14 June 2009


Once in a while, we make dumplings (餃子, Jiǎozi). It's a simple one-dish meal that's quite easy to make. I love one-dish meals. When I have to cook, I prefer casseroles and other one-dish meals, where I know that the children are getting both their veggies and their meat.

If you don't mind the extra work of cleaning up after the kids, this can be a fun activity for them, too! I remember what a treat it was to be able to help my mom and my aunt make the dumplings. They would start making the dough in the morning, --kneadng, rolling and cutting. My mom would have made the filling the night before, so once the dumpling wrappers were ready, we'd start scooping and filling the dumplings. This was always the fun part for me.

We just made some this morning. With dumpling wrappers so easily available, you would not find me making my own, but everything else we made ourselves, including the sauce. We made so many dumplings that that's what we're going to have for dinner tonight as well! Yes, you could freeze portions for use at a later date, but I prefer finishing the whole lot in one day. Nothing beats freshly made dumplings.

I'm going to try to list down the ingredients and the recipe here. Bear in mind that I'm not one for exact measurements and I was just making this from memory and pretty much winging it, so do make some allowance for the portions I list down here.

Dumpling Delight

60-70 dumpling wrappers (Don’t get wonton wrappers, as they could be too thin)

The filling:
1 kilo minced pork
2 whole stalks of Chinese celery
1 carrot, grated
1 cup mushrooms, diced (optional)
2 eggs
Coriander, chopped up finely (as much as you want!)
Some fresh ginger, grated
3-5 cloves garlic, minced
5 tsp starch
Flax seeds (optional)
Salt and pepper

1) In a food processor, combine coriander, celery, and flax seeds. Blend.
2) In a big mixing bowl, combine blended ingredients to the rest of the other ingredients (EXCEPT for the dumpling wrappers).
3) If you’re up for it, make the filling the night before and stick it in the fridge. This way, the flavours seep in more.

Once the filling is ready –
1) Have a shallow bowl of water on hand.
2) Dust with flour a baking sheet (or wherever you’ll place the dumplings on before you cook them).
3) Start scooping a teaspoonful of the filling onto the dumpling wrapper. Fold wrapper over, so that filling is covered. Before “sealing” the dumpling, dip finger into bowl of water and slightly wet the edges of the wrapper so that it will seal better.
4) You could either wait to finish wrapping all the dumplings before you cook them or you could cook them in batches.

Cooking the dumplings –
1) Boil some water in a big pot/add a couple drops of oil so that the dumplings will not stick together. If you prefer, you could use chicken or vegetable broth, too.
2) Once water is boiling, drop in the dumplings. How many dumplings you drop in will have to depend on the size of your pot. You wouldn’t want to drop in too many at one time, lest they end up sticking to each other. I usually drop about a dozen each time.
3) When the dumplings float up, you can scoop them out. Drain. Ready to serve. (I usually wait about 1-2 minutes more before I scoop them out, though).

The sauce :
1/3 cup soy sauce
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of half a lemon
A pinch of sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
Chili pepper, thinly sliced (optional)

Just mix all the ingredients together. Easy-peasy.

This is how they look before they get dunked. I tend to really stuff them with filling.

 Just about ready to be scooped out.

If you cooked them with chicken broth, you can serve the dumplings in soup. If not, just serve them as they are. Although they are good fresh from the pot (which is how Josh and Zoë take them), without adding anything else, I love them with our special dumpling sauce.

Ah, comfort food.


LPC said...

I love dumplings. I have twice pulled myself together and made the wrappers myself, just to see if I could. Man that is hard work to get the dough right...

The Crazy Suburban Mom said...

Those look wonderful! Thats something I've never made by myself. But I bet they are better home made


ModernMom said...

Those look so good!

Veronica Lee said...

I love dumplings but am too lazy to make them!! Too much work!!!

Mocha Dad said...

My son and I love dumplings. I'll definitely have to try this recipe.

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