I found some frozen prawns in my fridge and some toasted sesame oil in the cupboard today, so wacked them into the mix too.

3) Knead the dough once more, and roll into a long sausage shape. Cut into small pieces about 1 inch thick and roll into thin circles.

4) Fill each circle with a spoonful of filling, and fold in half. Holding the dumpling in your hand, pinch the sides of the dough together to make a half moon shape.

5) To cook, either steam for 15-20 minutes or boil the dumpling. To boil, put the dumplings into boiling water, wait for the water to come back onto the boil, add cold water and wait for the water to come to the boil again, and repeat 2 more times. Alternatively, don’t bother, and just wait another 15 minutes.

6) To freeze, dust the dumplings in flour and put on a tray or Tupperware box, making sure none of the dumplings touch each other until they are fully frozen. Otherwise they will easily stick together and you will end up having to cook a flour and meat mush.


Et voila – you have saved yourself £10 and a trek to Charlie Chan’s!

1 comment:

  1. I love how by /writing/ a blog you often come across other good blogs through your comments, without even having to look for them! Since you stopped by an dropped a comment over on my own site I thought I'd check yours out, and this recipe immediately caught my eye.

    Why? Because my girlfriend LOVES dumplings, literally can't get enough of them, but I've never thought to make them myself. I sort of assumed they would be a pain to make, but this seems super straight-forward! Will definitely give this a go when she's next around and come back with an updated comment. :) May be a few weeks though!


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