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Old 01-28-2008, 02:27 PM   #1
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Chinese Water Dumplings (shui jiao)

With Chinese New Year celebration just around the corner, thought I would share my recipe for Chinese water dumplings. My family would always have dumplings on New Year's day (Chinese hot pot on the New Year's eve). This recipe was my grandmother's. IMHO, much better than store bought frozen pot stickers.

Ingredients:
1 package of your favorite dumplings or gyoza wrappers

Filling:
1/2 lb ground pork
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground white pepper, or to taste
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 scallion (green onion), finely minced
1 egg
1 cup very finely chopped Napa cabbage, squeeze to remove excess water
1 Tbsp rice wine or dry sherry (optional)
2 Tbsp water (for sealing the wrappers)

Dipping Sauce (this can be anything you want):
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 Tbsp vinegar
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely minced (optional)
Asian chili paste (optional)

Instructions:
Just a quick note: I prefer an equal portion of cabbage to meat but my DH likes more meat. You can adjust the amount of cabbage to taste. This recipe should make ~40-50 dumplings, depending on how much meat you put in each wrapper.

If the wrappers are frozen, let them defrost in the refrigerator overnight. This will prevent them from getting all soggy and sticky.

Combine filling ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Place about 1 Tbsp filling in the middle of a wrapper. I use just a tad less. Don't overfill it or else you risk the dumplings bursting when boiling (not a pretty thing).

Dip your finger in the water and trace around the edge of half the wrapper. Fold in half, forming a crescent shape, and press firmly to seal. Repeat for remaining dumplings. If you have trouble sealing the wrapper, you can mix an egg with a teaspoon of water and use that instead of plain water to get a better seal. I use an egg wash for one particular brand of wrappers.

Bring a very large pot filled about 3/4 with water to a boil. Keeping the water at high heat, slowly put in about 10 dumplings into the pot, stirring to make sure the dumplings don't stick to the bottom of the pot. If the water starts to foam over, you can add 1/2 cup of cold water or turn down the heat to med/hi. But make sure the water still has a small roll. After about 4 minutes, the dumplings will start to float up and the peels become translucent with meat sticking to wrapper. Remove the dumplings with a slotted spoon. Repeat until all the dumplings are cooked.

Mix dipping sauce ingredients together. Serve hot with dipping sauce.

Some things to consider:
After removing the dumplings from the pot, I put them on a large plate in single layer because once they start cooling, they have a tendency to stick together, especially those premade wrappers. Also, if you use ground pork, make sure the filling is cooked all the way through. I always make the dumplings with pork because that tastes the best to me (it's what I'm used to). I have tried ground turkey (too dry) and ground beef (not savory enough) but I figure if I'm going to spend all that time making it, I want it to taste good.

The filling can really be anything you want. My mom used to like to switch it up a bit and add dried shrimp or chives, but always with ground pork. Sometimes she might even add rice noodles. You also have the option of steaming or pan frying the dumplings rather than boiling.

You can store them in an air tight container for up to 5 days. There are a couple of options to reheat leftovers. Usually, I will make pot stickers by pan frying them but they can also be microwaved. Don't heat them up too long in the microwave unless you like dry and crunchy wraps. You can also put a damp paper towel over the dumplings when you nuke them to prevent drying. I don't like to reboil them because it makes the wrappers really slick and sticky, water logged, just doesn't taste right. Again, serve hot with dipping sauce.

Hope you enjoy this.

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Old 01-28-2008, 02:38 PM   #2
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YUM!!!!!!!!!

This is my year... Year of the Rat! :)
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Old 01-28-2008, 03:44 PM   #3
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Thanks so much! I love making Dim Sum, Potstickers, etc., etc., & tho I'll be subbing ground chicken or turkey for the pork, I do like the looks of your recipe.
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Old 01-28-2008, 05:34 PM   #4
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Plumies, (or anyone)

I would think that steaming would be more gentle to the dumplings than boiling.

Is the advantage to boiling that you can get more in, and out, more quickly than you could a steamer?

Do you then brown them in a frying pan?

I'm planning a Chinese feast with some friends next month and we'll probably do these.

Thanks!

Lee
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Old 01-28-2008, 05:42 PM   #5
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If I'm doing an assortment, I normally do all 3 - steaming, boiling (which really is simmering), & pan frying.

Makes a nice difference in shape & texture. Steamed dumplings can be shaped upright - either closed or open - with closed or cute open fluted tops. Simmered & pan- fried dumplings - whether semi-circle or triangular in shape - can be differentiated by cooking method as well.

