Jiaozi recipe (pan-fried pot sticker dumplings) by Dumplings Legend in Chinatown, London
Serving some of the best traditional dim sum in London, Dumplings’ Legend occupies a site on Gerrard Street, the main thoroughfare of London’s Chinatown. Owned by restaurateur Geoffrey Leong, whose family have founded many Chinese restaurants since the 1980s, Dumplings’ Legend’s menu features a diverse selection of dishes encouraging customers to explore various regions of China. From classic Cantonese pig’s trotters in a post box-red sauce, to Xinjian style lamb rampant with cumin, to Sichaun soup with sea bass and numbing Sichuan peppercorns. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the restaurant’s name, the dim sum selection is the main draw here: both sizeable and superlative, particularly during lunch service (as is traditional). Soupy xiao long bao with various fillings (best of all, spicy pork) are joined by the likes of pillow char siu bao, delicate har gau resembling scallop shells, or pan-fried and steamed jiaozi.
Crescent-shaped savoury dumplings, jiaozi are typically boiled or steamed, considered lucky as they look like Chinese ingots, which are boat-shaped, oval, and turned up at the two ends. Here, Geoffrey Leong provides his recipe for the pork-filled jiaozi dumplings that he offers, along with a whole bounty of other dumplings at Dumplings Legend.
This jiaozi recipe produces around 60-70 dumplings but can be scaled down accordingly, providing the filling is kept to around 25 grams per dumpling (approximately a spoonful). Although they require some fiddly preparation, jiaozi are an impressive dish to prepare at home, taking fewer than ten minutes to cook, once prepared. Simply serve with a soy sauce or vinegar dipping sauce, and some freshly chopped red chilli.
- Clean cloth for straining
- 1 kg mixture of minced pork and pork belly finely chopped
- 400 g Chinese cabbage finely chopped
- 100 g carrots finely chopped
- 150 g water chestnuts finely chopped
- 50 g bamboo shoots finely chopped
- 30 g chive shoots finely chopped
- 2 tsp salt
- 6 tsp sugar
- 4 tsp corn powder
- 1 tsp chicken stock powder
- 1 tsp Chinese Shao Hsing white wine
- 1 tsp oyster sauce
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 2 tsp sesame seed oil
- 100 ml chicken stock
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- 70 white round dumpling wrappers available in East Asian stores in Chinatown, London
- Soy sauce
- Rice wine vinegar
- Red chilli finely chopped
- Put the finely chopped cabbage, bamboo shoots, carrots, water chestnuts and chives into a thin white clean cloth and squeeze out all of the excess water. In a large mixing bowl, mix the squeezed finely chopped vegetables with the minced pork meat and chopped pork belly. Season well and mix thoroughly. Leave for an hour in the fridge before use.
- Get a dumpling wrapper (method below or store bought) and fill the middle with a spoonful of the filling (around 25g per dumpling), leaving space around the outside of the wrapper so the filling does not fall out.
- Now, the Jiaozi fold. Hold the dumpling gently using your two fingers and a thumb, then applying the pressure of the fingers, fold them in half to close. Use your left hand finger to push the skin closed against the thumb around the edge.
- Then, form a pleat in the centre of the dumpling wrapper. One side at a time, form pleats moving into the centre. Make sure that the pleats are pressed together tight all around to make sure there is no leaking of the filling and the dumpling is completely closed. Keep your hands a little wet, so they do not stick.
- Heat a large pan with 3 tablespoons of oil. Place the dumplings with the folding facing up. Ensure each dumpling is sitting separately on the pan and not stacked.
- Turn the heat up for one minute to crisp one side, then drain the oil and add the chicken stock so the dumplings are submerged in the stock. Turn the heat to simmer for 4 minutes.
- Using tongs, take the dumplings out onto a plate. Drain the pan and add the oil back in and fry the folded side for 1 minute again.
- Ready to serve – serve with a soy sauce or vinegar dipping sauce and some freshly chopped red chilli.
Further information on Dumplings’ Legend and Chinatown London can be found here.
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