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    Jiaozi

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    Jiaozi

    Chinese dumplings come in a huge variety of styles (see page 107 for a guide to different dumpling shapes). Vary the filling of these jiaozi (say: jyaoww-dzrr) with chopped raw prawns instead of pork. We’ve steamed these but you can make ‘potstickers’ by frying the base in oil for 2-3 minutes, until golden, then adding a little water to the pan, covering and steaming for 10-12 minutes.

    • Preparation time: 1 hour 30 minutes, plus resting
    • Cooking time: 40 minutes

    Serves: as a starter (makes about 20-25 dumplings)

    Ingredients

    1 Chinese leaf lettuce

    5 salad onions, finely sliced

    250g pork mince

    1 red chilli, finely chopped (deseeded, if liked)

    2 garlic cloves, chopped

    25g fresh root ginger, finely grated

    11⁄2 tbsp light soy sauce

    11⁄2 tbsp Waitrose Cooks’

    Ingredients Chinese rice vinegar (or sherry vinegar)

    1 tsp Waitrose Cooks’

    Ingredients shaoxing rice wine (or dry sherry, such as Amontillado)

    1⁄2 tbsp caster sugar

    1⁄2 tbsp cornflour

    1 tsp toasted sesame oil

     

    DUMPLING DOUGH

    200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

    1⁄4 tsp salt

    groundnut oil, for greasing

     

    SOY-VINEGAR DIPPING SAUCE

    15g fresh root ginger, grated

    11⁄2 tbsp light soy sauce

    11⁄2 tbsp Waitrose Cooks’

    Ingredients Chinese rice

    vinegar (or sherry vinegar)

    1⁄2 tbsp Waitrose Cooks’

    Ingredients shaoxing rice

    wine (or dry sherry)

    1 tsp sesame oil

    1 tsp caster sugar

    Method

    1. Start with the dumpling dough. In a bowl, mix the flour and salt with 110ml just-boiled water; using a spoon, bring together to a dough.

    Cool for a few minutes, then knead for 5 minutes, until smooth. Coat with a little groundnut oil, wrap in cling film and rest for 30 minutes.

    2. Remove 6 leaves from the Chinese leaf lettuce; set aside. Finely shred the rest; toss with a big pinch of salt. Set aside for 20 minutes. Rinse well; squeeze out the excess liquid. Reserving the salad onion tops, mix the lettuce with the remaining ingredients; cover and chill.

    3. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface as thinly as you can, thinner than 0.1cm if possible; it may be easier to do in batches, or using a pasta machine. Using a 9cm cookie cutter, stamp out as many small circles as you can, layering them up between squares of baking parchment, before covering with a tea towel. Re-roll any scraps; you should get about 20-25 wrappers in total.

    4. Place a heaped teaspoon of filling into the centre of a wrapper. Fold in half, crimping one of the edges to create a pleated effect, before pressing firmly together and expelling as much air as possible from around the meat. (Dampen the inner edge with a little water if it doesn’t stick naturally.) Repeat with the remaining ingredients, setting the dumplings on a flour-dusted tray as you go.

    5. Prepare a steamer with simmering water and put 2-3 lettuce leaves (or circles of baking parchment) on the bases of the steamer layers. Steam the dumplings, in batches, for 10-12 minutes, until piping hot.

    6. Mix the sauce ingredients and serve with the dumplings, scattered with the reserved salad onion tops, and toasted sesame seeds, if liked.

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