pork dumplings (raw)

pork dumplings (raw) by pipsyq
pork dumplings (raw), a photo by pipsyq on Flickr.

I’m so slow at making these. I spend about 2 minutes on each dumpling, from rolling out the dough into circles to filling them with pork and veggies, then closing them up. If I had a job at a dumpling shop, I’m sure I’d be fired by now! The only redeeming aspect of these is that they’re absolutely delicious. Sometimes I’d rather just pay for the convenience to have someone else make them — since the payout is like 5 minutes of eating, when it takes overnight, and another 3 hours to make!

In any case, the perfect jiaozi dough I have found, is as follows:

2 cups bread flour
1 cup cold water (may not need to use all of it depending on temperature and humidity)
2 tsp salt

I process all this in my food processor — which is probably a no-no, but I find that it works just fine. My grandmother says it only needs 2 hours to rest, but I always have a hard time working with it. I found that overnight in the refrigerator works best — allowing the gluten to relax provides the greatest elasticity and extensibility needed to shape the dough.

The filling and quantity I use seems to vary ever so slightly each time, depending on whether I want it less dense (i.e. add more cabbage). Below is my jiaozi filling recipe:

1 cup green onion
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp finely chopped ginger
1 lb pork
1 cup cilantro
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
3 1/2 cups finely chopped cabbage

Mix all ingredients together and cook up a small pork patty to test and adjust seasonings as necessary prior to filling dough.

Depending on the size of the finished dumplings, when boiled, it takes about 5 minutes. If cooking them as potstickers, they will take much longer (but also more satisfying with the caramelized bottoms!)

Serve with black chinese vinegar, freshly shredded ginger, and soy sauce.

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