Dumplings you don’t need to fly to Asia for! Top Chef alum Shirley Chung shares tips with Fox News’s Lilian Huang Woo on turning out the tastiest dumplings and other lucky Lunar New Year foods.
JIAOZI WITH CHICKEN FILLING
According to Chinese legend, jiaozi was invented thousands of years ago by an Emperor’s doctor during a cold winter.
That winter was so cold, lots of poor peoples’ ears were falling off and many of them were getting sick. So, the
doctor begged the Emperor to give him some flour, and then he went around collecting mutton trims from the rich
families. The doctor made jiaozi dumplings folded in an ear shape and filled with mutton and herbal medicines, and
then he fed the poor of the whole city. Jiaozi became a staple dish to make when guests come to visit, during the
Chinese New Year celebration, when kids go back to visit mom . . . The Chinese show their love through these
dumplings. Lots of people get intimidated by folding dumplings—don’t be. They don’t have to be perfect: just seal
them with filling inside, or use a dumpling folder. Don’t miss out on this deliciousness!
4 cups (480 g) all-purpose flour
1¼ cups (300 ml) water
1 tsp salt
1 lb (450 g) ground chicken
4 tbsp (60 ml) oyster sauce
4 tbsp (60 ml) soy sauce
4 tbsp (60 ml) chicken stock
1 large egg
1 tbsp (15 ml) sesame oil
2 tbsp (14 g) minced ginger
½ cup (50 g) minced green onions
Tools to Help You
3-inch (8-cm) cookie cutter
Combine the flour, water and salt in a mixer. Knead until it forms a smooth
dough, and rest it for 30 minutes. In my house, after the dough has rested,
I will portion it into bottle cap–size balls (about 7 grams each), then
individually roll them out into small rounds with a rolling pin to make
wrappers. Alternatively, you can run the dough through a pasta roller. Roll
them to #4 thickness, then use a 3-inch (8-cm) cookie cutter to cut out
Put the ground chicken in a medium-size mixing bowl. Combine the
oyster sauce, soy sauce and chicken stock together in a cup. Slowly
pour this liquid into the ground chicken while stirring, until all the liquid
absorbs into the meat. Next add the egg and sesame oil, and mix well.
After all the seasoning is mixed into the chicken, add the ginger and
green onions, and mix well. It’s ready for folding.
Using a dumpling folder, if you’d like, take 1 wrapper and 1 tablespoon
(15 g) of chicken filling per dumpling. Place the filling in the
middle of the wrapper, close the edges and make them into an ear shape (half-
moon shape). After all the jiaozi are folded, boil water in a large pot. Add
the jiaozi in when the water is boiling. When the water returns to a boil,
add ½ cup (120 ml) of cold water, and bring back to a boil. When all the
jiaozi are floating on top of the water, they are done. Enjoy them hot with
some black vinegar and chili oil.
WHOLE STEAMED RED SNAPPER
Steamed whole fish is the staple of any Chinese celebration feast. Fish symbolize prosperity, luck and opportunities
in our culture. My version is extra exciting, with bean sprouts tossed in and Doubanjiang to add texture and spice.
The aged soy sauce brings in more umami, and the final pour of hot oil over the steamed fish will push the aroma to
overdrive. You want to source the freshest fish to steam. Make sure the gills are bright red, the eyeballs are clear
and the flesh bounces back when you press it. If a whole fish freaks you out a little bit, you can always steam a
fish fillet; just drop the cooking time to 4 to 5 minutes. Don’t worry, prosperity won’t run away from you. Decode
the special meaning behind this dish: Bean sprouts represent growth, and fish represents prosperity and wealth. Eat
this dish, and you will grow your wealth.
1½ lb (675 g) whole red snapper, cleaned, scaled and gutted
Salt and white pepper, to taste
1 oz (28 g) bean sprouts
1 tsp Doubanjiang chili paste
1 tbsp (15 ml) Shaoxing wine
2 thinly sliced green onions, divided
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp (7 g) thinly sliced ginger
1 red Fresno chili, thinly sliced, seeds removed
4 tbsp (60 ml) aged soy sauce (I like Wan Ja Shan brand)
4 tbsp (60 ml) canola oil
Stainless steel or bamboo steamer that is big enough to fit the whole fish
A large plate that fits in the steamer and holds the fish
Fill the bottom of the steamer with water and start boiling the water.
Score the fish 3 times on each side for even cooking. Rub the inside and
the outside of snapper with salt and pepper, and set aside.
In a small mixing bowl, toss the bean sprouts with the Doubanjiang,
Shaoxing wine, 1 pinch of sliced green onions and the sesame oil, and
season to taste with salt. Stuff the snapper with the seasoned bean
sprouts. Place a few slices of ginger on the flesh of the fish, and place the
fish on a plate for steaming. Steam the stuffed whole snapper over high
heat in the steamer for 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, toss the sliced Fresno chili pepper and the rest of the green
onions together. Heat up the soy sauce in a small saucepan, simmer for
1 minute and turn of the heat. This cooked soy sauce is part of the sauce
for the steamed fish.
When the fish is finished steaming, take it out of the steamer an
d place on a serving dish. Drizzle the soy sauce all over the fish, and place an even
layer of green onions and Fresno chili on the steamed fish. In a small sauté
pan, heat up the cooking oil until smoking hot and then pour the hot oil
over the green onions on the fish. You can smell the caramelized soy sauce
and onion aroma.
Reprinted with permission from Chinese Heritage Cooking from My American Kitchen by Shirley Chung, Page Street Publishing Co. 2018. Photo credit: Albert Law.
Follow Lilian Woo on Twitter: @LilianNY
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