水餃, Shuǐ Jiǎo (say Sh-way Ji-ow, ji-ow rhymes with cow, not with low) are a variety of dumpling, popular in East Asia. Translated it means water dumpling, because this variety is boiled, not steamed or fried.
This is my method to make my version of delicious Taiwanese style 水餃. I’m half cheating because I buy the skins instead of making them by hand. If you have strong arms or many helpers you can kneed the dough and make your own skins.
To make about 40 dumplings you will need:
- 水餃皮, Shui Jiao Pi (pee not pie) - A pack of 水餃 skins usually contains between 20 and 40. There may be many similar packs of skins available. If you are unsure, try to find ones from Taiwan.
- Minced pork (or beef) - 450g will make 40 pretty big dumplings. If you have not had much practice putting the fillings in to the skins, your dumplings will probably be smaller, so you will need less meat.
- Pointed cabbage - One average sized one.
- Spring onion - 2 inches of one stem will be enough.
- Ginger - Finely chopped, a teaspoon’s worth.
- Coriander leaves - Finely chopped, a tablespoon’s worth.
- Garlic - One or two cloves.
- Fine ground pepper - white pepper is preferable.
- Five spice powder
- Toasted sesame oil - about 15ml.
- Soy sauce (e.g. Kikkoman) - about 20-30ml.
- Chop all the pointed cabbage in to bits about 1-2mm across, discard the small bit of hard stalk at the bottom.
- Chop the ginger, garlic and spring onion as finely as possible.
- Combine all the ingredients in a suitably sized mixing bowl. Lightly dust with pepper and five spice powder.
- Mix it up thoroughly using a fork (or your fingers / other implement of choice).
- Use a desert spoon to place a lump of filling into the centre of a skin. Draw the top and bottom edges of the skin together around the filling and pinch tightly in the centre.
- Make two folds (pleats) in each side of the skin nearest to you and pinch as you go. This should produce a crescent shape - see the photos below.
- Place each dumpling on a tray dusted with flour (to stop them sticking).
- Repeat the previous three instructions until you run out of filling or skins.
- Either cook and eat immediately, or place the tray of dumplings into the freezer. When frozen solid, the dumplings can be transferred to plastic bags and the trays recovered.
Boil a pan of water and throw them in a few at a time. They don’t need long. Allow a few extra minutes if you had frozen them and ensure they are thoroughly cooked through before eating. Stir gently to stop them sticking to the pan.
Make a mix of soy sauce, vinegar and a drip of sesame oil, proportions to taste - make it mostly soy sauce if unsure. Dip each 水餃 in the mix prior to eating.