If you're doing an Asian dumpling platter, you can easily end up with several different variations that are very easy to produce from the same basic method/ingredients.
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Old 01-28-2008, 05:57 PM   #6
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If dumplings are going to be steamed, the dough for wrapper is different, portion of hot water is used to prepare dough instead of cold water. With this wrapper, steamed dumpling will have soft skin and not sticky.
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Old 01-28-2008, 05:57 PM   #7
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I have sriracha would that work for asian chili paste? I have been looking for a good dipping sauce for my potstickers and haven't quite hit the right thing.
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Old 01-28-2008, 06:39 PM   #8
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I'm not a personal fan of sriracha, but it works. Asian chili pastes are really a matter of personal preference anyway.
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Old 01-29-2008, 12:46 PM   #9
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GrillingFool, so in following Chinese tradition (superstition is probably more appropriate), have some dumplings for New Year and the upcoming year will be even more prosperous for you!

BreezyCooking, if you try this, let me know how you like it. I use a modified version of the filling for wonton soup. Again, it's homestyled and very simple to make. Sure is good on a cold evening.

QSis, Breezy is right on that you can pretty much do any of the 3 methods for dumplings. It's just what you feel like having. I have found, however, that certain brands of wrappers work better for certain type of cooking. I found that I prefer Chinese brand wrappers for water dumplings because they tend to be thicker and more like homemade ones, and Japanese wrappers for pot stickers because gyozas are usually pan fried. For this recipe, I think you can steam, simmer (at boiling point), or pan fry.

And like Breezy said, once you find a base filling that you like, you can modify it to change it up a bit. My mom would use the same pork filling but instead of green onions, she would use chives and add shrimp. And if you steamed that, you can get something like a dim sum dish.

ChefRuby's mention about using hot water for dumpling peels that are steamed is how I was taught. But I'm waaaay too lazy these days to make my own peels. Maybe if it was for an extra special occassion.

For those who are interested (yes, not only do I like to eat, I'm also long winded), Chinese use the term dumpling as a generic category for a dish where the filling is wrapped in a wrapper. There's also a bun category (in Chinese, it's called bao) where the filling is in a more bread like dough. Wikipedia has a decent write-up on dumplings and there are pictures of steamed and boiled dumplings. Since I haven't posted the minimum required posts, I can't post URLs yet. But if you go to Wikipedia, do a search on jiaozi to see the write-up. You'll be able to see the difference in the peels as ChefRuby described.

Wikipedia also has a write-up on xiao long bao (soup dumplings). Search the term "xiao long bao" to find it. I love these but hate making them!

BTW, QSis, good luck on your Chinese feast! Would love to know what dishes you end up having. Lucky family and friends!
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Old 01-29-2008, 12:49 PM   #10
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Sorry, I forgot to mention that I don't think I've ever had sriracha. But really the dipping sauce can be anything you want. Hot, mild, garlicy, sesame paste baste, etc. I've grown quite fond of the garlicy hot sauce (which I hated as a kid). Goes to show you how tastes change over the years.
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Old 01-29-2008, 01:33 PM   #11
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Well, Carol, that was a VERY interesting link! Jiaozi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia They look so good!

No wonder I can't find Peking raviolis in any of my Chinese cookbooks, and why internet friends don't know what I'm talking about: the phrase was coined by Joyce Chen for her restaurant in Cambridge, MA. !

Now I'm going to look for the correct wrappers (I've always wrapped stuff in wonton wrappers) at the Asian supermarket in my store.

My friends and I have copies of the book 1,000 Chinese Recipes. I'm going through it, page by page, marking possibilities for our feast. We are looking mainly at finger foods, but there are so many great looking dishes that it's going to be tough to narrow down our choices!

Oh, and I can't find Crab Rangoon and Scallion Pancakes in my book either. What else can I look under?

Thanks for the helpful tips, everyone!

Lee
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Old 01-29-2008, 02:30 PM   #12
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Although I haven't made these yet, I do have all the ingredients on hand & might give them a whirl this weekend. Although obviously not "authentic", since Crab Rangoons are fried rather than baked, the ingredients are still very similar to what the restaurants use, & I'm willing to try anything that doesn't force me to deep-fry, which I HATE - lol! You might not find Crab Rangoon in many real Chinese cookbooks because it's really an Americanized invention.

Baked Crab Rangoons

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Old 01-29-2008, 04:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QSis View Post
Oh, and I can't find Crab Rangoon and Scallion Pancakes in my book either. What else can I look under?
Lee
Let me look in my recipe books tonight for a scallion pancake recipe. Oddly enough, we rarely had these at home and always went out for them on weekends. Nothing comes to mind other than dim sum dishes for finger foods but let me do some searching and see what I've got.

