Chinese Pan-Fried Dumplings 锅贴 Recipe

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The best type of dim sum, besides xiao long bao, would be Chinese pan-fried dumplings, with their crispy bottom, soft top, and juicy fillings. 


Did you know it's possible to make them all from scratch at home, in your own kitchen? It's rather tedious work though, and expect to spend an hour in the kitchen just preparing this dish. (And this doesn't include the extra time you'll spend vacuuming flour off your kitchen top and dusting them off your clothes, hair and face! Alright, maybe only I get flour on my hair and face... :/ )



Ingredients

Filling (for around 40 small dumplings): 

- 1/2 cup finely chopped (Bok Choy 白菜) cabbage leaves 
- 450g ground pork
- 0.5 teaspoon salt
- A few sprinkles of ground white pepper
- 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons of Chinese rice wine/ shao xing wine
- 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil
- 1 lightly beaten egg white
- 1/3 teaspoon of powdered chicken stock

Dumpling wraps:

- All-purpose plain flour
- Water

1. Put a bowl atop a kitchen towel to prevent it from slipping while you work. 

2. Pour 2 cups of flour in the bowl and make a well in the center. Mix the flour and 3/4 cup water until a soft dough forms. Remember to add the water in a steady stream. Add more flour if dough is too moist.

3. Knead the dough on a lightly flour surface about 5 minutes, or until smooth. To check if dough is fine, press on the dough; it should slowly bounce back, with a light impression of your finger remaining. 

4. Set aside to rest at room temperature for at least 15 minutes.


Method

1. Combine all ingredients for the filling in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.



2. Begin by making little balls of dough and rolling them into rounded pancake-like wraps.


3. To prevent the wraps from sticking, sprinkle with flour.


4. Scoop a teaspoon of filling into the wrap, crimp the edges of the wrap and seal to make a nicely-shaped dumpling.



5. If you wish to cook the dumplings some other time, you could chill them in the freezer.

6. If you wish to cook the dumplings now, you could either steam it (then it'll be steamed Chinese pork dumplings), or pan-fry it.

7. To pan-fry, heat the wok on medium-high heat and add a tablespoonful of vegetable oil. 

8. Add around 10 of those dumplings, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the bottom is browned. 

9. Add 1/3 cup water, cover, and steam the dumplings until the liquid is absorbed (about 5 minutes). 

10. Repeat steps 7 - 9 till all dumplings are cooked.

11. Serve dumplings with dipping sauce (sliced ginger in vinegar).

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