Dumplings

Dumplings

By
Fuchsia Dunlop
Contains
8 recipes
Published by
Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
ISBN
9781408869239
Photographer
Chris Terry

The English word ‘dumpling’ – used as a blanket term for everything from the balls of dough cooked in European stews to an ethereal Cantonese steamed titbit in the shape of a goldfish – doesn’t do justice to the astonishing wealth of little buns and pastries eaten in China. A Cantonese dim sum menu may hint at the possibilities of this splendid side of Chinese food culture, with its translucent steamed dumplings pinched into pretty shapes and its slithery sheets of rice paste wrapped about juicy prawns, but the Cantonese south is just one region of China. Every part of this vast country has its own tradition of ‘small eats’ (xiao chi) and dainty pastries known as dian xin, (literally ‘touch the heart’), made with wheat, rice and other starches, which can be stuffed or wrapped, then steamed, baked, deep-fried, pan-fried or boiled. One single restaurant in the old northern capital Xi’an, home of the terracotta army, serves 300 different kinds of dumpling!

Of course many of these pastries are very difficult to make and are served mainly in specialist restaurants. Yet dumplings are also part of home cooking, especially in northern China, where a family get-together to wrap and eat boiled crescent dumplings (shui jiao) is a traditional part of New Year celebrations. In this chapter I’ve brought together a few classic recipes that are not too difficult and are extremely rewarding. These snacks are also great fun to make and eat as a team effort with friends or family. The resulting dumplings can be served as an appetiser, a snack or – in the case of the wontons and Northern boiled dumplings – a main meal.

To form ‘water caltrop’ wontons

1. If you are right-handed, lay a wonton wrapper in the palm of your left hand and use a table knife or bamboo spatula to press about 1 tablespoon filling into the centre of the wrapper.

2. Fold the wrapper in half so the opposite corners meet.

3. Smear a little more of the filling on to one corner of the triangle you have made. Using both hands, gently squeeze the edges of the dumpling as you bring the two corners together.

4. Lay the dry corner on to the corner that has been moistened by the filling, and press firmly together to seal the dumpling.

5. Place the finished dumplings on a flour-dusted plate or tray.

6. For an easier method, simply fold the wrapper in half over the stuffing, bringing the opposite corners together and pressing firmly all around the edges.

Recipes in this Chapter

    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again