Chinese Dumplings水饺

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Reverting to my comfort food after a week-long holiday feast. The Zucchini 西葫芦from the local supermarket adds a sweet, tender and refreshing flavor.

Makes about 45 dumplings

Wrappers

  • 300g               all purpose flour or plain flour 中筋面粉
  • 150g                 water in room temperature (substituted by carrot juice or spinach juice of your choice)
  • 1/3 teaspoon   salt

Fillings

  • 250g      ground pork
  • 125g       ginger and spring onion water* (calls for 15g sliced ginger and 15g roughly chopped spring onions and 200g water)
  • 1 teaspoon    salt
  • 1 teaspoon   sugar
  • 1 tablespoon  light soy sauce 生抽
  • 1 teaspoon    sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon   cooking oil (optional)
  • 250g   shredded zucchini 西葫芦 or blanched assorted mushrooms or any suitable vegetables)

Method

  1. Combine all wrapper ingredients in a mixing bowl. Use your hand to mix them together.
  2. Tip the dough out on a lightly floured surface and, using your fingers and palms, knead for 5-6 minutes till the dough becomes smooth.
  3. Put the dough back to the bowl, cover it with cling wrap and leave to rest for 20 minutes. (you can start to make fillings while you wait)
  4. Divide the dough into three pieces. Pick one piece, roll the dough into a long snake of about 1.5cm diameter then divide it into 15 equal pieces.
  5. Simply use your hand to pick up each piece and pound it into the floured surface to make a small circular disc. Then use a rolling pinto smooth out each disc till its about 9cm in diameter. You can add some flour to the rolling pin to keep the wrappers from sticking.

For fillings

  1. *Ginger and spring onion water – add sliced ginger, spring onions and water in a bowl. squeeze ginger and spring onions in the water, rub them in the water then drain by discarding used spring onions and ginger.
  2. Place ground pork in another mixing bowl. Add 1/3 of the ginger and spring onion water, use chopsticks to stir the meat in clockwise direction for 100 times. Add the other two 1/3 of the water using the same approach.
  3. Add rest of the filling ingredients and mix well with ‘watered’ ground pork.
  4. Combine above mixture with shredded zucchini or other vegetables.

Assemble

  1. Spoon a tablespoon of filling into the center of the wrapper, form taco shape and start .pinching one end of the wrapper to seal, heading towards the middle.

Cook (9-10 minutes)

  1. Make a big pot of boiling water.
  2. Add the dumplings into the boiling water and cover the pot. Fill into the pot with 1 cup of cold water every 2-3 minutes for three times whenever the water starts boiling.

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Szechuan Wontons in Chili Oil红油抄手

The classic Szechuan snack is my favorite wontons. It is perfect for a breakfast, lunch or dinner. These slippery suckers are lip smacking. Wear a bib or take your white shirt off for these while you are shoveling these into your mouth.

There are perhaps a dozen of ways to wrap the fillings – but I care for the “Lucky Yuan Bao” 元宝 fold (like Tortellini.). The Italians perhaps got the fold from the Chinese. Now we are borrowing back their stuffed-noodle fold.

Yields 45 wontons,

Wrappers

I think you can buy the wonton wrappers from any Asia markets in the US. In Singapore, they are available at NYUC or Cold Storage. One package comes with either 50 or 100 wrappers.

Make fillings

  • 250g           ground pork
  • 125g           minced shrimp (shrimp needs to be peeled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon    salt
  • 1 teaspoon      corn flour 生粉
  • 1 tablespoon    light soy sauce 生抽

Make the sauce

Method

  1. Peel and minced the shrimp.
  2. In a large bowl, combine ground pork, minced shrimp, salt, corn flour and light soy sauce and mix well.
  3. Now let’s wrap – the Italians may get the tortellini fold from the Chinese. Now we’re borrowing back their stuffed-noodle fold. So just take out one wrapper, add a half tablespoon of fillings. Fold it into half size from the middle, press the two sides of the wrapper together to seal.
  4. Dab a little water on the two corners, then fold one side toward the center. Fold the other side to the center.
  5. Press the two ends together to seal. The filled center will plump up like a belly with the edges framing it like a golden ingot (lucky Yuan Bao,元宝).
  6. Bring a pot of water to boil, add in 6-8 wontons and cook for 5 minutes till they float on the water.
  7. In the meantime, prepare a serving bowl, combine a tablespoon of chili oil, 1/2 teaspoons of minced spring onion, garlic and roasted peanuts with a tablespoon of boiled water from the pot. Mix well.
  8. Drain the wonton and add them in the bowl. Gently toss till the wontons are well-coated.

Tips:

  1. If you are serving these to guests with different levels of heat tolerance, pass the chili oil at the table instead. That way, everyone can get the dose they want.

Cute Pumpkin Pastry 玲珑南瓜

Trust me. It is easy to make. With a little bit patience, you will actually find the process quite therapeutic.

Yields 10 cute pumpkins,

  • 200g pumpkin purée (you will need300g fresh pumpkin available at any grocery store)
  • 140g glutinous rice flour糯米
  • 3 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 tablespoon sweetened condensed milk 炼乳

For ‘pumpkin stems’, you will need,

  • 20g glutinous rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon green tea powder (or any color of ingredient of your preference and convenience)
  • 18g water

Method

  1. To make pumpkin purée, remove the skin and seeds, thinly slice it then cover the bowl with cling wrap and put in microwave in high heat for 4 minutes.
  2. Remove the bowl from the microwave. Add into glutinous rice flour, sugar and condensed milk and mix well.
  3. Cover the dough with a plastic bag and rest the dough for 20 minutes.
  4. Now let’s work on the ‘pumpkin stem’, you will need 20g glutinous rice flour, 1 teaspoon green tea powder(or any color of ingredient of your preference and convenience) and 18g water. Combine them and mix well.

The fun part now begins!

  1. Cut the dough into 10 pieces, roll each piece into a small ball, gently press down each ball a little bit then use the back of a knife carving the side. Top up with a little green stem.
  2. Bring water in the steamer pot to boil.
  3. Place 10 pieces of pastries on a parchment paper.
  4. Steam for 7 minutes in high heat.
  5. Let the cooked pumpkins cool off for 20 minutes.
  6. Enjoy!