Archive for the ‘chinese’ Category

Chinese dumplings/potstickers (Daring cooks challenge – June)

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

taste-o-meter : 9/10
serves : 22 potstickers (I halved the filling recipe)

I apologize for my late post. I had a meeting and needed to prepare some documents. Onto the challenge! I was thrilled when I found out that this month’s challenge is potstickers. Yay, pan-sticking, bite-size, and (almost) healthy dish from china! There are two kinds of exotic foods that always mesmerize me: middle-eastern and chinese cuisine. Everytime I think of chinese cuisine, I always think of ginger, garlic, and soy sauce. Are those ingredients the must-haves in the chinese cuisine? Any chinese cuisine expert care to shed some light on this subject?

I followed the pork-filling recipe. I substituted pork with beef (of course, doh! XD). Nearby supermarkets do not carry shitake mushrooms, but they do have a steady supply of champignons. Fine, they are still mushrooms right? Champignon it is. I sticked to the exact measure for every ingredients that the recipe calls for. The amount of ginger is a bit too much for me. It dominated the whole flavor. Next time, I’ll reduce the amount and mash it (instead of cutting it up in small pieces). The amount of chopping involved in making this dish is daunting. But, will worth the effort when they are done.

I panfried my dumplings. They got a bit sticky (e.g., stick to each other), as the pan was a bit crowded. How did I get them out of the pan? Fear not!, I did not have to pick them up individually from the pan. Take a large plate and position it on top of your wok/pan. In one quick motion. flip the whole potstickers onto it. There! You have your nicely arranged potstickers, showing their golden-brown bottoms. you must try this trick!

I am planning to try to create a vegetarian version. I was thinking of tofu, green onions, kecap manis, soy sauce. salt, pepper, and some chillies. I’ll give an update later :)

Here is the recipe, as jen of real butter wrote it.

The Challenge: Chinese dumplings/potstickers (aka gyoza in Japanese)

It’s a basic concept: a filling inside a dough wrapper, sealed, and cooked. This delicious theme runs through many cultures and is among the more popular bites at Chinese restaurants – especially dim sum. The recipe I provide is based on my family recipe. There is a lot of wiggle room and I encourage you to explore. If you’ve made them before – great! Now try something different!

The process goes a little like this:

You can (and should) reference instructional photos and discussion on my blog post here.

Wrappers: Well yes, you could purchase pre-made dumpling wrappers at the store (NO WONTON WRAPPERS – they have egg), but they are inferior compared to homemade. The whole point of this challenge is to make the dumpling wrappers by hand. So here is the one requirement: the dumpling wrappers must be made by hand. It isn’t all that hard, it just takes a little time and practice. People usually get the hang of it after making about a dozen. **NOTE: I have a special recipe for gluten-free dumpling wrappers at the bottom of the post. They are another type of traditional dumpling and they are pretty awesome (although more finicky). Really delicious too, so you may want to have a looksee even if you aren’t gluten-free. [EDIT 5/18/09:] I see that some have chosen to make the wrappers by hand. I don’t recommend this method because the wrappers will be too thick and probably yield far fewer dumplings for the dough recipe. The point of rolling the dough is for uniformity of wrapper and to achieve a thickness that is otherwise difficult to attain by hand. Also, rolling is much faster than hand shaping. We’re aiming for a delicate skin that does not dominate the dumpling.

Fillings: the beauty of the Chinese dumpling/potsticker is that the filling is very versatile. That’s why there are so many different kinds of dumplings when you go to dim sum. The two most common are pork and shrimp. You can make them with other ground meats (beef, chicken…) or vegetarian (tofu, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, glass noodles, Chinese chives – oh yum!). The important thing to keep in mind is that the filling needs to “stick” to itself or else you will make your life incredibly miserable wrapping up filling that keeps falling apart. I think if I were to make vegetarian dumplings, I would sauté the cabbage and mash up the tofu for a better cohesiveness. It’s up to you how you want to fill your dumplings and I say – run with it! Just keep it cohesive and no big chunks of hard ingredients (they poke through the wrapper dough = disaster). I realize it may be tempting to dump all of the vegetables into a food processor and give it a whir, but I caution against it. You don’t want a slurry, you want a mince. Practice your knife skills and be careful.

Special Equipment: A rolling pin – preferably not tapered. (see blog pictures for the type I use).

