how to fold dumplings

Chinese Dumplings – Jiaoxi

This is definitely one of the family’s favourites – dumplings. It’s satisfying. It’s easy. It’s deeelicious. It’s fast. We learnt this dish from our neighbour back 8 years ago when we migrated to Australia. She had learnt this from her Japanese friend who then passed on this recipe to her and now, us to you. As usual, we tweaked the recipe to make it more “us”. What a surprise…

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We often have dumplings on weekdays when we are all super busy and want something tasty but fast for dinner. We all have our assigned positions when it comes to cooking dumplings. My mum would make the mixture, my sister, Chloe and I would fold the dumplings together. One of us will cook the dumplings and one of us will set the table up for dinner. Great team work 😉 We would make the dumpling mixture the night before for two reasons – (1) It saves us 20 minutes making the dumpling mixture and (2) it gives the meat and vegetables time to marinate in the asian sauces, but this is optional.

I’m currently on exchange in the US at The University of Southern California (USC) and I made these dumplings for my friends here the other time. I made these dumplings with one of my Austrian friends, David who wanted to asian food. After weighing up all the pros and cons of the different asian dishes I could cook, I decided dumplings were the best choice. It’s not only fun to make, it’s authentic and Chinese. Overall, it is always a winner!

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After draining the excess water from the pan, I simply slid the dumplings off the pan onto the plate. Prevents the dumplings from breaking and saves time! In the background is the soy sauce ginger mixture I made. Traditionally, it is served with a ginger black vinegar sauce but we didn’t have vinegar. Still tasted great though.

Review from my European friends: They loved it! They had a lot of fun learning how to fold dumplings and of course, eating them. They were surprised how labour intensive making dumplings were but really appreciated the intensity and authenticity of the flavours. Yay!!

Makes 40 dumplings

Ingredients

  • 500g pork mince
  • 1 cabbage, chopped into small cubes
  • 1 large carrot, chopped finely
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 2 cups of chives
  • 1 thumb of ginger, chopped very finely
  • Sesame oil
  • Shao xing wine (Chinese rice wine) – optional, but recommended
  • Oyster sauce
  • Soy sauce
  • Gyoza or wonton skin
  • Water
  • Black vinegar

Method

  1. Mix all the pork mince, chopped vegetables and ginger into a bowl.
  2. Season with oyster sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil and shao xing wine.
  3. Place a tablespoon of the filling onto a sheet of gyoza or wonton skin.
  4. Wet the edges of the gyoza or wonton skin with abit of water to allow the sides to stick together. Fold the skin into half to form a semi circle, with the filling in the middle.
  5. Pressing in the middle of the edges of the dumpling, fold the skin in towards the middle of the dumpling. Make about 4 folds, 2 on each side. Make sure that there are no open holes as the filling could come out of the dumplings. Repeat step 5 for the rest of the dumpling mixture.
  6. Pour 2 tbsp of oil onto the pan. Arrange the dumplings onto the pan.
  7. Pan fry the dumplings on a medium heat until golden brown (only colour the base of the dumplings).
  8. Add water to the pan, until it covers the dumplings. Cover the pan and allow the dumplings to cook. Cook on low heat. Continuously check on the dumplings incase the water runs dry. The dumplings will look like it has expanded but it will shrink later.
  9. Gently drain the excess water.
  10. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Tip 1: Serve with Sriracha chilli sauce or ginger soy sauce or ginger black vinegar sauce (this is very typical for dumplings). Even my European friends enjoyed the extra ginger on the side! It really does enhance the flavour of the dish.

Tip 2: Pan fry and cook one of the dumplings to taste for the level of seasoning. This is a good test before you cook the entire batch and then later realise it’s not salty enough. You could always taste the raw meat on its own before cooking. That’s definitely what my grandma would have done but… I would rather test it the long way! haha

Xx

Generation Kitchen

 

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Beef Brisket Stew

How I miss my family.. this calls for more comfort food! So, here is another “student meal” for you.. A bowl of stew with a side of toasted sourdough bread slathered with butter! I feel like an French chef kissing the tip of my fingers ‘Magnifique’. Simple food bursting with flavours 🙂

As I’ve been in the University of Southern California for a month now, i’ve been doing more “student meals” that can be cooked in bulk and in advance. I also noticed my protein intake levels have been atrocious since I’ve been here. Carbs have become an easy back up plan when I’m hungry so I decided I need to cook up something hearty and meaty!

I only had 4 hours to prep and cook that day and it had to be done that day. It was time to work like a machine! First, I took the meat and seared it on a sizzling hot pan. While that was searing away, I sliced the garlic and onions. Then, after the meat has been seared, I sauteed the garlic and onions and cut the rest of my veges up.. you get the picture right? My mum taught me very well to maximise my time just simply by taking the time to mentally organise myself 😀

This dish is perfect for busy days or even for dinner parties. I also put ALOT more veges in here than you traditionally would but this is the best way for me to eat more veges. Perhaps a perfect solution for you and your family too? 😉 You can cook a big pot of this and divide into several frozen meals. It will be as simple as heating it up and voila, you have a healthy and hearty meal ready in minutes! 

Ingredients:

  • 650g Napoli sauce
  • 2lbs beef brisket
  • 3-4 medium carrots
  • 3 medium potatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 1 zucchini
  • 2 red capsicums
  • 1 green chilli pepper
  • 3 stalks of celery
  • 2 tomatoes
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Black pepper
  • Himalayan salt
  • 2 bay leaves

Method:

  1. On a hot pan of olive oil, sear the chunk of brisket until it is golden brown. Cut into thumb size pieces after it has cooled down
  2. Slice garlic and onions and sauteed until almost golden brown
  3. While the garlic and onions are being sauteed, cut the rest of the vegetables
  4. Add the carrots, celery, green chilli peppers, bay leaves and beef brisket into the pot. Allow the flavours to mix together and enjoy the concoction of beautiful flavours all in a pot. You can omit the green chilli peppers if you are sensitive to spicyness
  5. Add the napoli sauce and season with cayenne pepper, black pepper and abit of salt. Continue cooking for 2-3 hours
  6. Add the chopped potatoes into the pot to thicken the sauce
  7. When the meat is tender, add the rest of the vegetables until semi-cooked. Season with cayenne pepper, black pepper and salt to taste
  8. Enjoy!

Xx

Generation Kitchen