Jiao Zi (Dumplings)
The recipes we found for the jiao zi skin (wrapping) called for just a mix of flour and water, kneaded and then rested. We probably didn't knead the dough long enough to create sufficient elasticity, as the resultant dumplings were quite fragile and broke easily. Next time we might consign the kneading duties to trusty Kitchen Aid instead.
For the filling, we improvised and used a mix of minced pork, minced prawns and koo chye (Chinese chives), as those were the flavours we liked.
Altogether we made around 80 jiao zi, and froze them all for future use. They can be steamed, boiled, even fried like guo tie; a very versatile addition to your freezer!
- 2 cups flour
- 3/4 cup water
Heat water till it just begins to boil. Add the water to the flour in a slow stream, mixing as you go, till you have a dough. Knead the dough (be careful, it will be hot) till smooth and elastic, hopefully something close to bread dough. Place dough into a ziplock bag (or wrap with cling wrap) and leave it to rest for around 2 hours.
- minced pork
- koo chye (chives)
- light soy sauce
['light soy sauce']
- sesame oil
- white pepper
Peel prawns and mince fully. Cut koo chye into small pieces. Mix prawns and koo chye with minced pork, and season with soy sauce, sesame oil and white pepper.
- skin dough
['jiaozi skin dough']
['pork prawns and koo chye filling']
Take a bit of the skin dough, make a ball, then roll into a thin circular disc using a rolling pin. The dough will be sticky so keep everything well dusted with flour, your hands included. The skin should be as thin as possible without breaking apart; how thin you can make it really depends on the gluten formation of the dough.
Add sufficient filling to the centre of the skin, and wrap the dumpling by folding in half and crimping the edges. It takes some practice to get it done neatly and nicely, but no worries; an ugly dumpling is still a tasty dumpling! The most important thing is to keep the filling sealed within, so the flavours don't get washed out when you boil the dumpling in water.
The dumplings can be frozen by placing them individually on a sheet pan lined with baking paper. Once they fully harden, you can store them in a ziplock bag.