20 Sep 2013

stuffing myself with dumplings / gyoza / jiaozi

Since moving down south, we're so near to a Chinese supermarket that we've been making more Asian foods from scratch than we used to. One of the things we made were dumplings. Dumplings are also called gyoza (if you're Japanese) or jiaozi (if you speak Mandarin Chinese) or gao zi (if you speak Cantonese Chinese). 

Dumplings are a good accompaniment to congee (Chinese rice porridge) or stir-fried noodles but on this occasion, we made so many that we feasted on just dumplings. 

Dumplings / jiaozi / gyoza: made with circular dumpling skin, spinach, minced pork, king prawns and one egg.
So, how do you make these? Well, it's quite simple. Choose a meat (pork or chicken work best) and mince it. Add one egg yolk to the meat (save the egg white for later!). Now, choose a vegetable (spinach or pak choi work best) and boil it. Run the cooked veg under some cold water or leave it to cool before mixing it thoroughly with the minced meat. Finally, cut the prawns so that they are in 1cm-1.5cm pieces in length.

You don't need a lot of ingredients to make these dumplings - and you can chop and change what meat and vegetable to use to suit your tastebuds.
With all these ingredients ready to use, take one of the dumpling skins and place it flat on your hand.

Add some of the meat and veg mix, one piece of prawn and then using a finger, wet the edge of the dumpling skin with some egg white. Fold the dumpling and seal. You can seal them in any manner/pattern you want. Just make sure you don't overstuff them as they might burst when being cooked.

Here are how ours turned out (my mum's are at the top and my, more simplistic, ones are at the bottom of the picture. 
Now, onto the exciting part - the cooking of the dumplings!

In a non-stick pan, add some oil and heat that up before swirling it around the pan. Turn the heat to medium and add the dumplings. Turn from time to time so that each side becomes a bit brown/orange in colour. 

Brown each side of the dumplings by turning them after a few minutes on each side.
Once each side of the dumplings are browned, add about 150ml of water (doesn't matter how much you add; I used half a bowl) and then cover with the lid.

Once the water has all evaporated, the dumplings are done!

The dumplings in water.
Arrange them in a nice pattern on a plate (if you are serving them to others) or just plate them up in a manner of your choosing.

How I arranged the dumplings...
You can dip these dumplings in sauce to add a bit more 'zing'. My favourite dipping options are:

- hot chilli oil mixed with worcester sauce (as recommended by a friend)
- hot chilli oil mixed with teriyaki sauce.

To be fair, you could dip them in any sauce but using one with a bit of a spicy kick with chilli oil is probably the most popular option for people who eat dumplings.

One good thing about these dumplings is that they can be frozen. To cook from frozen, just follow the same procedure, but maybe leave them for a bit longer in the pan :)

2 comments

  1. I love dumplings, and those look amazing!

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  2. Oh, these look REALLY GOOD! I may just give these a try sometime! Thanks for sharing how! ~tina

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