MaDaI - Interkulturelles Training

Chinese Dumplings


The pastry is made simply by adding warm water and mixing. The pastry should be soft and easy to knead and similar to typical noodle pastry. When smooth it should be covered with a damp cloth and set aside for at least an hour to rest. For special occasions one can add an egg to the mixture but the pastry is then not suitable for steaming.
The meat, shrimps, ginger, cabbage and leek are chopped very fine (the finer the better and, if one is available, this can be best achieved by passing the mixture several times through a meat mincer (meat grinder).) The mixture is then turned into a moist paste by adding the soya sauce and sesame oil. To achieve a “real” Chinese taste ca. 1/2 teaspoon each fish sauce and oyster sauce is added. As a variation, a small amount of rice wine can be added too. (Warm rice wine increases the enjoyment while cooking!) The variations for the filling are unlimited but do remember the cooking time is short.
To make the “dumplings” the pastry is first rolled into a sausage with a diameter of ca. 2 cm. This is then cut into slice with a thickness of ca.2 mm. The mixture should give about 50 dumplings. Traditionally, the next stage uses a mini rolling pin that is an essential piece of equipment in a Chinese kitchen. This is a simple round piece of wood which is about 2 cm in diameter and some 20 cm long. There’s a real technique which requires considerable practice, stretching and rolling the slices to give a circle of pastry some 10 cm in diameter. A satisfactory result can be achieved with a normal sized rolling pin but do try and keep the circular form for each slice.
In the middle of each piece of pastry put, at most, good teaspoon (one “chopstick”) of the filling (the amount that can be transferred in a single movement using chopsticks!) and simply fold the pastry on itself making sure the edges are really closed by squeezing between a finger and thumb. To make sure the pastry really closes the package, simply wet the edges before pressing them together. Don’t put more filling into each “dumpling”…thy will split while cooking. .If preparing dumplings for steaming the pastry should be thinner; fold the circle over the filling and twist the top to give a small round package. The top can then be garnished with a bow made from a chive for special occasions.
The dumplings can either be cooked in simmering, salted water (they are ready to eat when they swim but are best left fpr ca. 5 min before removing them to the plates.) or they can be steamed for ca. 20 Min, or fried. They are best served with a bowl of vinegar (Shanxi black rice vinegar NOT simple vinegar!) or also with a hot chili dip into which they are dipped before eating.
For a complete meal we suggest serving with salad (the Chinese usually have a selection). A “Dumpling” meal is not unusual in China and for at least 6 people 50 or more dumplings are boiled in the water before they are all cooked. After the dumplings are cooked it is a common practice to drink the cooking water as a soup. For western taste we suggest adding a few vegetables or some stock powder or a cube a to the “soup” to give a little more taste. In any case, don’t forget the rice vinegar as a condiment!

Guten Apetit!

 Marchese Daniela - Ma.Da.I

     Intercultural Management