One thing to consider if you can find it near you is to get some Chinese bbq pork (char siu) or Chinese roast duck to go with the scallion pancakes. And if you're up to it, you can even make either of these meat dishes yourself.
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Old 01-29-2008, 07:47 PM   #14
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QSis, I looked through all my Chinese cookbooks but couldn't find a recipe for scallion pancakes. Found one for flour buns but no pancakes. But I found a recipe by Ming Tsai on Food Network that sounds similar to how my uncles used to make them in the restaurants. I think the instructions on how to form the pancake is better from his ming.com website. Yum, I might have to make some this weekend.

As for finger foods, I found 2 recipes that might be of interest. One is for Crispy Shrimp Ball and another one for Sesame Shrimp Roll. Let me know if you're interested in either.
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Old 01-29-2008, 08:42 PM   #15
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Thank you, plumies!!! I have a recipe for Deep-Fried Crabmeat Balls already earmarked.

Am also thinking about chicken wings, "barbecued" pork strips (I've made char sui many times), braised chicken balls, something called "Gold Coin Pork" (involves skewering stuff and deep-frying it), and braised beef short-ribs.

As well as rangoon and egg rolls. I want pu-pu platter type stuff.

My friends ALSO want egg foo yung, some sort of moo shu, and some kind of lo mein. And maybe rice. I love all those things, but I REALLY love picking at finger foods, rather than eating a sit-down dinner with bowls and plates!

There's also a recipe for a salad of smashed radishes and smashed cucumber chunks. Smashed so that the marinade can penetrate. I definitely want THAT!

But I've only made it through about 500 of the 1,000 recipes in the book

This is going to be SO fun!!!

I may have to PM you, plumies, when I get in over my head!

Lee
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Old 01-29-2008, 11:25 PM   #16
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Oh, I'm so hungry now.
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Old 04-14-2009, 11:44 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by QSis View Post
Oh, and I can't find Crab Rangoon and Scallion Pancakes in my book either. What else can I look under?
One of the last times my mother went home to Taiwan, she picked up a few copies of some of the Chinese cookbooks that she's been using for 30+ years so I could stop stealing hers. In one of them is a recipe for what I think are your scallion pancakes. The book calls them "Green Onion Pies" or "Ts'ung Yu Ping".

Here's the recipe:
3 C wheat flour
1 C boiling water
1/3 C cold water
6 T lard or oil
3 T chopped green onion
3 t salt
1 C oil

1. Place flour in bowl. Add the boiling water and mix with chopsticks immediately. Let cool. After 3 minutes add cold water and knead the dough thoroughly until it is smooth. Cover and let rest a while.
2. Remove dough to floured board, divide dough into 6 even pieces (or more than 6). Knead and roll each piece of dough into 10" round as if making pie crust. Rub 1/2 T lard on dough and sprinkle the whole top with 1/2 t salt and 1/2 T chopped green onion. roll up as for jelly roll making sure the ends are tightly closed. Now form into a round snail shape tucking the final end into the center of the bun, then press down and roll out until 1/4" thick.
3. Heat 2 T oil in frying pan, place the pie in and fry about 2 minutes. Use low heat and cover the pan. Flip over and splash 1 T oil down from side. Continue frying until this side is golden and crispy, shake and jiggle the pan often while frying as this action makes a flaky pastry.
4. Cut into small pieces to serve.

NOTE: These may be kept in a barely warm oven until all are prepared.

The cookbook had a picture of these. It looks basically like a sort of fried pancake with green onions in it - sounds like what you were asking about. I had thought that my mother called them Dan Bing but the book had something else a little different that was called Dan Bing. Either I'm just a bit confused or more than one thing can be called Dan Bing.

This recipe came "Pei Mei's Chinese Cook Book Volume I" and is very authentic. The author studied under many top chefs from all over China and went on to establish the Chinese Cooking Institute in Taipei. My mother, who came to the States from Taiwan after marrying my father, has been cooking out of Pei Mei's cookbooks for as long as I can remember.

I hope this helps! Good luck!

PS And for the lard, I would either use the suggested oil or maybe even butter.
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Old 04-18-2009, 10:33 PM   #18
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The rice sounds tasty. Can I use chicken instead of pork? ( I don't eat red meat)
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Old 03-09-2015, 03:13 AM   #19
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Nice recipe. I & my husband recently tried to cook Chinese dumplings (we used other recipe), but the filling went a bit dry. Probably it's because we cooked them into a steam pot. What, in your opinion, would help to keep the filling soft anyway?
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Old 03-09-2015, 07:17 AM   #20
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To keep filling soft you have to add a little bit of liquid. This is really old thread. I doubt an original poster is going to respond.


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