Wednesday, 22 July 2015

How to make jiao zi (Chinese dumplings)

Ever since we tasted these soft, succulent dumplings during our last holiday in Hangzhou, the kids and I have been hankering for jiao zi (or Chinese dumplings). We were truly fortunate to witness 2-3 Chinese ladies, from Anhui, deftly wrapping these delicacies The ladies smiled kindly at the kids looking on curiously while we waited for our bowl of steaming jiaozi...

Last weekend, I'd bought about 400 g of minced pork, jiu cai (chives) and had ginger and garlic on hand. I'd taken the minced pork out of the freezer down to the cooler section but alas, the meat was still frozen in the evening! It's our new fridge @#$%^&!

Anyway, I decided to make the dough first since we'd need to let it proof a while and then move on to cut and chop the fresh ingredients. Here are 2 videos I'd found helpful: 1) How to prepare the dough and wrap the dumplings:

NOTE: I had to skip the double and triple proofings since I didn't have time In the end, the kids and I managed to produce about 25 *gigantic* dumplings (1/3 frozen for breakfast). I had about a fistful of dough leftover - the girl wanted it to make Olaf LOL. I'd split the dough into 3 sections since the kids wanted to do the kneading too.

We found that overkneading the dough created chewier, tougher dumpling skins...?
Perhaps we hadn't left the dough to proof longer?
Or we hadn't rolled them flat enough?

Here's our home-made jiaozhi:
Also, I must remember to pinch the ends thinner because they turned out quite thick in the end.

VIDEO 2) How to prepare the filling (by Mama Cheung, a HK lady)
 

NOTE: I didn't really include ALL the ingredients but I found her clear explanations helpful during the dinner rush.

Also, she provided a lot of tips especially if you're interested to make gyoza or pot stickers.

Our filling was a simple one of minced meat, chopped chives, ginger, garlic, fish sauce, sesame seed oil, a beaten egg, salt and pepper and on a brainstorm, a bit of potato starch (oops!). Turned out rather tough...needs more flavour too.

All in all, it was a fun and fruitful experiment.

Next is to cut it down to 1 hour's preparation - ours took almost 3 hours O_O

Here's another video I found, which made the preparation as easy as ABC. Enjoy!

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