Try your hand at these traditional Chinese dishes from three foodies to celebrate Chinese New Year with something a little bit special.
Try Kwan Ying's king prawns with ginger and garlic - find the recipe here.
Jiaozi dumplings recipe from Sam Sin at Koi Kitchen
Makes 30-35 dumplings
Takes 1hr 10 mins
250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
10 whole water chestnuts, finely diced
2 spring onions, finely chopped
500g pork mince
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil (optional)
½ tsp white pepper
15g fresh coriander, finely chopped
1 tbsp oil, for frying
For the dipping sauce:
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp Lee Kum Kee seasoned rice vinegar (Chinkiag black rice vinegar), or Worcester sauce or balsamic vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 chilli, finely chopped
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp grated ginger
- To make the dough, sift the flour into a large mixing bowl. Slowly stir in 130-150ml water, a little at a time, until you have a firm dough. Tip the dough onto a work surface and knead for 5 mins until smooth. Cover with a damp cloth or wrap in lightly oiled clingfilm and leave to rest for at least 15 mins.
- For the filling, mix the water chestnuts, spring onions and mince in a bowl. Stir in 1 tbsp soy sauce, sesame oil (if using), white pepper, and coriander until well combined.
- Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces and put 2 back under the cloth or clingfilm. Place the remaining piece on a lightly floured surface. Roll it into a 2.5cm-thick sausage, then cut this into pieces about 2cm long. Dust the pieces with flour, then squash each flat with the palm of your hand. Roll out to 10cm-wide circles and leave on a floured work surface. Stack the discs on top of each other while you continue to roll the rest of the mixture, keeping them very well-floured to prevent sticking.
- To shape the dumplings, hold one circle of dough in a lightly floured hand and put a heaped tsp of filling in the middle. Keeping one side flat, bring the other side of the dough to meet so you have a semi-circle shape. Make a pleated edge along the curved side by gently folding the 2 edges together, sealing well as you go. Place the finished dumpling on a floured tray and repeat with the other dumplings
- To cook the dumplings, follow the ‘fry-steam-fry’ method: coat a frying pan (with a tightly fitting lid) with oil. Place the dumplings in the pan and fry for 2-3 mins over a medium heat until the base is golden brown. Add about 5mm of boiling water to the pan, cover with the lid and steam the dumplings for 5 mins on a medium heat. Then uncover the pan to let the water cook off and crisp up the bottom of the dumplings.
- For the dumpling dipping sauce, whisk together all the ingredients in a jug or bowl. Serve in small bowls or ramekins with the dumplings. The dipping sauce will keep for 2-3 days in the fridge.
Tip: To make vegetarian dumplings, use firm tofu instead of the pork mince.
If you cannot find water chestnuts, use ¼ head of white cabbage, finely chopped, instead.
Aubergine box (茄盒qie he) recipe from Charlene at Liu Xiaomian
Prep time: 25 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins
140g plain flour
1 large egg, separated
500g pork mince
2.5cm fresh root ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 thick or 2 thin spring onions, finely chopped
2 ltrs vegetable or sunflower oil
For the dipping sauce:
- To make the batter, sieve the flour into a large bowl with a generous pinch of salt and make a well in the middle. Whisk the egg white and 180ml water into the flour until smooth, then leave to one side for 20 mins to rest.
- In another bowl, mix together the pork mince, ginger, spring onion, egg yolk and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Slice the aubergine into 5mm thick discs.
- Spoon 1-2 tbsp of the pork mince mixture on to one slice of aubergine and sandwich another slice on top. The pork layer should be roughly 1-2cm thick. Repeat until you’ve used up all the pork and aubergine, making roughly 18-20 filled sandwiches.
- Half fill a deep saucepan with the oil and heat it to 180°C. Dip each aubergine pork sandwich or “box” into the batter, making sure they’re completely coated, then carefully lower into the hot oil. You can fry 3-4 boxes at one time depending on the size of your pan.
- Fry for 2-3 mins on each side until golden brown. Make sure your oil stays around 180°C, if the heat does drop then you’ll need to cook your boxes for a minute or two more.
- Remove your boxes from the oil and keep warm on a plate lined with a couple of pieces of kitchen paper to soak up excess oil while you cook the rest.
- Serve with a dipping sauce of soy sauce or chilli oil.
This video was shot in January 2021 following COVID-19-compliant guidelines.