Characteristics: It tastes fresh and delicious in various shapes.
In China, especially in northern China, making and eating dumplings is an important activity for most families on New Year's Eve in Spring Festival. The wrapper is usually made from flour and water, but the fillings vary a lot, ranging from all sorts of meat and vegetables to seafood, mushrooms and even fruit. They are meniscus, angular or ingot shaped traditionally, but nowadays they are made into flowers, birds, fish and insects, more like arts and crafts than food. It is also a tradition in northern China to eat dumplings on the day of Winter Solstice.
400g lean pork; 300g lotus root; 100g green onions; 20g ginger
Note: The amount of the ingredients listed above serves two to three people.
chicken essence (chicken stock/bouillon)
five spices powder
red chili oil
small dried shrimps
Note: the amount of the seasonings listed above can be appropriately used according to one's personal taste.
Step 1: Take 3 bowls of flour and pour into a small basin. Add in some salt and stir it well. Make a hole in the middle and gradually add small quantities of water until it forms into small pieces. Sprinkle some more water on the flour pieces and stir by hand to form a paste on a board and smooth it out. Put it into the basin to be fermented.
Step 2: Clean the meat and chop it. Put into a basin or dish. Clean the lotus root after peeling it first. Cut it into small diced pieces. Put into a dish or basin. Clean and chop the ginger and the green onion. Place into separate dishes.
Step 3: Add some cooking wine, soy sauce, five spices powder, salt, chicken essence and the chopped lotus root, ginger and green onion into the ground meat. Stir it well and pour into a dish.
Step 4: Take out of the flour paste and place on the board. Sprinkle some flour on it. Rub it by hand again. Cut a small section from the paste to be rubbed into a stick. Cut the flour stick into small dough. Roll it flat with a rolling pin. Place into a dish on top of each other, with corn starch in between to prevent each piece from sticking to each other.
Step 5: Pick some fillings prepared before and put at the center of the wrapper (less filling should be put if you are a green hand). Fold and pinch the wrapper from the middle to the two outer sides. Put the pinched side on the forefinger. Clasp the hands and pinched it hard. A meniscus shaped one is out.
Step 6: Find a small basin or bowl. Add in salt, chicken essence, white sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil and red chili oil. Stir it well. You can also add in some chopped green onion to enhance the flavor. Pour it into a dish.
Step7: Pick out 3 teaspoons of the seasoning sauce and put into a soup bowl. Add in the dried small shrimps and chopped cilantro (add in some salt or sauce if you like more taste). Stir it well.
Step 8: Place a wok over high heat. Fill it with water. Add in the dumplings one by one until the water is boiling. Add in 1/4 table spoon of water when it boils. Repeat this twice again. Turn off the heat.
Sep 9: Pick out 1 tablespoon of soup and pour in to the soup bowl with seasoning sauce. Scoop out the boiled dumpling through a table spoon or a draining spoon and pour into the bowl.
Step 10: Scoop out the boiled dumplings with a table spoon or a draining spoon and put into a dish if you prefer dry dumplings, which can be eaten with the seasoning juice prepared before.
Finally, steaming soup and cool dry dumplings are cooked. You may choose either to your personal favor.
In addition, pan fried dumplings also worth a try if you like fried food. Hereunder is the methods.
Place the wok over high heat until hot. Add some cooking oil (Usually 1 tablespoon oil to ten). Turn to lower heat. Add in one by one. Add some water until they are half immersed. Cover and heat it on medium heat for 1 minute. Then change to middle heat until boiled dry. Remove the cover and turn them over. Add some water when 1/4 of the dumplings are immersed. Cover and heat it on middle heat.
Fried Dumplings are cooked until boiled dry again. The bottoms are crispy with golden yellow color.
Tips: Filling covers a broad range of materials. Besides lotus root, celery, leek, cabbage, mushroom, carrot, caraway, fennel, a great variety of vegetables can be used; in addition to pork, fish, beef, mutton, chicken and shrimps are also used. Meanwhile, vegetable fillings mixed with egg is also popular. The Dumpling Banquet of Xian will open your eyes if you want to try a variety of Chinese dumplings well.
On Jan. 5, 2012, Ms. Anika and Ms. Annemieke from the Netherlands, Mr. John and Ms. Rose from Canada, and Mr. Kevin from Ireland together enjoyed a different home-cooked meal in a typical family in Xian when they took part in our family visit tour. They said their favorite part was learning to make dumplings with the host, and they also appreciated the host's warmness, kindness and attentiveness a lot.
On Apr. 27, 2010, Mr. Shaun & Mr. Alex from Australia joined our family cooking class especially offered for foreigners who are interested in learning to cook Chinese food during their China travel organized by us. They just learned to cook Chinese Dumplings, Sliced Beef in Hot Chili Oil & Eggplant in Sichuan Style from the friendly hostess and shared the dishes made by their own hand with the family finally.
On Apr. 3, 2010, Ms. Bobby & Mr. Dominic from Australia had a special tour of TravelChinaGuide in Xian, during which they paid a visit to a local family and learned to cook dumplings on site. Ms. Bobby said that it was the highlight of their China tour.See details at Ms. Bobby's feedback