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Chinese dumpling or jiaozi is symbolic of Chinese cuisine, typically a customary Northern Chinese food eaten during Chinese New Year (also called Spring Festival). As the semi-circular moon shape of the dumplings resemble olden time Chinese ingots made of either gold or silver, it is considered to give wealth, happiness and good luck during Chinese New Year eve dinner. Normally, a coin is hidden in one of the dumplings and the person who discovers the coin will have prosperity in the New Year. Dumplings are also served during special occasions like weddings, birth of a child, and during the holidays in Northern China. In additions, they symbolize the warmth of home cooking. Dumplings are usually named according to the type of fillings used and methods used to cook them, either boiled, fried or steamed. Typically, fillings for dumplings can be vegetables or meat or a combination of both. Popular meat include chicken, pork, beef and lamb; favourite vegetables commonly used are Chinese cabbage, celery, Chinese leek, carrot, shiitake mushrooms, spring onions (scallions) and garlic and Chinese chives. Seafood like crab meat, prawns and fish are often used as well. Dipping sauce for dumplings are normally made with soy sauce, Chinese white wine vinegar, garlic, hot chilli sauce and sesame oil.
In Southern China, dumplings have also become popular but the dumpling wrappers are usually made from rice and or glutinous rice flour since wheat are less commonly grown and consumed in these regions. For my gluten free steamed dumplings recipe, I am using glutinous rice flour, rice flour and tapioca flour for the dough, making the cooked dumplings more translucent and have a softer texture. Ingredients for fillings are beef mince, leek and spring onion (scallions). I have substituted soy sauce with blackstrap molasses to make these gluten free dumplings and dipping sauce soy free. These gluten free dumplings are also dairy free, egg free and nut free.
The creation and consumption of dumplings or jiaozi dated all the way back to the period of the Eastern Han dynasty (AD 25 – 220) by a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner named Zhang Zhongjing. His idea of creating dumplings came from treating people with frostbites of the ears during the cold winter season, mostly amongst the poor. His original recipe was made with stewed lamb, chilli peppers and some Chinese medicines with warming properties and finely chopped all the ingredients and then filled the dumpling wrappers. Followed by boiling and serving these dumplings to his patients.
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2 hours, 45 minutes
Chinese dumpling or jiaozi is symbolic of Chinese cuisine, typically a customary Northern Chinese food eaten during Chinese New Year.
- Extra virgin olive oil for brushing
- Gluten free rice flour for dusting
- 2 bunches choy sum, washed and cut into 3 inches lengthwise
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
For the dough:
- 300g (10.6oz) glutinous rice flour
- 300g (10.6oz) Tapioca Flour
- 50g (1.8oz) rice flour
- 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1¾ (437.5ml) cup water plus 3 tablespoons (45ml)
For the Filling:
- 500g (17.6oz/1.1Ib) minced beef
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
- 8cm ginger, peeled and finely grated
- 1 leek, white part only (250g/8.8oz), washed and finely chopped
- 60g (2.1oz) spring onion (scallions), thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons pure sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
- 1½ tablespoons gluten free corn (maize) flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
For the Dipping Sauce:
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup pure sesame oil
- ¼ cup blackstrap molasses
- ⅓ cup gluten free Chinese rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
For the Garnish:
- 3 fresh long red chillies, finely chopped
- 3 inch ginger, finely sliced into thin toothpicks
- 3 spring onions (scallions), thinly sliced
For the dough:
- In a large bowl, combine and whisk together the glutinous rice flour, tapioca flour, rice flour, xanthan gum and salt. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture.
- Pour 1½ cup (375ml) of water, extra virgin olive oil and vanilla extract into the well in the bowl, stir and combine the flour then add in the rest of the ¼ cup (62.5ml) water gradually as you hand knead the dough until you have a smooth and slightly sticky dough. Add the rest of the 3 tablespoons water 1 tablespoon at a time if required.
- Divide the dough into 2 equal portions. Seal in ziplock bags and let the dough rest on the benchtop for ½ hour.
For the fillings:
- Combine and mix well all the ingredients for the filling in a large bowl. Set aside.
For the wrappers:
- Dust the work surface and rolling pin with some gluten free rice flour.
- Remove 1 bag of dough and divide the dough into 2 equal portions again.
- Work with 1 portion at a time, divide the dough equally into balls (around 23g/0.8oz each).
- Flatten each ball into a disc or patty. Use the rolling pin to roll each ball into a 3 inch round wrapper.
For stuffing the wrappers:
- Spoon 1 tablespoon of the filling onto the middle of each wrapper. Wet the edges of the balls with some water and carefully press and seal the edges together. Press until the edges are thin out.
- With your fingers, gently press down on the filled wrappers to flatten the base.
- Set aside on a tray until ready to steam.
For the dipping sauce:
- Combine, whisk and mix well all the ingredients for the dipping sauce in a medium bowl. Set aside until ready to serve.
- Garnish with some spring onion, red chilli and ginger before serving.
For the blanched choy sum:
- Heat up the pot half filled with water, add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, then cook the choy sum on low heat for around 2 minutes or until choy sum turns bright green, drain water and set aside.
For cooking the dumplings:
- Place a steaming rack in a wok and fill the wok with half full of water and bring to a rolling boil.
- Brush a large plate lightly with some extra virgin olive oil, then place the dumplings on the plate and brush lightly with some extra virgin olive oil.
- Steam the dumplings for 12 minutes or until translucent.
- Repeat until all the dumplings are cooked. Steam the dumplings in 5 batches.
- Serve with the dipping sauce, blanched choy sum and garnish with some spring onion, red chilli and ginger. You can also serve the dipping sauce as a drizzle sauce over the dumplings.
- If you want to freeze some of the uncooked dumplings, place them on a large plate or tray and freeze in the freezer. Once frozen, store them in a ziplock bag in the freezer.
Amount Per Serving:
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 1.2 g
Trans Fat 0.03 g
Dietary Fiber 0.49 g
Sugars 2.44 g
Vitamin A 0.54 %
Vitamin C 5.81 %
Calcium 1.3 %
Iron 3.51 %
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Healthy gf Asian
Glutinous rice flour, rice flour and tapioca flour can be purchased from Asian Groceries Stores.
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