Monday, December 23, 2013

Leek and Egg Dumplings

Seriously, the greatest dumpling flavour combination in the world, and I ate a fair few in China.  The flavour combination is traditional, and gorgeous.  Also, there are only 4 real ingredients, so simple, economic and delicious.  Perfect for a meatless meal.

You can make your own dumpling skins, or buy them ready to go.  This is up to you really.  If you have experience making roti or chapati, they are easy.

Dumpling skins

You will need:
2 cups plain white flour, sifted
3/4 cup of boiling water (but let it cool just enough to be able to work it with your hands)

1.  Sift the flour into a bowl.
2.  Boil the water and measure out 3/4 cup.
3.  Stirring with a knife, pour the water into the flour, bringing it together into a dough.
4.  When it is cool enough to work, sprinkle a little flour on a surface and kneed the dough until it is smooth.
5.  Roll into a long tube about 2cm thick.
6.  Cut approx 1cm circles off the tube carefully.
7.  Roll out flat, but not too thin.  I find that about 10-12cm in diametre is good.


You will need:
4 eggs
2 baby leeks

1.  Crack all the eggs into a bowl.  Whisk.
2.  Finely slice the whole baby leek.  The green colour is amazing which is why I like smaller leeks here.
3.  In a hot wok (or fry pan) pour the eggs.  Cook them as scrambled eggs and keep stirring until the eggs have formed a scrambled texture.
4.  Add the leeks and keep stirring.  The egg should dry out into little 'chunks'.  The leek does not take a lot of cooking.


1.  Take a dumpling skin and place about 2 small teaspoons of filling in the centre.
2.  Fold over and press the edges together firmly.

If you wanted to join them in other ways, just check youtube for different methods.  But making little half-circles is probably the easiest method.

The dumplings can be dropped into boiling water and cooked.  They do not take very long at all.  Keep a close eye.  All they need is the skin to go a little shiny or translucent, and to warm the filling through.  Pull out with a slotted spoon or wire scoop.

I prefer them steamed, to do this place in a steamer above boiling water.  This will keep the flavours fresh and strong.

They can also be fried in oil in a pan.  This turns them golden brown.  


Serve with a dipping sauce of soy, roasted garlic and chilli.  For more fun, also include chopsticks.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Back from China

Well, 6 weeks in China passed quickly in the end.  It was certainly the experience of a lifetime, and I spent a lot of time feeling either surrounded or lonely, or both.  But I learned a great deal about myself, about others, and generally what I have to be grateful for.  I had hoped to blog more while away, but the internet was slow, intermittent, and I had to keep setting up a virtual private network just to log in to blogger!
Beijing Night Food Market

The food was amazing.  Mostly.  My favourite thing was the roasted tofu, which was served up pretty much anytime I sat down to eat.  Vegetarians the world over get the same comments,
"How do you not eat meat?  You are missing out on some good food."

Well, given how many wonderful vegetarian options are available in China, no one needs to eat meat if they don't want to.  I was served gorgeous dumplings and wonderful soups, as well as my favourite new meal, Hot Pot.

We were staying up in Changchun, which is in Northern China, up near Mongolia, Russia and Korea.  The food has influences from all these areas, and becomes really spicy.  The town is famous for ginseng, and they try to sell it to tourists.  Then we came down to Beijing which was a completely different lifestyle and food.  Finally, Guangzhou, where everything was again tropical, and much more like food I am familiar with while overseas.

Over the next week or so, I will write up my food experiences in China.  I will be sharing my travel experiences on my other blog, "Beyond Island Hopping", so feel free to browse both.  And I'll be tagging the posts with "The China Experience" just to keep the series together.