Sadly, I left China a couple days ago and am now back in Chicago. Before I left, though, Mrs. Zhao and Mr. Shi came over for another cooking lesson. This time we did jiaozi, or dumplings. I've cooked a lot of dumplings before, but this set was an interesting variation that was stuffed with a crisp filling of toasted sesame seeds, scrambled eggs and diced spring onions.
To start, make a standard batch of dumpling dough. Nick is at a Shang history conference at Rutgers this weekend. When he gets back, I'll put up a standard "dumpling dough" post that shows how to knead, roll and pinch dumplings. (I'm waiting for Nick because he's particularly gifted at kneading things. Also because it's difficult to photograph yourself while covered in flour.)
Until I get that up, the recipe is basically as follows:
Put the flour in a bowl and slowly add the water in stages. Mix well until you have a very smooth ball. Then cover it with a damp cloth and let it sit for 15 minutes. When it's done setting, knead it again and roll it into a long piece. Then cut it into 32 equal pieces. Take those and roll them into balls with your hands and then discs with a rolling pin.
OK, now we can get on with the interesting part of this recipe: The filling.
1lb white sesame seeds
1/2lb small spring onions
1T table salt
1T 13 spice
1T dark soy sauce
Toast the sesame seeds on the stove until very lightly browned. You can just lay them in there and give them a toss every once and awhile while doing the rest of your prep work.
Combine the eggs in a bowl and mix with chopsticks.
Scramble the eggs in about two tablespoons of cooking oil.
When the sesame seeds are toasted, crush them by rolling them with your pin.
Mix the sesame seeds and scrambled eggs.
Mince your greens, and add those to the mix.
Add the salt, 13 spice, dark soy sauce, and then look around for the MSG. When you find there isn't any in the house, like Mrs. Zhao did, proceed without it.
Mix the filling well.
Take your dumpling dough chunks (see above) and roll them out into wrappers.
Fill each one with about one rounded tablespoon of filling. Mrs. Zhao closes her dumplings in the casual way, by pinching it at the top, then squishing the sides together with both hands while holding the top closed with her thumbs.
When complete, boil, steam or fry like any other jiaozi.
These are a great combination. I love spring onions, and the toasted sesame seeds give them a great scent and crunchy texture. As an afterthought, these things are actually vegetarian! Good to know.