Dumplings may just be the universal bite-sized language of love, but how many of us actually know how to make them from scratch? Learn how to make authentic Chinese dumplings from a true expert.
Making the perfect dumplings: Lao Lao Liu’s words of wisdom
Preparing the filling
Lao Lao Liu: “When chopping up the carrots, mushrooms, ginger and spring onions, it’s important to cut everything very finely to create a smooth and tender texture.”
Rolling the dumpling dough
Lao Lao Liu: “Take about a quarter of the dough and roll into a long sausage shape, then slice off little pieces with a knife. Squish each chunk of dough down, then it’s time to roll. The trick is to turn each piece of dough by a quarter while rolling with a rolling pin until you’ve got a paper-thin circle. Then place the rounds onto a floured tray, ready to be filled.”
Filling the dumplings
Lao Lao Liu: “With your chopsticks take a small amount of mixture and place it in the centre of the dough circle. Fold the dough over to make a semi-circle shape, pinching the two sides of the wrapper together at the centre point of the dumpling’s seam. Then crimp one side into the middle, like a concertina. Do this on the other side until you’ve got a crescent shape. Easy! Now it’s your turn Amy...”
Cooking the dumplings
Lao Lao Liu: “Cooking dumplings has to be the easiest thing – whether you boil, steam or fry them. I like mine lightly fried and dipped in Chinkiang vinegar, delicious!”
Make Lao Lao Liu's Chinese Dumplings
Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes
Makes approximately 60 dumplings
- 500g lean beef mince
- 2 small carrots, finely grated
- 10 button mushrooms, finely diced
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 3 green onions, finely chopped (plus extra for
- 5cm piece of ginger, finely chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp soy sauce (plus extra for serving)
- 1 tsp oyster sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil (plus extra for serving)
- 1/3 cup (80mL) vegetable oil
- 500g plain flour to make wrappers (plus extra to roll)
- or 2 packs pre-made wonton wrappers (30 in each pack) Rice vinegar and finely chopped fresh chilli for serving
- In a lightly oiled non-stick frying pan, cook carrot over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Set aside in a medium bowl. In same pan cook mushrooms for 1-2 minutes and add to bowl with carrot. Cool slightly.
- Meanwhile in same oiled pan, cook egg for 1-2 minutes each side to make pancake shape. Cool slightly and cut egg pancake into small pieces.
- In a large bowl, combine beef mince, cooked carrot, mushroom, egg, onion, ginger, salt, soy and oyster sauces and sesame oil.
- In a separate large bowl, mix flour with enough water to make a dough (slowly add water to avoid it being too wet). Divide dough into four. Lightly flour a clean bench top or chopping board and shape dough pieces into long snake shapes. Cut each into 15 little dough pieces to make 60 and roll dough pieces into round wrappers using a rolling pin (or use pre-made wonton wrappers).
- Spoon a tablespoon of beef mixture into each wrapper. To make dumplings, fold and press using fingers to seal and crimp edges.
- To lightly fry, heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large frying pan (with a lid) over medium heat. Add 1/4 of the dumplings and cook for 1-2 minutes until bottoms are crisp and golden. Add enough water to cover halfway up the dumplings and cover with lid. Cook until water has evaporated and dumplings are tender. Repeat process with remaining oil and dumplings.
- Serve dumplings with vinegar, extra soy sauce, sesame oil, extra green onions and fresh chilli, if desired.
- If your dumplings are failing to stick together, try dabbing the edges of your dough with a little bit of water before folding over.
- If the filling tries to escape when folding your dumplings, don’t panic! Just push it back into your dumpling and keep folding.
- To boil dumplings, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Cook dumplings in batches of 15, stirring to avoid sticking, for 7-8 minutes or until dumplings float to the top. Drain well.
- To steam dumplings, line a bamboo steamer with baking paper. Place dumplings in a single layer into the steamer. Place steamer over a wok of boiling water, ensuring the base doesn’t touch water. Steam dumplings for 15-20 minutes or until tender and cooked through.
Recipe from our mates across the ditch at Australian beef