Sticky, spicy and packed with flavour, these steamed dumplings are fairly easy to make and always go down a storm. They can be made ahead and frozen, to be steamed straight from the freezer.
The filling is wonderfully changeable: while I have gone for pork and prawns here (fatty pork for flavour and to ensure a moist filling), I sometimes go for finely chopped vegetables. I have often been known to use left-over roast pork, shredding it with a good, gutsy sauce as the filling.
The dough is very easy to make and the use of a pasta machine makes the rolling out a very straightforward affair, allowing you to get the dough almost wafer-thin without much effort.
I sometimes scatter over spring onions, chopped chilli and toasted nuts but the freshly steamed dumplings with a simple dipping sauce are enough to send me into raptures of joy!
Recipe: pork and prawn jiaozi – makes about 50
- 250g strong plain flour or pasta flour
- 130ml warm but water
- a pinch of salt
- 300g pork mince (not extra-lean, as you want the fat content to give a moist filling)
- 150g raw prawns, peeled and finely chopped
- spring onion, whites and greens, chopped
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 fat clove garlic, crushed
- 2″ piece ginger, peeled and grated or finely chopped
- 1 small chilli, chopped finely (discard or keep the seeds)
- a small handful of fresh coriander, leaves and stalks, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice wine
- juice of half a lime
Simple dipping sauce to finish:
- 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 small chilli, chopped
(1) Mix the ingredients together, adding a little more water if needed to form a soft but not sticky dough. Knead on a lightly floured surface for about 5-10 minutes.
(2) Wrap in clingfilm and rest for about 30 minutes: you can chill it or leave it at room temperature.
(3) Take a piece of the dough and roll it out as thinly as possible, so it becomes almost transparent. I find it easier putting it through the pasta machine, going to the penultimate setting. Leave the rolled out dough to rest for a few minutes before cutting (otherwise it will shrink)
(4) Cut out circles of dough using a cutter of choice and brush a little water around half of the edge.
(5) For the filling, mix all the ingredients together and set aside until needed.
(6) Pop a little filling in the centre (below) and bring up the edge to seal, pressing firmly. You can crimp and fold, but I tend to keep this simple! You can freeze them at this stage – in which case, pop them onto baking trays lined with greaseproof, ensuring they are not touching (otherwise they will stick together)
(7) I vary between two ways of cooking. I either steam them or I fry them first to get them nicely golden brown before finishing in the steamer. You get different flavour and texture – both are wonderful!
To steam them, pop these parcels into a steamer with a lightly oiled base (or pop them on greaseproof) and steam for about 6 minutes. If frying first for a few minutes, you only need to steam for about 4 minutes.
(8) Serve with a dip of choice. I like to mix the ingredients given for the dipping sauce above until the sugar has dissolved.