Friday, August 22, 2008
It has been months since I last made dumplings. This is JF's favourite, she can finish 6 of them in 10mins & I'm glad because she's a slow eater !
I'll usually prepare the filling a day before & do the wrapping the next day. I have high expectation of myself, I make it a point to cut the veggies in the filling equal sizes & not 'anyhow' chopping them, that's why I need 2 days to make a batch of dumplings !
Besides ribs, we hardly eat any pork so I make our dumplings with chicken breast. I loves chives (韭菜） so usually a big bunch of this goes into the filling, this time I tried using Chinese celery & they're good, so aromatic. Celery is one vege that I'll never eat, be it raw or cooked ! When a friend told me Chinese celery is good for the filling, I hesitated but decided to give it a try.
My method :
4 large chicken breast
2 round cabbage
2 bunch spring onion
1 bunch Chinese celery
1 3" pc ginger
frozen gyoza wrappers
chicken stock granules (optional)
Shao Tsing wine
Remove skin & bone from the chicken breast & roughly mince the meat in a food processor. Chop the cabbage & leave them in a large bowl, sprinkle 2 tsp of salt on it, leave aside for 30 mins. After that, squeeze out all the water from the cabbage, add the cabbage to a large bowl with the minced chicken. Wash the spring onion & the Chinese celery, remove leaves & rough stems form the celery, finely chop them & combine with the chicken mixture. Grate the ginger & onion into the chicken mixture, mix well until well combined. Season to taste with salt, chicken stock granules (I used the No MSG type), sugar, pepper, sesame oil, Shao Tsing wine & soya sauce. I loves that sesame taste in my dumplings so I must have used at least 1/2 cup of it ! Add egg & enough corn flour to bind the mixture.
I have a habit of cooking a small ball of the filling in boiling water to test if the filling is tasty enough & I'll stop until I get the right taste. A friend once commented that I'm crazy & it really pissed me off. My thinking is that once the filling goes into the wrappers, it's too late to adjust the taste & each time I make dumplings it'll be more than 100 pcs, that's why I say I have high expectations of myself......
As for the wrappers, I've tried making with a friend but oh my, that took a long time & it was tiring, I can never get perfect round shape. My friend is good in this, with a 1 kg packet of medium-protein flour, according to her, it yields about 200 wrappers ! I got my wrappers from Recipes House @ Damai, they cost RM6.90 for about +/- 40 pcs. Got myself 4 packets this time & managed to produce 157 dumplings this afternoon ! I thought I could make 200 but still not enough, next time I'll add 1 more chicken breast & 1 each of these - cabbage, spring onion & Chinese celery.
They are still in the freezer, I'm waiting for them to firm up so I can transfer them to ziplock bag, anytime I'm busy or run out of idea to cook, these will be our quick meal. Moreover the girls are starting their new school year next Wednesday, these dumplings come handy in lunch boxes too !
Pasta sauce has been done last week, stacking nicely in the freezer, next on my list will probably be breaded chicken/prawns & meatballs, more ideas for the girls' lunches.