Chinese New Year Dumplings
by Paul Mulvenney
Makes 16 dumplings
For the dough
- 140g / 5oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 125ml / 4fl oz very hot water
For the stuffing
- 110g / 4oz minced pork
- 75g / 3oz Chinese leaves or spinach, finely chopped
- 1 tsp finely chopped ginger
- ½ tbsp light soy sauce
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 and a ½ tbsp chopped spring onions
- 1 tsp rapeseed oil
- ½ tsp Fairtrade sugar
- 1 tbsp cold water
- About 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 75ml / 3fl oz water
For the dough
- Place the flour into a large bowl and stir the hot water gradually into it, mixing all the time with a fork or chopsticks, until the water is incorporated. Add more water if the mixture seems dry.
- Tip the dough mixture onto a clean work surface and knead it with your hands, dusting the dough with a little flour if it is sticky. Continue kneading until it is smooth – this should take about eight minutes.
- Put the dough back in the bowl, cover it with a clean damp towel and let it rest for about 20 minutes.
For the stuffing
- Whilst the dough is resting, combine the stuffing ingredients in a large bowl and mix them together thoroughly. Once done, set aside.
For the dumpling
- After the resting period, take the dough out of the bowl and knead it again for about 5 minutes, dusting with a little flour if it is sticky.
- Once the dough is smooth, shape it into a roll about 23cm / 9″ long and about 2.5cm / 1″ in diameter, using your hands.
- With a sharp knife, slice the roll into 16 equal-sized pieces (each piece is about 15g / ½oz). Using your hands, roll each of the dough pieces into a small ball and then, with a rolling pin, roll each ball into a small, round, flat ‘pancake’ about 9cm / 3½” in diameter.
- Arrange the round skins on a lightly floured tray and cover them with a damp kitchen towel to prevent them from drying out until you are ready to use them.
- Place about two teaspoons of filling in the centre of each ‘pancake’ and moisten the edges with water. Fold the dough in half and pinch together with your fingers.
- Pleat around the edge, pinching with your fingers to seal well. The dumpling should look like a small Cornish pasty with a flat base and rounded top.
- Transfer each finished dumpling to the floured tray and keep it covered until you have stuffed all the dumplings in this way.
- Heat a large lidded frying pan (preferably a non-stick pan) until it is very hot. Add the rapeseed oil and place the dumplings flat-side down into the pan.
- Reduce the heat and cook for about 2 minutes until the dumplings are lightly browned. Add the water, cover the pan tightly and simmer gently for about 12 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Check the water half-way through and add more if necessary.
- Uncover the pan and continue to cook for a further 2 minutes.
Try using different meat fillings to offer a variety of dumplings. As it is the year of the ‘sheep’ try some shredded lamb.