No doubt, on many occasions, you have seen in the freezer in the Chinese emporium packets of dumpling skins or jiaozi wrappers & you have moved on to the soy sauce - thinking they would require a technique acquired only by long years of practice. Wrong!
Chinese dumplings or jiaozi are the easiest cheffy thing you will ever do and a foolproof way to put a restaurant plate on your home table.
Here's how to do it.
Take the wrappers out of the freeze an hour before you wish to make the jiaozi and let them thaw in the packet. Meanwhile take 400g of scallops and seperate them from their roes and dice them into really small pieces. Finely chop a long red chilli and a half bunch of coriander and mix them together and stir the scallops through.
Take a dumpling wrapper and place a scant teaspoon full of the mixture in the centre. Wet your finger in a cup of water and run it around the outside 1/2cm of the wrapper wetting it and press the circle into a half moon.
That's it. No need for fancy tucking or crimping. No dextrous fingerwork required. The wet edges of the surprisingly dry and floury wrappers stick together very easily and very conclusively.
Do about 8 per person and stack them (as pictured) on to a lightly floured board as you go just to stop any wet edges sticking.
Meanwhile saute half an onion and a couple of cloves of chopped garlic in a little olive oil in a small saucepan and add the scallop roes, crushing them up with a spoon. Then add 60ml of Pernod and reduce slightly, cooking off the alcohol, before adding 150ml of thickened cream and bring to the boil then back it off.
Simmer the sauce gently and stir occasionally and then blend it with an in pot blender or push it through a chinoise with a wooden spoon (or pass it through a mouli), and then return it to a clean pan and keep it warm on a low heat.
Bring a largish pan of water to the boil just as if cooking spaghetti and then back it off to a simmer. Put the dumplings in 6 at a time and when they come to the surface move them around for a minute and lift them out with a spider.
That's it. Keep them warm in a 100C oven while you do the others and then serve the jiaozi on warm plates drizzled with the scallop roe sauce. Delicious and so delicate. The scallop is just cooked through and translucent and the coriander and chilli a perfect blend of flavours. The heady fragrance of the Pernod and scallop roe sauce is a balancing influence. 美味的
So what's keeping you?