Pork and Chinese Leek Flavored Dumplings Recipe
Happy Lunar New Year. Here’s a super simple step by step recipe on how to make your own homemade Chinese dumplings (Jiaozi)
Chinese dumplings are mostly a traditional Northern China dish. In Beijing it’s quite common to order a plate of Jiaozi in place of rice with your meal. Jiaozi can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Chinese dumplings are traditionally served steamed in a bamboo basket and dipped with a mixture of soy sauce and white vinegar or boiled with soup (as shown in photo below), or pan fried. The heart of the Chinese Dumpling is the stuffing of course and every family has their own recipe. Feel free to experiment on your own for the choice of meats, vegetables, etc. I’ve eaten all kinds of varieties of jiaozi that include lamb, beef, tofu, mushrooms, chicken, pork, and even fish dumplings.
one packet of round Chinese dumpling skins (be sure it is Chinese Dumpling skins and not Wonton skins. Wonton skins are thicker)
1.5 lbs mix of lean and fatty ground pork (the fat gives great flavor but too much will cause your Chinese dumplings to leak out during cooking so try to get a mixture of both lean and fatty pork)
4-5 cups of chopped Chinese Leeks (can also use regular leeks but will need to slice thinly)
1 cup of chopped Napa cabbage
3 tbsp of corn starch
2 tbsp of salt or soy sauce.
Mix up your lean and fatty ground pork in a large mixing bowl. Chop Chinese Leeks and Napa Cabbage to about 1/4 inch pieces and mix in with the meat. Add 3 tbsp of corn starch, salt and ground pepper to the mix. Stir until well mixed. Since the leeks will soften and reduce in size during cooking, you’ll want a higher proportion of leeks in this mixture. Add more if necessary.
There’s a whole art to folding these Chinese dumplings and here’s your chance to create your own style. The following is just a recommendation on how to fold your Chinese dumpling jiaozi. I’ve met some handy veterans that can stuff and roll these Chinese dumpling jiaozi with one hand!
First fill the Chinese dumpling wrapper with about a teaspoon of stuffing, then taking your index finger brush a small amount of warm water just on the far edge of the wrapper opposite of you. Gently fold the Chinese dumpling wrapper over with your fingers and seal to finish. To make a fancy edge, you can double fold over and then press to the wet edge of the Chinese dumpling wrapper. (See photo).
As I mentioned before Chinese Dumplings are very versatile in Northern Chinese cooking. You can simply steam your jiaozi or boil them with noodles. Chinese dumplings are also great pan fried like potstickers.
Chinese Dumpling Jiaozi Soup:
Add a quart of water to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add your Jiaozi into the boiling water. When the Chinese Dumplings float they’re ready. Drain and set aside. (at this point you can pan fry them if you want to go that route – they can be eaten with soy sauce/white vinegar mixutre or hot sauce). To make a Chiense Dumpling soup, boil a few quarts of chicken or vegetable stock. Add Napa cabbage, mushrooms. Then mix in your Chinese dumplings. Season with soy sauce, sesame oil, raw chopped scallions. Enjoy!
Fuji Bakery Inc
224 W 35th St (Between 7th and 8th Ave)
Garment District New York
Who says you have to go to Chinatown to get good Chinese in NYC? I’ve been working in the Garment District for 6 months now and I am loving the authentic ethnic food choices. Ok, for those who have gone to Fuji, you’re probably laughing at me because it looks like a typical run down fast food-high-msg take out place. It is, but the secret my friend is the menu. Order from the menu and you’ll be amazed. Don’t be tempted by the steaming buffet food trays behind the display case – that’s most likely yesterday’s leftover food.
