Today we are making dumplings from scratch. In this video, I will talk about how to make the wrapper correctly how to make the filling juice and flavorful so you can get the best dumpling ever. Trust me, nothing beats homemade dumplings. I will also show you the easiest way to wrap dumplings so you don’t slave yourself all day. Let’s get started
INGREDIENTS FOR THE WRAPPER
- 400 grams (14oz) of wheat flour (at least 10% protein content)
- 200 grams (7oz) of water
- 1/2 tsp of salt
INGREDIENTS FOR THE FILLING
- 400 grams (14oz) of ground chicken
- 150 grams (5.3oz) of spinach
- 1.5 tbsp of soy sauce
- 1.5 tbsp of oyster sauce
- 1/4 tsp of salt
- 1 tbsp of sesame oil
- 1 tsp of chicken bullion powder, optional
- 1 tsp of five spice powder
- 20 grams (1/3 cups) of diced basil, can be replaced diced scallion
- 60 grams (1/4 cup) of chicken stock
INGREDIENTS FOR THE DIPPING SAUCE
- 2 cloves of garlic, grated
- 1 tsp of grated ginger
- 2 tbsp of diced scallions
- 1 tbsp of chili flake
- 3 tbsp of oil
- 3 tbsp of soy sauce
- 1 tbsp of Chinese black vinegar
1. Make the wrapper
Picking the right flour is the first key to success. I always recommend using bread flour for making dumplings because it has a higher protein content compared to all-purpose flour in general. But That doesn’t mean you can not use all-purpose flour at all. It really depends on the brand.
For example, this brand, every serving contains 4 grams of protein, that is more than 4/30≈13.3%
And this one has 3 grams of protein per serving, that is 3/31 ≈ 9.6%
They are both all-purpose flour but the compositions are so different.
This bread flour, the protein content is 10%, I think that is the bottom line for making dumpling wrappers, the higher the better.
What if all you have is low protein flour? You can use a combination of egg and water to form the dough. By doing so, you are adding extra protein into the flour and that will improve the texture of the dough.
Different brands and types of flour have different water-absorbing rates. I like to be precise so I always list the exact ingredient amounts for better success but when it comes to making flour dough, I will get comments telling me that they follow the recipe but the dough comes out too sticky or too dry. That is because different brands and types of flour have different water-absorbing rates. You have to adjust it based on your situation
For dumpling wrapper, 50% water ratio is a safe number, which means for every 400 grams of flour, use 200 grams of water. Don’t forget to add some of salt and stir to dissolve. I still recommend adding the water into the flour little by little so you can adjust the texture. However, don’t stress about it too much because dough is very forgiven. You can always add more water or flour if needed.
I am going to use a kitchenaid to knead the dough. Let it run on medium speed for 10-12 minutes. If you are kneading it by hand, it will also take about 10-12 minutes.
When it is done, it should look like this. Take it out and shape it into a log. The dough needs some time to rest, about 30 minutes, then it will be more playable to work with.
Make the filling
While waiting, we can make the filling. Season 400 grams of ground chicken with 1.5 tbsp of soy sauce, 1.5 tbsp of oyster sauce, 1/4 tsp of salt, 1 tbsp of sesame oil, 1 tsp of five spice powder, and 1 tsp of chicken bullion powder; this is optional. You don’t have to use it if you don’t like it.
1/3 cup of basil which I thinly julienne it. This is Thai basil but it is also popular in south of China. It has a nick name called 金不换, which translates are - I wouldn’t even trade trade it for gold. That’s much we love basil.If you don’t like basil, use diced scallion
Stir the filling until the seasonings are well combined. Then add 1/4 cup of chicken stock in batches and stir it within one direction for about 5 minutes. The stirring will galantinzed the protein which helps the filling to absorb the liquid. This is the key to make your dumpling juicy and tender. When you see the filling is jiggling like that, you are good to go.
If you are a meat eater, you can stop here. But I always like to add some vegetables into the filling to balance the texture. This time, I am using (150 grams) spinach. Blanch it in boiling water for 15 seconds. Cool it down under running water, then squeeze the water out. Dice it finely. These are mature spinach so they are bigger. You can use baby spinach or any other leafy vegetables.
Add it to the filling and mix well. Set the filling aside and we are going to check back on the dough.
Wrap the dumplings
The dough has been rested for about 30 minutes now. It becomes soft. You can easily roll it into a long even strip. If you don’t give it enough time, the gluten will bounce back when you roll the dough, which is frustrating. Divide this strip into small pieces, about 12 grams each. This recipe is enough to make about 50 dumplings. You don’t need a scale, go by the feeling. I like to flip the strip in between each cut. Sprinkle some flour to prevent them from sticking to each other. Cover them with plastic wrap, so they don’t dry out.
Alright, let’s wrap the dumplings. Take one piece of dough. Put the cut surface facing vertically. Flatten it with your hand then pick it up. Use a rolling pin to roll the edge back and forth. The left hand rotates the dough. Repeat that and you will get a round wrapper with a thick middle and a thinner edge.
Put some filling in the middle, and pack it tight. Fold the wrapper in half. Pinch the middle. Push the end towards the center to create 2 corners. Pinch the first corner. Fold the other corner in a way that creates 2 pleats. Do the same thing to the other side. There you go. This is a fast and easy folding method for beginners.
If you are ambitious, let me show you the classic folding method, which is prettier.
Use your right hand to pinch the corner to create the first pleat. With the help from your left hand, repeat the following actions: stretch, fold, and pinch; stretch, fold, and pinch. This method takes a lot of practice until it comes out pretty like this.
Making dumplings usually is a family event. Everybody can contribute a little so it becomes a joy to get together. The taste is the best when love is involved in the process.
Next, we are going to pan fry them. Add a general amount of oil to your frying pan and swirl it to cover the bottom. Don’t need to wait for the pan to get hot. Just directly add the dumplings and pan fry over medium low heat without the lid for a few minutes. We just want the bottom to have some nice color. You can take a peak. Like that is beautiful. At this point, the dumplings are not completely cooked through. Pour in 1/4 cup of water and put on the lid. Let the steam to cook the dumplings for 6-8 more minutes. Don’t worry that the dumpling will lose the crust due to the added water. Once the water is fully evaporated, the bottom will be crispy again.
That looks beautiful but a dumpling can’t be perfect without a dipping sauce. Let me show you how to make that. Press 2 cloves of garlic through a garlic presser. Add 1 tsp of grated ginger, 2 tbsp of diced scallions, and 1 tbsp of chili flake. Heat 3 tbsp of oil until smoking hot then pour it onto the aromatics to activate the fragrance. Add 3 tbsp of soy sauce and 1 tbsp of Chinese black vinegar. Mix well and the sauce is done.