Pan-fried Jiaozi (Chinese Dumplings)

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Dumplings are the best things ever. Every culture have their versions of dumplings. This proves that they are unanimously the most perfect invention of enjoying mouthfuls of flavours and textures delivered conveniently in a wrapped package from plate to mouth. The problem is the ones that we have came to love are not easily available here. That aside, I am no dumpling sifu. I am very bad with rolling out dough and wrapping the dumplings. I blame it on bad motor skills and fat fingers.

However, I heard about this jiaozi recipe from Chubby Hubby from a lady who had tried it. She claimed that they are not only doable but yields the yummiest of dumplings. So I decided to give it a go. This below was the result of my wrapping and cooking efforts and my husband’s dough rolling and cutting efforts.

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Notice the uneven sizing? This is due to us trying out different methods to achive a piece of round dough skin for wrapping. We tried rolling out the pieces with a dowel, pushing it from the middle towards the edge, per the original recipe. Then, we tried rolling it out real thin with the help of lots of extra flour and cutting the skins out with a circular cutter. Haha, obviously the method with the cutter was the easiest and we stuck to that for the rest of the dough. I also changed the method of cooking the dumplings as we fancy something with more texture instead of plain boiling them.

The recipe below is adapted from Chubby Hubby.

Ingredients

For the dumpling skin dough
250g plain flour
125ml cold water

For the dumpling filling
450g minced pork
50g bacon, finely chopped
125ml water
2 tbsp soya sauce
2 tbsp red wine/Shao Xing wine/sherry
1 egg
1 tbsp sesame oil, toasted*
1 tbsp minced ginger, peeled
500g chinese cabbage, blanched, squeezed and chopped
5 stalks spring onion, chopped
Salt and white pepper to taste

Bowl of water, to seal the dumplings
For the dip
Finely julienned ginger strips
Vinegar (Rice or even balsamic vinegar)
Soya sauce

Method

For the dumpling skin dough
1. Using a medium bowl, add in the flour and make a well in the middle. Pour in water gradually. Mixing with a wooden spoon to form a shaggy dough mixture.
2. Transfer dough and leftover flour to a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth. Add some flour if dough is too sticky or sprinkle in water if dough is too dry. Form the dough into a ball before wrapping it with clear wrap. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes in room temperature.

For the dumpling filling
1. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, add in some of the water into minced meat and bacon. Stir the mass with a spoon. Add in soya sauce, wine and somemore water, if needed, to form a sticky mixture. Use only as much water as necessary to form the sticky mixture.
2. Add in egg, sesame oil, minced ginger, chinese cabbage and spring onions. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Once mixed, one can make a test taste by frying a teaspoon of the filling in a hot pan. Make sure the filling is slightly on the salty side as the skin is unsalted.

To complete the dumplings
1. Knead rested dough on a floured surface for another 5 minutes until it is smooth and elastic.
2. Quarter the dough and cover the rest with clear wrap or in a bowl with a piece of cloth. Roll out one quarter of the dough to as thin as possible. If it is too much dough to handle, one can always adjust the amount of dough that is being rolled out. Cut dough with circular cutter of about 7cm. Use flour as necessary.
3. Wrap dumplings by placing one piece of skin on the palm of your hand. Scoop in about 1.5 teaspoons of filling on the skin and fold the dumpling skin to form a crescent. If the dumplings are not sealing easily, wet finger in a bowl of water and run finger along the edge of the crescent (inner side) of the dumpling skin. Moistening just one side before sealing both sides together with your fingers. Place the assembled dumpling on a lined tray. Keep tray covered with cloth as the rest of the dumplings are being assembled.
4. The dumplings can also be frozen at this point. Place tray in freezer. Once the dumplings are individually frozen, you can transfer them into a storage container or ziplock bag. Just cook them with the steps below, without defrosting.

To cook the dumplings
1. Heat a frying pan in medium high heat. Drizzle in oil. Once hot, place in dumplings and pan-fry till the bottom has a sear of golden brown color. Pour in water to cover the base of the pan and cover the frying pan. Let the dumplings steam until the water is nearly all evaporated. Uncover and flip the dumplings. Pan-fry the dumplings till both sides are golden brown and crispy, about another 2 minutes after removal of the cover. Dish up and serve with dipping sauce.
2. To make dipping sauce, combine vinegar and soya sauce in a ratio of 2:1 and add in julienned ginger.

*: I have noticed that sesame oil come in toasted or untoasted forms. For Asian cooking, we use only toasted ones.

Happy dumpling days.

Cheers,
Berenice

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6 responses »

  1. Hi Berenice! Glad you tried the recipe from Chubby Hubby (it’s mine!) and happy to see you made it your own. Recipes are after all, only guidelines I always say. I assume you used chopped raw bacon? Will try that myself next time, must be better with bacon 😉

    • Hi Vivian, thank you for stopping by! And thank you very, very much for sharing your wonderful recipe with us mortals! Without it, we could not have transcended to dumpling heaven. Seriously! Yup, raw bacon 🙂 my husband doesn’t take seafood nor zucchini, hence the substitutions.

  2. Thanks for the dumpling skin recipe. I did make some mandu (Korean dumplings) recently but used premade skins from the shop. Will try next time to make my own but fear I also suffer from bad motor skills. If my pastry making skills are any indication, I might make sure I have a packet of premade skins ready as well….

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