For example, I got a huge bowl of Cha Xiu Tang Mian 叉烧汤面(BBQ Pork Noodle Soup) for just $4.95 including tax. The pastries (it’s a bakery after all) are also pretty legit. Basically you can’t lose if you order from the menu. The buffet line stuff, I would avoid but overall I like Fuji a lot. Enjoy!]]>
To celebrate the Lunar Festival / Chinese New Year on Sunday Feb 14th 2010, we took a dumpling workshop at the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) and made some easy Sticky Rice Dumplings stuffed with Sesame Paste. This was perfect since the Lunar Festival is all about celebrating life and prosperity with varous types of dishes that have been recognized as being auspicious. Dumplings are just one of the dishes that are often prepared and eaten during the Lunar Festival.
215 Centre Street, New York, NY 10013
Phone: (212) 619-4785
Ok, to be honest I was kind of expecting a class on Jiaozi 饺子 but this class was more of simple introduction to dumplings and we ended up making sweet instead of savory dumplings. Teaching the workshop was Wai Hon Chu who is the co author of The Dumpling: A Seasonal Guide The book was named by the New York Times as one of the best cookbooks of 2009 and it outlines the many types of dumplings from around the world.
Wai kind of explained that just like ‘bread’ or ‘pasta’ can have different variations across cultures, so can dumplings (think Chinese jiaozi or Polish Perogies). After I heard that, I was ok with making these dumplings but I have to admit we still all had cravings for jiaozi after the workshop and immediately went out to Chinatown to get a few steamed plates of the savory jiaozi! Here’s my recipe post from a few years ago.
Sticky Rice Dumplings with Sesame Paste Recipe
2 1/2 tablespoons of black sesame, finely ground in a coffee grinder
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of crisco shortening or lard :-).
2 cups of sweet glutinous rice flower
1/4 cup of sugar
1 cup of water
some potato starch for dusting.
Combine the sugar and rice flower and add water. Then knead by hand for a few minutes. Flatten dough on a non stick pie plate and steam for 20 minutes. While cooking the dough, prepare the filling by combining the ingredients and rolling the filling into small balls the size of marbles. When dough has cooked, remove from heat and allow cooling for a few minutes. Wearing a pair of plastic gloves, carefully remove the dough and knead with potato starch until smooth.
Assemble The Dumplings:
Divide the dough in half and roll each piece into a long cylinder with a length of about 12 inches. Then cut each cylinder into 12 pieces. Take each small piece, using your fingers flatten into a small pancake and add the filling. Fold the edges over, then fold again and roll over potato starch to form a small ball. The dumpling is ready to eat! You can decorate by dipping the dumpling in water and then coating it with sesame seeds or powdered sugar. Enjoy and Happy Lunar Chinese New Year’s!
During my trip to Shanghai 2 weeks ago, I checked out several street food vendors but was surprised at how difficult it was to find a Soup Dumplings / Xiao Long Bao (小笼包) vendor. While there are chains such as Ding Tai Fung all over Shanghai (and also now in Los Angeles), I really wanted to check out the local, more humble, fresh out-of-a-street-cart version. I eventually found a shop in the Bund region near the Westin Hotel, and after 5 days I broke down and had some in Lao Shanghai (Old Shanghai) in the touristy shop where they sell 20 for 20 RMB.
This place by the way is basically a factory and they easily crank out dumplings by the thousands per day. They were good so I couldn’t complain. Finally, however I was successful at finding a Xiao Long Bao (小笼包) street vendor who sold his dumplings out of a cart on the back of a bicycle cart! (It’s near the fabric market) Awesome find!
Location: N4th and Bedford 2 blocks south of the Endless Summer Taco Truck
Fridays till 2AM
or check locations on Twitter
Well, I guess I spoke too soon last week when I complained there aren’t enough food trucks on Bedford. Just tonith I noticed the shiny new red Rickshaw Dumpling truck. It’s parked a few blocks south of the hipster Endless Summer taco truck and 4-5 blocks north of the new Mexican food cart on Metropolitan. Folks, forget gentrification, how about Bedford Ave the new parking lot for food vendors?
Well if you haven’t tried Rickshaw Dumpling, it’s looking like this one is an authentic foodie vendor. Ok, I’m on day 13 of my Spring Liver Cleanse diet so unfortunately I wasn’t able to sample any first hand but you know from my past posts that I love dumplings or jiaozi 饺子 so no worries, I’m gonna try these out and let you know how they are.