Time: Prep for the filling takes me 30 minutes – longer if peeling and de-veining shrimp. It will depend on your proficiency with a good sharp knife. Rolling and wrapping several dozen dumplings takes me 1 hour by myself. My parents can crank through it in 30 minutes when one person is rolling wrappers and the other is wrapping dumplings. Might be fun to get a second person to help! Cooking: I have to cook mine in batches. When steaming, I can cook a dozen at a time in about 10 minutes. Potstickers: 15 minutes per 2 dozen determined by the size of your pan. Boiling – 6 minutes per dozen or so depending on size of pot. My own personal preference is for potstickers – mmmmm! But they are ALL good. Here is the recipe:

Chinese Dumplings/Potstickers

pork filling:
1 lb (450g) ground pork
4 large napa cabbage leaves, minced
3 stalks green onions, minced
7 shitake mushrooms, minced (if dried – rehydrated and rinsed carefully)
1/2 cup (75g) bamboo shoots, minced
1/4 (55g) cup ginger root, minced
3 tbsp (40g) soy sauce
2 tbsp (28g) sesame oil
2 tbsp (16g) corn starch


shrimp filling:
1/2 lb (225g) raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, and coarsely chopped
1/2 lb (225g) ground pork
3 stalks green onions, minced
1/4 cup (55g) ginger root, minced
1 cup (142g) water chestnuts, minced
1 tsp (5g) salt
3 tbsp (40g) sesame oil
2 tbsp (16g) corn starch

dough: (double this for the amount of filling, but easier to make it in 2 batches – or just halve the filling recipe)
2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (113g) warm water
flour for worksurface

dipping sauce:
2 parts soy sauce
1 part vinegar (red wine or black)
a few drops of sesame oil
chili garlic paste (optional)
minced ginger (optional)
minced garlic (optional)
minced green onion (optional)
sugar (optional)

Combine all filling ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly (I mix by clean hand). Cover and refrigerate until ready to use (up to a day, but preferably within an hour or two).

Make the dough, Method 1: Place the flour in the work bowl of a food processor with the dough blade. Run the processor and pour the warm water in until incorporated. Pour the contents into a sturdy bowl or onto a work surface and knead until uniform and smooth. The dough should be firm and silky to the touch and not sticky.[Note: it’s better to have a moist dough and have to incorporate more flour than to have a dry and pilling dough and have to incorporate more water).

Make the dough, Method 2 (my mom’s instructions): In a large bowl mix flour with 1/4 cup of water and stir until water is absorbed. Continue adding water one teaspoon at a time and mixing thoroughly until dough pulls away from sides of bowl. We want a firm dough that is barely sticky to the touch. (I used this method, as I do not own any food processor *sobs*)

[EDIT: 5/26/09] There have been two complaints posted about a dry dough and I realize that this rests in the problem of measuring flour which has a different density and hence weight for 2 cups depending on how you scoop it. That is why I also list the weight: 250g. Flour tends to settle over time, so when I scoop it out, I shake several cups’ worth back into the container before taking a final scoop of soft, fluffy, flour and I get 250g for 2 cups. When you knead the dough, if it feels hard and dry, then you can add more water. [Warning: it will NOT be a soft bread dough, so don't expect it to be, but it shouldn't be a brick either.] It is perfectly fine to use more than the 1/2 cup listed in the recipe as everyone’s climate and flours vary. Use your judgment – this is what being a Daring Cook is about. We are trying to cultivate a sense of intuition so that recipes are general guidelines from which you can expand your own style.

Both dough methods: Knead the dough about twenty strokes then cover with a damp towel for 15 minutes. Take the dough and form a flattened dome. Cut into strips about 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide. Shape the strips into rounded long cylinders. On a floured surface, cut the strips into 3/4 inch pieces. Press palm down on each piece to form a flat circle (you can shape the corners in with your fingers). With a rolling pin, roll out a circular wrapper from each flat disc. Take care not to roll out too thin or the dumplings will break during cooking – about 1/16th inch. Leave the centers slightly thicker than the edges. Place a tablespoon of filling in the center of each wrapper and fold the dough in half, pleating the edges along one side (see images in post for how to fold pleats). Keep all unused dough under damp cloth.

To boil: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add dumplings to pot. Boil the dumplings until they float.

To steam: Place dumplings on a single layer of napa cabbage leaves or on a well-greased surface in a steamer basket with lid. Steam covered for about 6 minutes.

To pan fry (potstickers): Place dumplings in a frying pan with 2-3 tbsp of vegetable oil. Heat on high and fry for a few minutes until bottoms are golden. Add 1/2 cup water and cover. Cook until the water has boiled away and then uncover and reduce heat to medium or medium low. Let the dumplings cook for another 2 minutes then remove from heat and serve.

