CHINESE DUMPLINGS ‘JIAOZI‘ By Helen Westwater: LA OLA FRESCA

The 28th of January saw the start of the Chinese New Year, heralding the year of the Rooster, a sign associated with wealth. Last year’s naughty Monkey seems to have left us with a certain wealthy mad rooster creating havoc (!) so let’s hope that by the end of the year the true rooster will bring us wealth in health and peace of mind instead! With that purpose, invite your friends and try these tasty little dumplings ‘Jiaozi’ that are traditionally made to welcome the new year. Their shape resembling gold shoe-shaped ingots, an early form of Chinese currency, symbolize longevity and wealth.

Ingredients
For the dough
300g plain flour
180ml warm (just less than boiling) water

For the filling
250g minced pork
200g Chinese cabbage
1inch / 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine or dry sherry or white wine
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 finely chopped spring onions or Chinese chives
1/2 clove garlic chopped

For the dipping sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon thinly slice scallions
1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Method
First make the wrappers. Place the flour in a large bell, make a well in the centre and then add most of the water. Mix in the flour with a wooden spoon to avoid burning your hand until the mixture gradually comes together. Then knead well. The dough will need to rest for between 15 minutes to 2 hours. When it has rested, divide into sections and then roll out roughly 25 round balls. Each ball should then be flattened into a small neat circle using a rolling pin.

Next make the filling. Finely chop all the vegetables and spices. Mix with the minced pork, stirring in the rice vinegar and soy sauce.

Place a spoonful of the meat filling on the pastry circle. Wet your fingers in a jug of water and moisten the sides of the circle, fold over the meat and squeeze to neatly seal. Repeat until you have filled all the wrappers. Dust lightly with flour to avoid sticking

If you have a steamer, line the pans with non-stick paper. Alternatively you can boil the dumplings directly in the water or bake in the oven or fry. Steam for at least 10 minutes. The pastry will become slightly opaque. Open one dumpling to check it is well cooked before taking them off the heat. While your dumplings are cooking, mix up the ingredients for the dipping sauce.
Serve the dumplings hot with the sauce on the side.

恭喜發財, gung hei fat choy, we “wish you more wealth” (and more than anything health)!

During February La Ola Fresca will be open
Tuesday to Friday: 09:30-19:30h
Saturday: 10:00-19:30h
Sunday: 10:30-19:30h

‘Speak English’ (informal language practice) activities this month
Tuesdays 15:00h Lunch 10€
Thursdays 20:30h ‘Meet and speak’ 5€ minimum cover charge
25th Saturday 17:00h Cook, bake, speak English
28th Tuesday 18:00h ‘Pancake day and story time’ Children maximum age 10 years 5€
Native English speakers also welcome at all events!

More information
www.laolafresca.com
www.benimacletentra.org

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