Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Mandarin and Dumplings

Kung Hei Fat Choi to everyone. This is a New Years wish for Good Luck. So, of course, I ate dumplings, dumplings and dumplings. I tried to find a picture showing assorted dumplings, without any luck. But they had dumplings this year I had not come across before and others which are old favourites.

These are probably the most frqeuently seen, but there are many different ones. I am in my element. Not only that, we are going back again for Matt's free birthday lunch in a couple of weeks. Maybe that's why one of the words is "fat"!!! Not only that, the friend who joined us today has a birthday at the end of the month and will also get a free meal. Hopefully she will be able to go before the celebration is over.

Something they also had today was grapes done in a hard toffee glaze. They were delicious, served on sticks (like kebabs) they are a well know street food apparently.

A bit like this only they were red or green grapes in a hard toffee glaze. Delicious. I did eat a couple of other things such as salmon, they do a beautiful one, and Kung Pao Chicken.

I booked for Matt's birthday lunch and also for Christmas Day. Christmas is $31.99 not too bad at all. Bet they do a pretty good day - they serve turkey all through December so I can always have some if I feel deprived at Christmas.

So, of course, here is a recipe for Pot Stickers which is one of the names used for this kind of dumpling. Matt has made these many a time and they really are not that difficult. Especially as you can buy won ton wrappers in practically any grocery store these days. You can make the dough yourself if you wish, of course. I thought you would enjoy the legend too. Writing about these, now I want some more.


imperial kitchen when a cook, making dumplings for the emperor, forgot a batch that was slowly cooking. They were singed brown, slightly burned. With no time to spare, and an impatient, hungry emperor waiting, the cook, a nimble and adaptive fellow, arranged the dumplings on a platter, burned sides up, and presented them to the emperor as a new dish that he called, quotie, which means "stuck bottom." The emperor was delighted. Legend or not, it is a fact that these browned half-moons filled with pork and vegetables were eventually sold daily by the thousands from small streetside stands to satisfy the morning habits of people in Beijing and Tianjin, who called them jiaozi, or "little dumplings." It is a tradition that exists to this day.
As popular foods do, these jiaozi migrated to Shanghai, where they became known by their imperial name of quotie, to describe their cooking process. The habit of morning pot stickers swept Shanghai, and to this day they are sold, as in Beijing, from small streetside stands. Over the years, they migrated south to Guangzhou and Hong Kong, carried by Shanghainese fleeing the Japanese invasion of their city, and sold first by refugees on the streets as a way of making a living.
They have become part of the accommodating dim sum repertoire, and are referred to in Cantonese as
wor tip, or "pot stickers." Serve them with a ginger-vinegar sauce (see below).

4 cups water
1 Tbs salt plus 1 teaspoon
1/2 tsp baking soda (optional)
3/4 cup sliced bok choy stalks (1/4-inch-wide pieces)
1 1/2 cups firmly packed sliced bok choy leaves (1/4-inch-wide pieces)
14 oz ground pork
1/3 cup finely sliced scallions
2 tsp peeled and grated ginger
2 tsp white rice wine
1 medium egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 tsp light soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp sugar
pinch of white pepper
2 Tbs cornstarch
2 cups Pillsbury Best All-Purpose Flour
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
6 Tbs peanut oil
1 cup water

1. To make the filling, first water blanch the bok choy. In a pot, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add the 1 tablespoon salt and the baking soda (if using). When the water returns to a boil, add the bok choy stalks and allow the water to return to a boil. Add the bok choy leaves and blanch for 1 minute, or until the leaves turn bright green. Immediately turn off the heat. Run cold water into the pot, then drain off the water. Repeat.

2. In a large bowl, place the bok choy, the 1 teaspoon salt, and all of the remaining filling ingredients. Using a wooden spoon or 2 pairs of wooden chopsticks, mix the ingredients together, stirring them in one direction. Stirring in this way ensures the mixture will become a cohesive filling. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to overnight. The longer it rests, the easier it will be to work with.

