February 12th is the start of the Chinese New Year in 2021, heralding the year of the Ox …known for determination, dilligence, strength and dependability. With that purpose, invite your friends and try these tasty little dumplings ‘Jiaozi’ that are traditionally made to welcome the Chinese New Year. Their shape resembling gold shoe-shaped ingots, an early form of Chinese currency, symbolize longevity and wealth.
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
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)!