Chinese dumplings can be fliddly to construct (Alpha: avlxyz)
Blog Words : Food & Drink | 20 June

3 fiddly recipes from the Far East

London's School of Wok is here to help you bring flavours home from your trips to the Far East... And how to get round these three fiddly traditional treats

Jiao Zi – Chinese dumplings

Ingredients:

For the dough:             For the filling:                            For the marinade:

225g plain flour            ½ bunch of coriander              2 tsp sesame oil
150ml cold water         3 spring onions                        salt to taste
                                        1 ginger cube                            2 tbsp light soy sauce
                                        1 clove garlic                             ¼ tsp sugar
                                        5 Chinese mushrooms

Suggested filling options:

Option one:                          Option two:                                           Option three:

250g diced raw prawns     1 bunch chopped Chinese chives   1 bag chopped spinach
150g minced pork               ¼ finely sliced cabbage                     1 box mixed mushrooms

Preparation:

1. Sieve the flour into a mixing bowl. Gradually add the water, while mixing with a fork (or your hand). Once all the water is added, fold into a ball.

2. Knead for five minutes on a hard surface until slightly elastic consistency is reached (this should be a 'play dough' consistency – you may need more/less water – use the measurements as a guideline only).

3. Once consistency is reached, roll out the pastry to roughly 1-2mm thick. Use a 70mm diameter circular cutter to cut out as many pastries as possible.

4. For the filling and marinade, finely chop all filling ingredients. Mix with the marinade. Mix with any of the above filling options.

To make the wraps:

1. Place filling in the centre of the dough. Fold the bottom centre over the filling to form a semi-circle and pinch the top tight.

2. Pinch the two corners of the semi-circle together leaving two symmetrical 'Mickey Mouse ear' shapes between your centre fold and the corner folds. Now pinch the ears in towards you to make four layered folds.

3. Tidy up to create a 'half moon' shape so that the dumplings sit easily on the plate.

4. Heat two tablespoons of vegetable oil in a frying pan on a high heat. Place dumplings in pan – base down.

5. Now turn heat down to medium and fry dumplings until base is golden brown.

6. Using a lid as a shield, pour hot water into pan until dumplings are half covered. Cover quickly with lid.

7. Cover with lid for ten-15 minutes on medium heat until all the water has evaporated. Once the pan is completely dry of water, allow dumplings to crisp up on the bottom for a further minute.

Vietnamese vegetarian summer rolls

Ingredients:

1 pack of Vietnamese rice flour spring roll paper
3 spring onions
salt to taste
pepper to taste
rice vermicelli (soak in hot water for three minutes and dried in a strainer)
8 dried Chinese mushrooms (soaked in hot water overnight)
4 carrots
20 mint leaves

For the marinade:

2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 bag bean sprouts

For the lime dressing:

1 finely chopped chilli
2 finely chopped cloves garlic
juice of three limes
3 tsp honey or palm sugar
fish sauce / light soy sauce, to taste
1 tbsp sesame oil

Preparation:

1. Finely slice the Chinese mushrooms, carrots, spring onions and add to the bean sprouts in a large mixing bowl. Add all the marinade sauces to the mix of vegetables.

3. Now, follow the wrapping instructions below:

4. Dip one summer roll pastry into a tub of cold water for three seconds. Lay the pastry down on the work top. Place cooled filling in centre of the first pastry.

5. Once the pastry starts to soften, fold the bottom centre into the middle and stick. Holding finger tips over the 'roll', use thumbs to roll pastry tightly to enclose the filling. Keep rolling until you reach the middle of the pastry. Fold in both sides tightly and stick.

6. Now continue rolling until pastries are fully closed and your summer roll is ready!

To serve:

1. Mix all the 'lime dressing' ingredients together in a dipping bowl.

2. Serve summer rolls with the lime dressing on the side.

Crispy wontons

Ingredients:

150g raw tiger prawns (optional)
Chinese chives
3 Chinese mushrooms (soaked in hot water overnight)
1 clove garlic
1 handful of coriander
2 spring onions
2 leaves of Chinese leaf
15-20 wonton pastries

For the marinade:

2 tbsp light soy sauce
pinch of sugar
sesame oil to cover

Preparation:

1. Finely chop the vegetables and place in a large preparation bowl. Finley dice the prawns (if using) and add to the preparation bowl. Season with soy sauce, a pinch of sugar and cover with sesame oil. Mix well.

2. To fold the pastries, begin by placing one teaspoon filling in the centre of the pastry. Using the tip of your finger, wet all sides of the pastry with cold water. Fold bottom corner over the filling to the top corner and press pastry down to seal all sides (to form a triangle).

3. Holding the base of the filling with your thumbs, pull the two corners of the triangle towards each other, overlap the ends and then press together to firm a 'trough' shape.

4. Place aside and repeat with all the wontons, in the same way. Finally, deep fry the wontons at 180°C until golden brown. They usually start to float once cooked as there will be air inside the parcels.

5. Serve with sweet chilli sauce on the side.

School of Wok is a London-based Chinese cookery school offering visitors cooking lessons, inspirational recipes, knife skills and preparation techniques. Head chef and founder Jeremy Pang has been teaching the art of Chinese and Eastern cuisine in London since 2009. Find out more about the courses on offer here: schoolofwok.co.uk.

More like this

Far Eastern cuisine not your thing? Check out recipes from all over the world in our Food and Drink section | Blogs... More

3 Brazilian bar snacks | Blogs... More

4 Jordanian recipes from Petra's kitchens | Blogs... More

Tasty Moroccan recipes to try at home | Blogs... More

How to recreate Indian heirloom recipes in your own kitchen | Blogs... More