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dumplings… or should i say jiaozi...


growing up, dumplings were always the best thing about some of the soups that my mum used to make. chicken and vegetable soup with fluffy dumplings was a comforting dream of a dish. i still occasionally indulge myself but all too often chicken stock and leftovers get turned into a healthier miso broth which is served with noodles.

however, i have a new plan – chinese dumplings! in honour of the recent chinese new year celebrations i have been looking east for inspiration and i made up a couple of batches of jiaozi. both were scented with ginger and spring onion but half were a combination of pork mince and prawn while the others were prawn and wood ear mushroom. both were served in broth made from good homemade prawn stock and both were delicious.

i’m now planning an afternoon making up several batches of dumplings which can be frozen and then quickly served in broth, steamed or shallow-fried. my cooking mojo is back, with a bang, and it’s all thanks to dumplings!


jiaozi (makes c20 dumplings – 2 main courses, 4 starters)

prawn and mushroom dumplings:

50g dried chinese wood ear mushrooms

150g raw prawns, cleaned and roughly chopped

1 large spring onion, finely chopped

1 teaspoon grated ginger

1 tablespoon rice wine

1 tablespoon light soy sauce

2 teaspoons cornflour

18-25 wonton or gyoza wrappers


500ml prawn stock*

½ small chinese leaf cabbage (or baby spinach/ pak choi)

1-2 tablespoons chinese rice vinegar and light soy sauce, to taste

2 spring onions, sliced

soak the mushrooms in boiling water until soft. discard any woody bits and break into small pieces. mix with the remaining dumpling ingredients. place a teaspoon of mixture in the centre of a dumpling wrapper, brush the edges with water and bring them together to seal the dumpling around the filling, trying to avoid air bubbles.

put the stock in a pan and bring to the boil. add the dumplings one at a time and cook for 5 minutes until they float to the surface. add the chinese leaf, vinegar and soy sauce, cooking for 2 minutes. serve in warm bowls and garnish with spring onion.

* to make this, use old prawn heads and shells (i freeze these every time i shell raw prawns) – melt some butter in a pan, add a diced carrot and a diced onion. when they are soft add the prawn shells and cook for 5 minutes over a medium heat. add the water and simmer for 15-20 minutes. strain and cool, removing the solid fat as it cools.

alternative dumpling filling:

150g pork mince

150g raw prawns, cleaned and roughly chopped

1 large spring onion, finely chopped

1 teaspoon grated ginger

1 tablespoon rice wine

1 tablespoon light soy sauce

2 teaspoons cornflour

add 100g sliced shitake mushrooms to the broth, with the cabbage.

Reader Comments (10)

Abby, I like the idea of adding these dumplings to the soup. Both stuffings sound great and if you were here I'd ask you to make me some of that soup to help ease my runny nose SNIFF!
February 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMeeta
I love adding dumplings to soup -- I've been making huge pots of spinach and vegetable soup in a chicken broth, and when I want to turn it into a more substantial meal I pull some dumplings from the freezer and add them to individual bowls of the soup. Thanks for sharing your recipes.
February 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLydia (The Perfect Pantry)
oh meeta,i'm sorry you're still suffering from that cold - i'd happily make you some soup if you were a bit nearer!

lydia - huge pots of your soup sounds just perfect (it's a chilly day in london,today), dumplings or not.
February 15, 2008 | Registered Commenterabby
I made these the other day but we scoffed them without the soup. I now need to return to the chinese supermarket to buy some more wrappers.
February 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHippolyra
hi hippolyra - i may see you in the chinese supermarket as i need to stock up too!
February 17, 2008 | Registered Commenterabby
these sound delicious - will have to try them!
February 19, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermaureen
I'm in a dumpling mode this time, yours look lovely. Glad we're partners :)

February 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterA scientist in the kitchen
you must both try them!

gay - i've chosen which recipe of yours i'm going to make and can't wait to try it - it'll be my first foray into filipino cooking!
February 20, 2008 | Registered Commenterabby
It was late, we were tired: we used frozen dumplings bought from our local Chinese supermarket, but followed the rest of the recipe but with home-made chicken stock as we had chicken dumplings. In our defence, we did use home-grown Pak Choi !
July 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterIan
home grown pak choi is very impressive ian, and more than makes up for all the short-cuts (which are entirely sensible on a late, tired evening)!
July 13, 2010 | Registered Commenterabby

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