Beijing (Peking) Dumplings – Guotie and Jiaozi
This is a popular and rather substantial snack from northern China. The dumplings can be shallow-fried (guotie), boiled (jiaozi) or steamed, but I ﬁnd shallow-frying to be the tastiest way of cooking them. They can be frozen, uncooked – you don’t need to thaw before cooking, but you will need to cook them for a little longer.
|For the dough:|
|275g (10oz)||plain ﬂour|
|250ml (8ﬂ oz)||very hot water|
|For the filling:|
|225g (8oz)||minced fatty pork|
|175g (6oz)||Chinese leaves, ﬁnely chopped|
|2 tsp||ﬁnely chopped fresh ginger|
|1 tbsp||Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry|
|1 tbsp||dark soy sauce|
|1 tsp||light soy sauce|
|3 tbsp||ﬁnely chopped spring onions|
|2 tsp||sesame oil|
|2 tbsp||cold chicken stock or water|
|salt and black pepper|
|1–2 tbsp||groundnut oil|
|150ml (5ﬂ oz)||water|
|Chinese white rice vinegar|
|light soy sauce|
First make the dough. Put the ﬂour into a large bowl and stir in the hot water gradually, mixing with a fork or with chopsticks until most of the water is incorporated. Add more water if the mixture seems dry. Then remove the mixture from the bowl and knead for about 8 minutes until smooth, dusting the dough with a little ﬂour if it is sticky. Put the dough back into the bowl, cover it with a damp towel and let it rest.
Meanwhile, combine the ﬁlling ingredients in a large bowl, add 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper, and mix.
After around 20 minutes, take the dough out of the bowl and knead it again for about 5 minutes. Form it into a roll about 23cm (9in) long and about 2.5cm (1in) in diameter. Cut the roll into about 18 equal segments.
Roll each dough segment into a small ball. Then roll each ball into a small, round, ﬂat ‘pancake’ about 6cm (2½in) in diameter. Arrange them on a lightly ﬂoured tray and cover with a damp kitchen towel until you are ready to use them.
Put about 2 teaspoons of ﬁlling into the centre of each ‘pancake’ and fold in half. Moisten the edges with water and pinch together with your ﬁngers. Pleat around the edge, pinching to seal well. (The dumpling should look like a small Cornish pasty, with a ﬂat base and a rounded top.) Transfer the ﬁnished dumpling to the ﬂoured tray and keep it covered.
Heat a large frying pan (preferably non-stick) until hot. Add 1 tablespoon of oil followed by the dumplings, ﬂat side down. Turn down the heat and cook for about 2 minutes, until they are lightly browned. (You may need to cook in two batches.) Add the water (half at a time if you’ve got two batches), then cover and cook for about 12 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Cook, uncovered, for a further 2 minutes, then remove. Serve with 3 bowls, containing the Chinese white rice vinegar, chilli oil, and light soy sauce, to dip.