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Yuan Xue Moore shows how to make fried dumplings for Chinese New Year.
Although she didn't cook much at home in China, she learnt by watching her mother, she says.
Chinese New Year is an important holiday for Chinese, this year falling on February 19. The main New Year's food is dumplings, which the family make together. It's like a game rather than work, she says.
Dumplings can have many fillings but for these Yuan uses pork mince with egg, mushroom and shrimps. They can also be fried, steamed or boiled.
Makes 30-40 dumplings
220g self-raising flour
250g pork mince
3 eggs, fried then chopped
5 spring onions, finely chopped
7 dried Chinese mushrooms soaked in warm water for an hour then chopped finely
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
2 tsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1-2cm fresh root ginger, grated
1½ tsp 13-spice powder
salt to taste (she uses chicken salt)
150g fresh shrimps
black sesame seeds and coriander or spring onions finely chopped (to decorate)
1 Tbsp black rice vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
½ tsp chilli oil or sauce or to taste
finely chopped spring onion or coriander
To make the dough, put the flour in a bowl and pour in some water around the bowl. Mix with chopsticks until it starts to come together, adding a bit more water if necessary. Use your hands to knead the dough until it no longer sticks to the bowl. It should be stiffer than a bread dough. Turn on to a lightly floured bench and knead for 2-3 minutes until the dough is smooth. Cover with a damp cloth and leave to rest and ferment for half an hour in a warm place or longer in a cooler place. Prepare the filling by mixing the pork, eggs, most of the spring onions and the flavourings well. The shrimps will be used to top the filling later.
To make the dipping sauce, mix the ingredients together in a small bowl.
When the dough has puffed up and become soft and spongy, knead it to remove the air and break it into three pieces. Roll one into a long snake and cut into pieces, each the size of a large walnut.
Shape each piece into a ball and flatten with your hand, then roll into a circle. Yuan does this by holding one edge, rolling the other then turning the dough a little until a circle has formed. Fill the dumplings as you go, or the dough will dry out.
Take a rolled circle in your hand, forming it into a bowl, and place about a teaspoon of pork filling in the centre and a shrimp on top. To make round dumplings, pleat the edges of the dough to enclose the filling, leaving a small hole in the top.
Alternatively, fold the edges together to form a half circle and press together well.
Place a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan. Put a dumpling into the oil, move it around to oil the bottom, and put it to one side of the pan. When you have several in the pan, brush the tops with water and sprinkle black sesame seeds. Put the pan on the heat to brown the dumpling bottoms.
After a few minutes, check the bottoms are golden brown, then add boiling water to come a third of the way up the sides of the dumplings. It will bubble up and steam. Put the lid on quickly and leave to cook until the water has disappeared.
Serve sprinkled with chopped spring onions or coriander and the dipping sauce.
• There are several different types of wrapper. Some include egg, some use yeast, or you can use plain flour and baking powder instead of self-raising flour.
• Chinese like salt and oil but she prefers to add less salt to the filling and if she thinks the dumplings need more, she adds it to the dipping sauce.
• Yuan brought her Chinese 13-spice powder from China but look for it in Chinese or Asian groceries.
• Depending on the shape of the dumplings, you can brown them on one or three sides before adding water.
• At Chinese New Year, a coin is hidden in one of the dumplings. Although the person who finds it may hurt their teeth, it means they will have good luck during the year.
• Other fillings can be beef and carrot with the same sauces and spices, but without the egg and mushroom; leek and pork; cabbage and pork; beef and celery; beef and fennel. Some people use fish mince and for vegetarian versions use vegetables and eggs.
• Dumplings freeze well.
• Thanks to Afife Harris and Centre City New World.