Monday, October 29, 2007

siu guōtiē (鍋貼)

YAY! The first official dumpling post on Snaplings! Dumplings are a great passion of mine, and I plan on having many more posts about them. The category boasts infinite variations and practically every culture has at least one dumpling in their repertoire. I thought I would kick off this category with my favourite - Chinese pork potstickers, or siu guōtiē (seeew gwoh-tee-eh) , with a thick and chewy wrapper crispy on the outside and bursting with salty juices in every mouthful. The pics are from my favourite dumpling eatery in Sydney, Cho Dumpling King in Chinatown. I've adapted the recipe to match theirs, and I recommend making your own pastry for the wrappers, as the ones from supermarkets are almost always too thin. Bleh! When you make them yourself, the satisfaction at the end is worth all the hard effort.


300 g lean pork mince
200 g pork belly mince
5 cups cabbage, shredded
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 piece of ginger, minced (thumb sized)
1 bunch spring onions (the long green ones)
3 tbsp sesame oil
3 tbsp soya sauce
2 tbsp Shaoxing wine
1 tsp white pepper
2 1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp cornflour
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Wrapper Pastry:

3 cups of flour
Roughly 1 1/2 cups icy cold water (you'll need to eyeball it)
1 tsp salt
extra flour
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Dipping Sauce:

1 part soya
1 part vinegar
sesame seeds
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and / or
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chilli pulp with oil (la jiao you)


1. Steam the shredded cabbage until wilted completely. Shred the spring onions into thin rounds, and mix all ingredients in a bowl together very well. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate until your pastry is ready.

2. Put the flour in a bowl and slowly add in drops of water while stirring. When all the flour in the bowl comes together into a ball, you know that's enough. It needs to be just after the "crumbly" stage, where you can knead it effectively. Tumble it out onto a floured surface and knead until the texture is uniform throughout. Let it rest someplace cool for 1/2 hr. Pinch little nuggets of dough, flour well and roll out into thin rounds between sheets of baking paper. Keep them covered with a moistened towel to prevent drying out.

3. Fill and pleat the dumplings, moistening the edge with water to seal. Dust all over with flour so that they dont stick.

4. Heat a large skillet with oil, and place the dumplings in before it gets too hot. Fry them until browned, then add 1/2 cm of water into the hot pan and cover with a tightly fitted lid or foil and seal in all the steam. When it starts to sizzle again remove the foil and flip them onto another side, adding more oil if necessary. When this has browned "taste test" one to see if its cooked through. If it is, serve immediately. If its not, add a few tablespoons more water and replace the lid until it evaporates completely. Serve with dipping sauces!

Cooking Tips: Try not to move the dumplings around too much- if you do the wrappers will tear and let all the tasty juices escape. If they come out very wrinkly and loose around the filling, you have put too much water in the pan. If they are sticking to the pan, let it cook a little longer so the crust firms up and then dislodge it gently with a thin spatula.

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Cho Dumpling King
Shop TG6 Prince Centre, 8 Quay St
Sydney Chinatown, NSW 2000
Phone: 02-9281 2760

NB: They do not take reservations. Because its such a small shop, they take your order and payment on the street, and when a table has cleared you sit down and your food is plonked on the table straight away. I also recommend the fried tofu, cold noodle salads, and the preserved bamboo snacks in the window!

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