Original recipe of the week: Dainty Delicious Dumplings
These famed balls of cooked dough are known all around the world as a bite-sized treat sensation. From Britain to Asia and even America and the Middle-East, it’s hard to avoid these little beauties. I personally like to fry my dumplings before gently steaming them as this gives them a lovely texture. A crisp bottom but an almost melt-in-the-mouth consistency elsewhere… the best of both worlds.
Traditionally, this kind of dumpling is known as a Guotie or even a ‘potsticker’, to some people. Minced meat and chopped vegetables usually line the inside of these pillows of joy, finished off with a generous glug of soy sauce or a tasty mix of rice-wine vinegar and chilli oil for that extra kick. If you’re looking for the perfect dish to help get you in the mood for some Chinese New Year celebrations, you’re in the right place.
Chinese New Year is the most important festival in the Chinese calendar. A spring festival with centuries-old origins, it’s a time for family, friends, sharing and celebration. What better way to celebrate than with a steaming plate of delicious dumplings? Be sure to indulge in a spot of chilli sauce to really hit the spot and kick-off the year of the Dragon in style.
Beef and Peanut Dumplings (makes approx. 20)
1 packet of gyoza pastries (buy from any decent Asian supermarket)
500g minced beef
2 garlic cloves
3 spring onions
2 medium carrots
50g dry-roasted peanuts
2 tsp ground ginger
A pinch of salt
A pinch of black pepper
Rice bran oil
Water to stick
- Combine all the ingredients (apart from the pastries) together in a bowl and mix to ensure everything is incorporated.
- Lay out the gyoza pastries on a flat, dry surface; you may need to lightly flour to surface to ensure they don’t stick if slightly damp.
- Spoon ½ tsp of the meat mixture into one half of a pastry. Make sure to leave enough room around the side of the pastry to make an edge.
- Fill all of the pastries in the same way. When this is done, simply wet the whole way around the edge of the pastry with a dab of water on your finger and pull the side with no filling over the top of the filling itself and press down like you’re sealing an envelope. This should create a half-moon shaped pillow.
- Repeat this technique with all of the pastries. When finished, heat a frying pan with enough oil to over the base.
- Once the pan is smoking, add the dumplings, a few at a time, and fry until crispy on the bottom (do not turn to crisp on the top side, only the bottom should be crisp). Then, put aside on a plate lined with kitchen roll to remove some of the excess oil.
- When ready to steam, place the fried dumplings into a bamboo steamer over a bowl with a little water in the bottom and microwave for about five minutes. If you do not have a bamboo steamer, you can easily get the same effect with a hob steamer or a DIY steamer consisting of a small plastic colander over a bowl with a little water in the bottom (simply use cling-film for a lid).
- Serve immediately after steaming to enjoy the dumplings at their best!
Spicy & Naughty Peanut Dipping Sauce
1 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
1 tbsp rice-wine vinegar
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
A little water to thin
Simply whisk all of the ingredients together to make a simple but delightfully indulgent dipping sauce for my yummy beef and peanut dumplings. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!