Christmas is right around the corner. If you are as lucky as me, your little ones are already on holidays! To change from the traditional Christmas cookies, today, I am going to share one of my go-to Chinese Jiaozi recipe. In my opinion, it is a perfect activity to do with children. Hopefully, it will keep your little one busy.
I love this recipe as it is loaded with veggies to balance the dryness of the chicken meat. The fresh coriander, leek, and ginger bring the dumplings to a higher level. So fresh!
Work in progress in two pairs of tiny hands
- 2 packs of potstickers wrappers – one is enough when I prepare them alone but with little ones who don’t like to work with too much, better be prepared
- 500 g of ground chicken – you can replace it with firm tofu (squeeze the water out with a cloth)
- 250 g of napa cabbage leaves
- 100 g of leek – use the green part, don’t throw it away!
- 200 g of king oyster mushroom – leave that part to your little helper
- a half bunch of fresh coriander – leave that part to your little helper
- some fresh ginger
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 tsp of soy sauce
- 1 tsp of sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- a pinch of black pepper
The wrappers are available in the frozen section of your local Asian store (in Zona Rosa and Mikasa in Mexico City). Take the wrappers out of the freezer and allow them to defrost in the refrigerator the night before the day of use.
- Slice the leek in half from the top to 1 inch from the bottom so when it goes into the water, it stays put. Wash it. Bring some salted water to boil and blanch the leek for two minutes. Take the leek and run cold water on it. Use the same boiling water, repeat the process with the napa cabbage leaves
- Chop thinly the leek and set aside in a large bowl
- Chop thinly the napa cabbage. Squeeze the water out before transferring it to the bowl
- Chop thinly the king oyster mushroom. Add a little bit of cooking oil on a cooking pan and stir fry the mushroom for a minute and then add the chopped garlic to the pan. Wait until it cools down and transfer it to the bowl
- Wash and chop thinly the fresh coriander and transfer it to the bowl
- Grate some fresh ginger, amount to your personal preference. I personally use a lot 🙂
- Add the ground chicken and the condiments
- Mix well with a tablespoon or your hand – leave that part to your little helper
How to wrap:
You will need a bowl of cold water. Put a wrapper on the fingers of your left hand if you are right-handed, scoop a teaspoon of fillings in the middle of the wrapper and dab a finger of your right hand in the bowl of water and wet all around the wrapper edge.
Now comes the tricky part. Open YouTube and search for “How to wrap dumplings”A video is worth thousands of words 😉
Or you go the kiddo way. Just paste one side of the wrapper to the other to form a half circle. It takes more space in the cooking pan but you will not be seen as a killjoy.
How to cook them:
- Boiled: transfer the dumplings in the boiling water and wait until it’s boiling again and pour 1/2 cup of cold water and repeat until the dumplings float. This process is very important not to break the dumplings while cooking. As soon as the dumplings are on the surface, this means they are cooked.
- Fried: use a non-stick cooking pan, pour a tsp or tbsp – depending on the size of your pan of course. Transfer the dumplings to the pan and pour cold water until it covers the dumplings up to three-quarters of their height. Cook covered until the water evaporates. Take the cover off and allow the bottom becomes brownish and crispy. Transfer them to a plate the crispy part on the top. This is our preferred version as you have different texture in the mouth; the chewy top side and the crispy bottom side.
Sauce: in a small bowl add some thinly sliced fresh ginger, 2 tbsp of soy sauce, 1 tbsp of Chinese black vinegar and 1 tbsp of water – I always think the soy sauce is too salty so I like to dilute it a little. And finish with a dash of sesame oil. You can also add a pinch of chilly pepper flakes.