Beijing (Peking) Dumplings – Guotie and Jiaozi

Whether you shallow-fry them to make guotie or boil them to make jiaozi, these traditional Chinese pork dumplings are an unmissable component of a dim sum feast.

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Complete Chinese Cookbook by
Complete Chinese Cookbook
Ken Hom's all-encompassing guide to Chinese cuisine
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Introduction

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.

Makes about 18

Ingredients

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
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp cold chicken stock or water
salt and black pepper
For cooking:
1–2 tbsp groundnut oil
150ml (5fl oz) water
To serve:
Chinese white rice vinegar
chilli oil
light soy sauce

Instructions

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.

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