I love Charmaine Solomon. I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating. Love. The thing is, she makes asian food so accessible.
Like this recipe. For example she notes that if you don’t have Chinese cooking wine you can use dry sherry. I expect that dry sherry was much more widely available than Chinese cooking wine 20 years ago when ‘Charmaine Solomon’s Asian Collection’ was first published (in 1995 to be exact).
I was inspired to make my own dumplings after India went to a birthday party and made them. Yoyo, India’s friend, was born in China, and her Dad Oliver was like, ‘really, doesn’t everyone make their own dumplings from scratch?’.
And I thought, well, if everyone else does (including 8 year olds) then I can too. Right?
And I can. And you can. And here’s a good recipe. I have made these quite a few times. Page 60 if you have the cookbook. Page 59 for the photo …
- 350g minced pork
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon Chinese wine or dry sherry
- 2 spring onions
- 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 185 grams of plain flour
- Chinese red vinegar for dipping
- light soy sauce for dipping
Mix together the pork, salt, soy sauce, wine, finely chopped spring onions and grated ginger. Slowly beat in 4 tablespoons of water. This makes the filling juicy (it really does).
Measure the flour into a bowl, make a well in the middle and pour in 125ml of cold water. Using the handle of a wooden spoon or chopsticks mix the dough, working from the middle and gradually incorporating the flour. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 or 6 minutes. The dough will become very smooth.
On a floured surface, roll the dough thinly and cut about 24 circles about 6cm in diameter. Place a small teaspoon of the meat mixture in the middle of each round. Make two box pleats on one side of the circle. Dampen the edges with water and seal them together to make the dumplings.
Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, add the dumplings and when they rise to the top and the water bubbles furiously, add 250ml of cold water. Once more let the water bubble up, then add another 250ml of cold water. This keeps the dough firm and prevents bursting.
Serve hot. Combine equal amounts of the Chinese red vinegar and a light soy sauce for dipping.