Dumplings, or shui jiao, are one of my favourite foods. They are really tasty but also the perfect food for a working couple like Chris and I, for whom both of us work shift patterns.
Living in the UK is so different to living in Taiwan. Taiwan has many 7-11 shops which are open 24 hours, night market which are open until midnight and a lot of 24 hours restaurants such as Swensens, N.Y. Bagel and Citystar 24 hours Dim sum restaurant.
Whenever I make dumplings I always make at least a couple hundred. Compared to dumplings that you can buy in restaurants here, which normally cost about £1 each, we can make 100 hundred at home for approximately £10. This works out at around 10p each.
When I’ve made the dumplings I put them in the freezer in case we run out food or feel hungry in the night or just come back home from work.
This recipe is just one of the methods of making dumplings that I have used for a very long time. It’s a very common but also basic flavour in Taiwan. Of course there are so many different kind of filling that you can put it into your dumplings such as shitake mushroom, scallops, cabbage, cucumber, chinese white chive, carrots, prawns and so on.
Maybe you can try different filling at home and you could easily create your own special kind of dumplings!
By the way, some Chinese provinces have a new year’s tradition which is when the people will eat dumplings for New Year’s Eve and sometime they will put a coin inside the dumpling. The person who has the dumpling with that coin will be the luckiest one in the coming year.
Dumpling pastry 150 sheets (normally 1 pack dumpling pastry is 50 sheets)
Pork mince from supermarket 600g (You can also use beef mince)
Pork fat or just replace by pork belly without skin 400g (I have to say thank you for my lovely colleague and head chef who allow me to bring the pork loin side of fat home for making a lot of dumplings. Thank you so much!!)
2 spring onions, chopped finely
1 handful of dried shrimp, soak in the warm water for 15~20 minutes to soften it and chopped finely
Chinese chive 300g, chopped finely
Ginger chopped finely 30g
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Couple pinches of white pepper
1. Mix all the ingredients and seasonings evenly and leave it on aside for 30 minutes.
2. Make dumplings as the procedures photo shows. You can use a little bit of water to help the edge of dumpling pastry to stick together.
3. Place the dumplings onto a plate with some flour on the plate to prevent dumplings stick on the plate.
4. Boil a big pot of water and cook dumplings in the boiling water.
5. When the dumplings float on the top of water they are cooked and ready to be served.
(This recipe can make around 150 dumplings)
Credit: These photos were taken by Chris at: http://www.chrisradleyphotography.com