Monday, 2 March 2009

Making Chinese Dumplings!

Alrighty, here is how you make Chinese Dumplings!
First off you make the dough. Zeno made the dough with just dumpling flour and water. She kneaded it for a long time. According to her, you know when it's ready when it feels "smooth like a young girl's arm". After it's all mixed you set it aside for a bit and work on your filling.
Then you chop a lot. We made shrimp dumplings so the three main ingredients were shrimp, egg and what we called "grass" because I wasn't 100% sure what the English name for what we were using, and it looks like grass. I am pretty sure it's Chinese chives...Chopping up some scrambled up eggs...
Here is the lovely dumpling filling all mixed up. We also add some dried up tiny little prawns and some sesame oil. One of my favorite jobs that I did on Friday night was going through the mixture and picking out with chopsticks any piece of "grass" that was too long. Ha.
Now you start making your wrappings. You roll the dough out like a snake, making sure it's an even thickness.
Then you roll the dough stick back and forth while you cut it into sections so that the pieces look like this:
The pieces will be sticky on both ends. Only rub flour into one side, as the stickiness in the middle will help the filling to stick. Smush each dough piece with your hand.
Using your rolling pin, work from the outside in, turning the dough piece constantly, to get a nice round wrapper. You want it to be a little thicker in the middle so that it doesn't rip and spill out all the delicious filling.Here is the first wrapper I made by myself. I approve.
Then, using chopsticks, scoop up some filling into your wrapper. Don't overfill or it'll explode!Closing/folding it is really hard to describe and I don't have the best pictures. You start by pinching it in the middle and then fold up each side. You want it to be able to stand. The more folds you can fit in, the fancier your dumplings will look.
One of my fancier dumplings...
Once you have a big ole' plateful of dumplings, boil up some water and drop them in. Be sure to keep the water moving when you drop them in or they might sink to the bottom and stick. When the water seems like it's going to boil over, douse it with some cold water and let it get to a boil again. Do this a few times.If you want to fry up the dumplings in oil, you only want to half boil them. We decided to just have them boiled so we boiled them through.
Mmmm...a delicious dinner of boiled shrimp dumplings, jellyfish and Zeno's delicious chicken wings. Yum!

Here are some random clips from when we were making the dumplings if you care to watch...


kj said...

i always have trouble finding the best flour/water mix... theyre either too sticky or too dry when i go to roll em out :(

buuut i still eat em cause mmmjiaozi.

also, using eggs in the filling looks really good, i'll have to try that :)

Dave said...

"Smooth like a young girl's arm." I love that analogy. It describes the dough for scallion pancakes perfectly as well.

vickierice said...

I hope you realize you will be required to make some for us when you come home!! Love, Mom

Allison said...

three words on you dumplings: OM NOM NOM.

i want dumplings now.

i think this is one of my favorite videos, right up there with the one where you play with the backgrounds.