3. To make the dough: In a large bowl, place the flour and make a well in the center. Gradually add the water to the well, and use your fingers to combine it with the flour until it is absorbed and a firm dough forms. If the dough is too dry, add a little more water. Knead the dough in the bowl for about 15 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and allow to rest for 1 1/2 hours.

4. Dust a work surface with flour. Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. Work with 1 piece at a time, and keep the others covered with the damp cloth. Using your palms, roll into a log 12 inches long. Cut crosswise into 12 equal pieces. Using a small rolling pin, roll out each piece into a 3-inch round. Keep the work surface well dusted with flour as you work.

5. Place 1 round on the palm of one hand, place 1 tablespoon of the filling on the center, and fold the round into a half-moon. Using the thumb and forefinger of the other hand pleat the seam closed, making from 5 to 7 pleats. Repeat to form more dumplings until all of the rounds are used. Cover the dumplings with plastic wrap to prevent them from drying out, then repeat with the remaining two pieces of dough in two batches to make a total of 36 dumplings.

6. In a cast-iron frying pan, heat 3 tablespoons of the peanut oil over high heat. When a wisp of white smoke appears, turn off the heat and place 18 of the dumplings in the pan. Turn on the heat to medium and allow the dumplings to cook for 3 minutes. Pour 1/2 cup of the water into the pan and allow the dumplings to cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the water evaporates. Reduce the heat to low and allow the dumplings to cook for about 2 minutes, or until they are golden brown on the bottom and the skins are translucent on top. To ensure the dumplings cook evenly, move the pan back and forth on the burner to distribute the heat evenly and prevent sticking.

7. Remove to a heated dish and serve. Because these dumplings are best eaten hot, serve in batches.

8. Notes:

9. These dumplings can be frozen uncooked for up to 6 weeks. Dust them liberally with flour to prevent sticking, then stack them neatly, separating the layers with sheets of waxed paper. Next, wrap them in a double layer of plastic wrap, and then wrap again in heavy-duty aluminum foil and slip into the freezer. To cook them, thaw and allow to come to room temperature, then cook as directed. These dumplings are eaten with a ginger-vinegar dipping sauce that is as traditional as they are. In a bowl, mix together 1/3 cup red rice wine vinegar, 1/4 cup peeled and finely shredded ginger. Let stand for 30 minutes before use. Then serve the sauce in a common bowl, from which each diner can spoon the sauce over a dumpling. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Servings: 8

Source: Epicurious

Have a great day


  1. Your blog always makes me hungry for something that doesn't come in a can. LOL

    I never heard that story before. That was one smart cook, or one gullible emperor.

    1. Sorry Liz, but I don't usually get stuff out of a can at any time.

      I guess yer takes yer pick.

  2. We make something similar with gyoza wrappers. And it only has a couple of ingredients. And I cook them in water. Yeah, I guess not very similar then...

    1. Still dumplings Alex. Many are steamed as well as fried or boiled. I'd forgotten gyoza wrappers had to Google. I used to use them when we were in NC. I have never looked for them here.

  3. The grapes on a stick look interesting. A bit like mini toffee apples. I love reading about the joy you experience at this restaurant. I can't believe you've already booked for Christmas!

    1. They were delicious Pinky. You're right, very like mini toffee apples although the toffee part was quite brittle unlike most apples. You're right, I do experience joy there. Well, the sooner the better, right?

  4. The Mandarin is always great especially for birthday times. Since cooks...or anyone could have lost their head is they displeased the emperor, being quick thinking probably saved this cook's life:) I have never made this but sounds good.

    1. Sure is Birgit. These days all the waiters say Welcome to Mandarin when you are being shown to your seat. Nice. Yes, I never thought of the cook's life being at risk.

  5. I love pot stickers. Here they call them Peking Ravioli. And I haven't had char sui bao since I lived in California. Loved those!

    1. Me too JoJo, never met a dumpling I didn't like. Unfamiliar with char sui bao.

    2. OK, Googled, I only know them as pork buns JoJo.

  6. These kinds of things are fun to make and fun to eat.

    1. You're right Ivy, they are fun.

    2. I've been grooving on homemade wraps lately. But I could easily groove on these as well. Happy Weekend.

    3. They can be delicious Ivy.