To freeze: Assemble dumplings on a baking sheet so they are not touching. It helps to rub the base of the dumpling in a little flour before setting on the baking sheet for ease of release. Freeze for 20-30 minutes until dumplings are no longer soft. Place in ziploc bag and freeze for up to a couple of months. Prepare per the above instructions, but allow extra time to ensure the filling is thoroughly cooked.

To serve: Serve dumplings or potstickers hot with your choice of dipping sauce combinations ( I served them with kecap manis and indonesian sambal ABC)


Dont let the size of this knife fool you. The little bugger can cut up anything i want :D


Rolling and pleating individual potstickers may seem a bit tedious. But, it actually was fun :)



Sunday, February 10th, 2008



original recipe by: sedap sekejap, modified by me.

I had about 26 eggs in my kitchen =), before I made this dish. No, there was no sale on eggs in the nearest grocery stores. It was just me stocking up on flour, sugar, and eggs. Just in case, I have a sudden urge to bake a cake. Life as a graduate student is pretty unpredictable you know. Sometimes when you are so stuck with what you are trying to do, you just want to do something else to release the tension. Releasing tension for me means cooking and eating. Yes, the latter may have a greater factor than the former.

So I have all these wonderful chicken eggs in my kitchen. So I decided to make a chinese dish called fuyunghai. I am pretty sure it has been severely modified by the Indonesian, leaving us a perfect example of fusion cookint at its best.

Ingredients: (Lihat kebawah untuk resep dalam Bahasa Indonesia)
4 duck eggs (I substitued it for 5 chicken eggs)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 green onion, chopped
100 gr peeled shrimp, cut into small pieces
1/2 onion, minced.
2 cabbage leaves, chopped

2 tbs margarine
1 clove of garlic, bruised.
1 chillie, cut into two
1 cm ginger, mashed.
2 carrot, cut into the shape of little sticks
1 green onion, chopped
250 stock
2 tbs ketchup
2 tbs chillie sauce (I used sambal oelek. Since it is already salted, I did not add anymore salt)
1/4 tsp vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 tbs maizena (dissolved with 2 tbs of water)

How to make the omellete:
Combine all ingredients.
Heat up a pan with considerable amount of oil in it. Fry the eggs mixture like when you fry an omellete. You can divide the mixture into 3 to 4 parts.

How to make the sauce:
saute the garlic in the margarine until the smell intensifies.
Add in the ginger and chillie.
Add in the carrot and green onion. Keep stirring until they are half-cooked.
Pour in the rest of the ingredients. Bring it into a boiling point.

BAHAN : (Scroll upwards for English)
4 butir telur bebek, kocok lepas (Saya pake 5 telur ayam)
2 siung bawang putih, cincang halus
1/2 sendok teh garam
1/4 sendok teh merica bubuk
1 batang daun bawang, diiris halus
100 gram udang kupas, dicincang
1/2 buah bawang bombay, cincang halus
2 lembar kol, iris tipis

2 sendok makan margarin
1 siung bawang putih, dimemarkan
1 buah cabai merah buang biji lalu iris panjang
1 cm jahe, dicincang halus
2 buah wortel, potong korek api
1 batang daun bawang, iris halus
250 ml kaldu
2 sendok makan saus tomat
2 sendok makan saus cabai (saya pakai sambal oelek, garam tidak ditambah lagi)
1/4 sendok teh cuka
1/8 sendok teh garam
1 sendok teh gula pasir
2 sendok teh tepung kanji dilarutkan dalam 2 sendok makan air
50 gram kacang polong

Cara Membuat:
Aduk telur, bawang putih, garam, merica, bawang bombay, udang, daging kepiting, dan daun bawang.
Panaskan minyak dalam wajan lalu tuang 2 sendok sayur campuran bahan. Goreng sampai kering dan matang.
Buat saus, tumis bawang putih dalam margarin sampai harum lalu tambahkan cabai dan jahe. Aduk sampai cabai layu.
Masukkan wortel dan daun bawang. Aduk sampai setengah matang. Tuangkan saus tomat, saus cabai, cuka, garam, dan gula pasir. Aduk-aduk lalu tambahkan kaldu. Aduk sampai mendidih lalu tuangkan larutan kanji. Biarkan hingga mendidih kembali. Masukkan kacang polong. Aduk sebentar lalu angkat.
Sajikan telur dengan sausnya.