I have been compelled by the rainy weather to eat more at home. Nothing delights me more than making and eating chinese dumplings. I find it rather therapeutic to wrap my dumplings.
Ingredients ( makes 25 dumplings)
Store-bought round white dumpling wrappers
150g minced chicken + 150g minced pork
(My mom adds minced or whole prawns)
Minced water chestnut (optional)
Seasonings (To taste at own discretion)
thyme, black pepper, packet of ketchup or chilli sauce
1. Mix ingredients with seasonings. As you can tell, I’m minimalist when it comes to taste.
2. Put small amount on rice flour wrapper and purse the edges. (I don’t use water as it makes the wrappers sticky.)
Put ingredients on wrapper
Put in boiling water and scoop out when ready
Serve with seasonings
3. If not cooking immediately, lay dumplings flat on plastic wrap (do not overlap dumplings)and put in freezer. 1 hr later, put frozen dumplings in bag and keep in freezer until needed.
4. Otherwise, put straight in boiling water for 5 mins and cook. Check if the centre is cooked through. (Frozen dumplings take longer to cook. Resist the temptation to put dumplings into water until the water bubbles.) If so, scoop it out.
5. Serve with preferred seasonings. Mine includes fried shallots, sesame oil, vinegar (rice or black), chilli, cilantro, tabasco (for extra kick), fish sauce. Otherwise, black vinegar with slivers of young ginger works fine.
What’s the difference between chinese dumplings and wanton?
There’re yellow (egg) wrappers and white wrappers. Generally i prefer the white wrappers. I think the yellow wrapper types, yun tun are usually eaten in soup or deep fried and is a Cantonese dish. Wanton (yun tun) are smaller, shaped like tiny clouds to be swallowed – hence the name “tun” meaning swallow and “yun” meaning cloud.
Chinese dumplings , shui jiao or jiao zi, are usually wrapped in white flour wrappers, – more a Northern dish. Northern Chinese and Taiwanese like to add chives. When they shallow or pan-fry the dumplings, its called “guo tie” literally meaning pot or wok stickers.
L has an amusing story of his first introduction to chinese dumplings in Taiwan in his youth. As Southerners, our meals consist of rice, whereas the Taiwanese love to eat 25 dumplings at one go, as a meal. He was so uncomfortable with eatting so many at one go that he and a friend had to bet with each other who could eat the most to finish up the food they ordered.
No matter how I enjoy my dumplings, I can only manage 6 at a go. I’ve never met a fat Taiwanese. How they can eat so many at one go, and still remain slim, that’s a mystery wrapped in chinese rice flour dough.