Dumplings are Chinese tea time snacks loved by children and adults alike . They are basically parcels filled with a variety of fillings like vegetables, minced meat , chicken, sea food etc . They are either steamed , boiled or deep fried. The wide choice of fillings ,the combinations in which they can be used , and the choice between fried and oil free versions makes it a dish versatile enough to be tried according to preferences, needs and even availability of ingredients.
Either way they taste great as filling and healthy snacks, or as starters. The common Chinese sauces served with them make one go over the moon in terms of taste. Shared here is a steamed dumpling recipe using a vegetarian filling which when kept in the mouth is guaranteed to give an explosion of flavours!!
Difficulty Level: medium
Preparation Time: 30 mins
Cooking Time: 10 -12 mins
Servings Per Recipe:4-5 (with 4-5 dumplings per serving)
one large wok
one mixing bowl
one rolling pin
one steamer /rice cooker with steaming attachement or a partition plate,/ idli cooker,/ any other steaming appliance.
For the dough
100 grams refined flour or maida
1 pinch of baking pwd
1 tsp of oil
For the Filling
2 tsp finely chopped beans
1 tablespoon finely chopped carrot
Half cup of finely chopped cabbage
1tblspn of finely chopped spring onions (with the greens)
1 tsp of sesame oil
1 tsp garlic paste
2 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp pepper powder
1 tsp white pepper powder
1tsp of corn starch dissolved in some cold water.
1-2 tsp of dark soya sauce
Half tsp coriander roots or stems
Half tsp ajinomoto
Salt to taste
1. Mix the dough ingredients and knead them by adding enough water to make a medium consistency dough. Cover it with a muslin cloth and keep aside.
2. Take some oil in a wok/pan and start by adding the vegetables which take longer to cook. So first tip in the beans and when they are slightly tender add carrots . When the thing gets slightly done add ginger –garlic pastes ,soya sauce, pepper powders ,salt, and cabbage. Stir nicely to make the cabbage glisten a little. Add the spring onions and coriander stems. Give it a good mix after adding the dissolved corn starch. Turn the stove off and add sesame oil and ajinomoto.
3. Roll the dough into a thin cylinder and cut it into tiny portions big enough to be rolled in small circles.
4. Roll them out with a rolling pin into really thin small circles .A cutter or a steel glass can be used to get perfect circles of same size. It is better to keep the circles thin on the sides. Overall they should not be see through thin but quite thin.
5. Place the filling in each circle ,bring all the ends together, hold them and twist them to form a parcel.
To steam the dumplings a traditional Chinese steamer is used which has its plates lined with leaf. But dumplings can conveniently be steamed in an idli cooker or a rice cooker with a steamer or a plate for partition.
6. Place the dumplings on a greased rice cooker plate and place it on top portion of the cooker when the water in the cooker starts boiling. Cover and steam for about 5 to 6 minutes. Check if they are done .If not let it steam some more.
7. Serve with Chinese sauce of your choice when they are piping hot.
Sauce for Dumplings
10 dried red chillies
1 tablespoon of vinegar
1 tablespoon of sugar
5 garlic cloves
a pinch of salt or to taste
Take chillies and boil them in water for about 2 minutes. Let them remain in this water till they cool and grind to make a paste. Add to this paste a tablespoon of vinegar, a tablespoon of sugar and 4-5 crushed garlic cloves. Serve with dumplings!!