Dumplings are cuisines commonly known to the Asian community but mostly the Chinese culture. These dumplings generally consists of minced meat “Mainly pork” but chicken, shrimp, fish or beef can be used too. In that combination, finely chopped vegetables, eggs or corn starch with vinegar, wines, oils and spices are all mixed and wrapped into a piece of dough skin, boiled, steamed or pan fried.
Filling mixtures vary depending on personal tastes and region. Jiaozi -aka -Potsticker, gyoza or Dumplings” are usually boiled, steamed or fried and continue to be a traditional dish eaten on Chinese New Year’s Eve, the evening before Chinese New Year, and special family reunions. As per Northern China, people generally eat dumpling on the Winter Solstice (22 December of each year), a custom signifying a warm winter. Extended family members may gather together to make dumplings, and it is also eaten for a farewell to family members or friends. In Northern China, dumplings are commonly eaten with a dipping sauce made of vinegar and chili oil or paste, and occasionally with some soy sauce added in.
These dumplings can be found or bought at any Chinese restaurant here in Nairobi. Once you learn how easy this recipe is, buying them will be the last thing on your mind.
Shall we begin?
Making “Pan-fried Chinese Dumplings“
Prep time: 1 hour Cook time: 20 mins Total time: 1 hr 20 mins
Serves: 3 pax
For the filling
- 6 cooked chicken sausages
- 4 lightly fried -hot dogs
- 1/2 a lettuce – finely diced
- a bunch of green onions – chopped
- 1 baby carrot – grated
- 2 cloves of garlic -finely minced
- 1 egg
Spices, oils, and dressings used.
- Sunflower cooking oil
- Sesame seeds – 2 teaspoons
- soy sauce
- black pepper
- cayenne chili powder
- garlic powder
- ginger powder
- Ketchup -OPTIONAL
- Nonstick pan
- Pan Lid
- chopsticks, a fork OR wooden spoon
For the dumpling Wraps.
- 3 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1 -1/4 cups of warm water
Making the filling:
Step 1: Mince the meat.
First, slice up the cooked sausages and the hot dog to small pieces. Place them in a food processor – grind them up to form a paste-like consistency.
Step 2: Drain water from lettuce & Mix everything together.
Add a teaspoon of salt to the diced lettuce. Let it sit for 2 mins to sweat all its water. Take a handful at a time and squeeze out all the water off the lettuce, then add the wet free lettuce into a large bowl with every other ingredient. Leave out the ketchup. Mix everything with the help of either chopstick, a fork or a wooden spoon. Cover the bowl with a clear cling foil – place in the fridge for 10 -20 mins.
Step 3: Making the dumpling wraps.
In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt together. Add small amounts of the warm water to the flour mix. DON’T POUR ALL THE WATER AT ONCE INTO THE FLOUR!! While mixing, make sure there isn’t any flour at the bottom of the bowl- before you start mixing with your hands.
Step 4: Kneading the dough.
Once you get a roughly formed sticky dough, generously flour your surface, transfer the dough to your surface and knead the dough for 10 mins. Lightly dump a clean kitchen towel, cover the dough for 30 mins in a warm area. This is to definitely help keep the dough moist and avoid getting it dry.
Step 5: Making the sauce then set it in the fridge until ready to use – OPTIONAL
Step 6: Making the wraps
Your dough should be super soft and light to the touch. Gently knead the dough for 30 secs. You will need extra flour to help in the rolling. Cut out a piece of dough, roll that piece into a log shape, divide it into 4 or 6 pieces. Each of those pieces, dust it with flour, flatten them with your palm. Using your rolling pin, make small circular warps – but make sure the center of the warp is thicker than the sides. The thickness will help hold the meat filling when cooking them.
Step 7: Adding the fillings & wrapping
Place at least a teaspoon full of the meat filling in the middle of the wrap. You can either – By using your index finger, apply some water to the sides of the wrap or Just fold the wrap of-course with the meat in between and apply pressure while pinching the edges together. Repeat the sealing methods till all the wraps are done. In case you still have some meat left, just transfer the mixture into a clean dish -wrap with clear cling foil and freeze it for the next recipe. That’s exactly what I did.
Step 8: Pan frying the dumplings
Using your nonstick pan, add some cooking oil – allow it to heat for 2 mins first – Arrange the dumplings all round to the center. Let them cook for 4 mins then check the bottom part of one of them – if it’s’ golden brown – place it back to the pan, and add a 1/4 cup of water to the pan – and immediately cover the pan to allow steam to take place. This should take another 4 to 6 mins over medium heat. Once all the water has evaporated, then the dumplings are cooked and ready. Repeat the steps for the remaining dumplings.
Step 9: Serve immediately.
They are best served while still hot or warm.
The ketchup was used last as my dipping sauce in place of the original soy sauce mix used normally with dumplings. They do go well together.
Would you guys like to see more cultured food such as these dumplings?
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