Homestay Tutors cooking dumplings in Shenzhen!
Today, we are going to learn how to cook some delicious Chinese dumplings! This is something the Abridge Academy team had a lot of fun trying (and eating!) so we can confirm even complete cooking novices can produce edible results…
History and Culture
In China, dumplings (饺子) originated from northern China and are believed to bring good luck and prosperity, due to their unusual shape resembling ancient gold ingots. Traditionally, dumplings are made on the eve of Chinese new year, and a small coin is hidden inside one. Whoever finds the coin is said to have good fortune for the new year! This is particularly the case for ‘water dumplings’ (水饺) – those boiled in water rather than pan fried.
Another story about dumplings is that of Zhang Zhongjing, who made dumplings from mutton, chilli and herbs as a remedy against frost-bite. This legend explains why dumplings are traditionally folded into an ‘ear’ shape, as this was believed to help the ‘medicine’ target the ears!
There are actually many different types of dumplings originating from all across China – from the heavier meat-based dumplings in the North to Shanghai soup dumplings and lighter shrimp or vegetable variations in the South.
To avoid re-inventing the wheel, we’ve roughly followed this excellent vegetarian dumpling recipe – feel free to adapt to whatever ingredients you have at home! The meat-eaters out there may also wish to check out more traditional pork dumpling recipes, lighter egg and chive dumplings or these delicious shrimp dumplings, the overall process should be similar.
Ingredients (for 25-30 dumplings)
5 cups of chopped cabbage
1 large grated carrot
6 large diced mushrooms
3 chopped spring onions
Generous dash of Shaoxing wine or rice vinegar
Pack of pre-made dumpling wrappers (or make your own)
Soy sauce, vinegar or chilli sauce to serve
Dumplings are surprisingly easy to make! You’ll first need to make the filling, which typically includes simple ingredients such as cabbage, egg, pork or shrimp.
The next step is to fill the dumplings with this filling, carefully folding them into the required shape, before steaming, boiling or pan frying them and serving.
Free trip to China?
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