In the meantime, I checked out the Rickshawdumplings.com website and the bios are pretty impressive. One of the cofounders beat out Iron Chef Batali with secret ingredient mushrooms (too bad she didn’t demolish pretty boy Bobby Flay. That would have been awesome to watch). BTW the mission statement on the 1st page of their website needs to go – it’s just too cheesy for my taste. “We believe that everyone has nice dumplings”?! LOOK LOOK ASIAN ?
On the menu are a variety of types of dumplings: pork and chives, chicken lemongrass, Hudson valley duck, wasabi shrimp, vegan, sichuan chicken, and for dessert black sesame mochi wrapper stuffed with callebaut chocolate. Yum! These sound pretty good and I’ll have to give it a try soon. See you on food truck lane in Williamsburg!]]>
Floata Seafood Dim Sum Restaurant
180 Keefer St
Vancouver, BC V6A 4E9
The second place we checked out in Vancouver for Dim Sum was the famous Floata Seafood Restaurant. Compared to Top Gun Hot Pot, I would say Floata is more on the traditional level. Floata’s dishes are pretty much as close to Hong Kong quality as you can get. Again we tried the 3 mushroom rice noodle wrap. I’d say there was a bit more of a mushroom taste, but overall we discovered that most dishes here were a little on the sweet side. I guess that’s the trade off for dim sum – it’s either greasy and salty or light and sweet. Eitherway Floata, located in central Vancouver Chinatown won’t disappoint. Check it out!]]>
Unit 2228 Crystal Mall, 4500 Kingsway, Burnaby B.C.
Happy Holidays! I know it’s been ages and my only excuse is that I’ve recently been knee deep in completing final exams for grad school while tending my day job. Which is seriously no joke. Anyhow, to let you know I just invested in a new SLR camera (Nikon D90) and as I work on improving my photographic kung fu, I also hope to get this sorry-ass-2-posts/month food blog off the ground. No more slacking!
Last week, I was out in Vancouver BC Canada and yes it is an awesome city with amazing food (it’s sometimes called the Hong Kong of Canada). Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to visit a ton of restaurants because Vancouver was under siege by a weeklong snowstorm that essentially shut down all roads and transportation. Meanwhile, their metro subway system (SkyTrain) made me double think my complaints about NY’s MTA. Isn’t it comforting to think that Vancouver is hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics? Guess they have a few years to buy more than just one snow plow for the ENTIRE city. (Reminds me of Seattle)
Anyhow, I did make it out to 2 awesome dim sum places. One of which is memorably named Top Gun Hot Pot. Yo, isn’t that a fucking awesome name? IT’S SO AZN! Makes no sense in terms of associations with food but it certainly conjures up hard core masculinity (as should any Chinese business). I can already see the images of 80s Tom Cruise and Ice Man. But seriously no blond flat tops here, just great food. Top Gun Hot Pot has several restaurants that strategically cover all the regions of Vancouver – some specialize in hot pot and others specialize in sushi. We checked out the one in Burnaby in the Metrotown shopping center and since it was a little too early in the day to try Hot Pot, we opted for dim sum instead. Top Gun Hot Pot has a pretty full dim sum menu but curiously does not have all the classics such as Salty Pork & Duck Egg Congee. Then again, the fish congee that we ordered was very good. Something that I’ve never tried in HK or NY is the 3 mushroom rice noodle dish. The dish is a mix of oyster, Enokitake, and black mushrooms wrapped in a smooth blanket of rice noodles and steamed. Try it without the soy sauce first to get a true taste of the mushrooms for maximum effect. As for Hot Pot, I can see that on the technical side, that Top Gun Hot Pot is the real deal. For example, Top Gun has individual sunken burners and powerful ventilators at each table. The booths are also massive and can conveniently seat parties of eight or more. Someday, I’ll have to return and take the hot pot for a spin. You can be my wing man anytime dude.]]>