Jiaozi (pot sticker) dumplings (the kind with a pleated edge) can be fried, steamed, or—my favourite method—boiled. The wrapper goes velvety soft and keeps the pork and water chestnut filling juicy. You can buy wrappers from any Asian grocery, but once you bite into the fat chewy dough, I think you’ll be sold on why home-made dough is worth it. This recipe makes 50 dumplings, which sounds like a lot, but since you’ve gone to the trouble you might as well eat half and freeze the rest for another occasion.
To make the dough, put the flour and a good pinch of salt in a food processor. With the motor running, add the just-boiled water and process until the dough comes together into a ball. If it is too soft, add another tablespoon of flour. (Alternatively, put the flour in a bowl and slowly pour in the hot water until the dough comes together.) Using lightly oiled hands, knead the dough for 2 minutes on a work surface, then shape into a ball and transfer to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, to make the filling, put the ginger, garlic and spring onion in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the water chestnuts and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse again until just combined. Remove and reserve in a bowl.
To make the dipping sauce, combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
Cut the dough into 4 pieces and place 3 pieces under a damp cloth while you roll out the first piece. Roll out the dough on a lightly cornflour-dusted work surface until it is just less than 3 mm (⅛ inch) thick. Using a 7.5 cm (
Line a tray with baking paper and dust with cornflour. To make the dumplings, hold a round of dough in the palm of your hand. Place 1 teaspoon of the filling in the centre. Bring the sides of the dough up around it and pinch the middle together. Make little pleats on the front edge of the wrapper and then press it to the back edge. (You can also just press the edges together without pleats.) Bend the two edges around towards each other like a crescent. Place the dumpling on the cornflour-dusted tray and repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling.
Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Have 250 ml (
Use a slotted spoon to scoop the dumplings out. Drain well, then place them on a big platter drizzled with a little chilli oil to keep them from sticking.
Serve the dumplings immediately with small bowls of dipping sauce and a big container of chopsticks so everyone can dig in.
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