Category Archives: Dumplings

粽子 Sticky Rice Dumplings With Red Bean Paste Filling

I’ve made zong zi before. This time, I decided to make some with red bean paste filling.

Main ingredients:

big bamboo leaves

sticky rice

red bean paste

kitchen twine

Bamboo leaves should be soaked in water overnight. Cut off the leaf stalk before wrapping. Sticky rice should also be soaked for hours, I usually soak them overnight.

Use bamboo leaves (1 or 2 ) to make a funnel shape at one end. Add into 1 or 2  tbsp rice, then add in red bean paste as many as you want. 🙂 Top with another 1 tbsp rice. Cover it with the rest bamboo leaf and wrap with twine.

Boil them in pressure cooker for 30mins.

Yum! 🙂

I also tried to use sago instead of sticky rice. If you use sago, better not cook them with pressure cooker, cos sago is much easier to cook.

But I like sticky rice more, sticky rice taste more chewy.

Zong Zi Again!

There are still some bamboo leaves left in my fridge since last time I made zongzi (sticky rice dumplings). Last Wednesday was my resting day. No work, no need to go out. So I decided to use some to make Zongzi. And also because I really missed zongzi, could’t wait to have some.

This time, I only used sticky rice, no red bean. And for the filling, I went with the simplest one – red dates.

Only when I went to college in Fujian did I know that not all the people in China have simple zongzi with only sticky rice and red date inside. People in Fujian have the meat zongzi, with pork, mushroom, peanut, beans inside. And according to the different color, they call the meat ones Hongzong (red zongzi), and our simple ones Baizong (white zongzi).

After trying so many types of zongzi, simple white zongzi are the ones I miss most. And that’s why I decided to only make Baizong this time.

  1. Bamboo leave and sticky rice should be soaked in water for overnight.
  2. Prepare red dates, either dry ones or sweet preserved ones are OK. Cut off the  bamboo leaves’ stalk before wrapping.
  3. Use bamboo leaf to make a funnel shape. some rice first, then red date, and rice at last. Try to cover and wrap with the rest of leaf. And tie it with kitchen twine. Again I don’t care about zongzi’s shape. As long as it is tightly tied, it is a good zongzi to me. 🙂
  4. Boil for 3 hours.

If you make too many at a time like me, Please boil them before store them in freezer.

Oh~~~~I love them.

If you think they taste plain, you can even dip them in sugar first. I know some people in China have that customs.

To Make Your Dumplings Lace Skirt

As a native northern Chinese girl, I cannot express how much I love Dumplings in words. My husband is on a trip in China. Everyday he would ask me what I had for each meal. He knows my affection towards dumplings, so he ordered some online. Those dumplings were delivered to me the other day. They taste really good no matter boiled or fried.

One of my hobbies is reading recipes on my phone. There are many cooking apps. I like exploring in different recipes, picking some to try. I just happened to find this interesting recipe to dress dumplings with “lace skirt”. Yes! And I tried it. Just cooking for fun. 🙂

I followed the original recipe:

1. Boil dumplings till cooked. You can also choose to steam them or use the left overs.

2. In a bowl, mix water 40g, flour 5g, and very little salt. Mix well till no lumps.

3. Add 15g oil into the bowl. Mix well.

4. My cooking method is different from the original one: Heat a pan, place dumplings in it. When you hear the sizzling, pour flour water into the pan. Turn to low heat and wait till water dried up. The golden brown “lace skirt” will show up. While original recipe is to cook one by one and the “lace skirt” looks much better.

But mine is really crispy. 🙂

Fried Leek Dumplings

韭菜盒子 is a very popular snack in China. 韭菜 (jiu cai) means leek. 盒子 (he Zi) means box. I think it refers to the Dumplings’ shape.

It’s a quite easy dish to cook. Wrap is made from normal flour and water. Fillings maybe various. Most common combination is leek with egg. (You can also add in dried shrimps, or cooked vermicelli). My mom can make very nice fried leek dumplings. So I asked her about how to make the fillings. And she told me just in one sentence: half egg is raw and the other half is cooked. When my mom teaches me about cooking, her answer is always simplified and short, which is very very different from the mom I know in daily life. :p

I just followed my mom’s instruction. I fried one egg in pan. Then put it in chopped leek with another raw egg. Mix them very well. Season with salt, black pepper, 2 tsp cooked oil and 2 tsp sesame oil. Blend all filling ingredients well.

Divide dough into smaller ones. Just like making normal dumpling’s wrap by rolling pin. But this wrap should be thicker. Place one spoonful filling in the middle. Fold one end to the other. Press with finger.

Fry in low heat till bother sides turn golden brown.

Wanton Noodles

As a Chinese born and grew up in northern part of China, I’m very familiar with noodles. Yet, its very difficult for me to cook southern pattern noodles well, like rice noodle, Hokkien mee. I tried wanton noodles before and it didn’t turn out well. I guess the main reason is that I didn’t pay much attention to the difference between southern noodles and northern noodles. Northern noodles are more hard and thicker. They need more time to be cooked. That is completely different from southern ones.

I corrected my way of cooking wanton noodle this time.

Noodle was bought from supermarket and so was the wanton wrap.

1. Prepare the wanton filling:

Minced pork (100g), some shrimps ( around 10), 1 stalk spring onion, 1 small slice ginger, 3-4 water chestnut. Chop them together and let them be sticky to each other.

Put chopped pork and shrimp in a bowl. Mix in several whole shrimps. Add in 2 tsp light soy sauce, 1 tsp dark soy sauce, 1 tsp oyster sauce, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp sugar, 2 tsp sesame oil. Mix all well.

Put one spoonful filling in the middle of the wanton wrap. Then pinch the edges. If the wrap is easily to open up. You can dip your finger in water and brush the edge before pinch.

2. Boil a big pot of water. Add in one pinch of salt. Boil wantons for 5-8 mins. Then drain them.

3. Blanch noodles in the boiling water for 2 mins. Then soak them in cold water. In the boiling water for another minute. In the cold water again. And drain at last.

4. Put bai Choy in boiling water for 2 mins. And drain them.

5. In the plate, add in 1 tablespoon light soy sauce, 1 tsp dark soy sauce, 2 tsp oyster sauce, 2 tsp wanton Soup stock. Mix well.

6. Put drained noodle in the plate. Have a good mix with sauce.

7. Side the dish with wantons, bai choy and char siew. (I cooked dark sauce pork belly instead). Recipe:

My husband loved it very much. He suggested me to open a small restaurant some day after I retire or if I don’t want to continue doing my current work. 🙂

Pan-fried Crispy Bottom Dumplings

I love dumplings, whether they are boiled or fried.

This pan fried dumplings have very crunchy bottom with beautiful golden looks.

1. Brush oil in the pan.

2. Place dumplings ( I used frozen dumplings given by my mother in-law) in the pan.

3. Turn to medium heat. When the bottom turns lightly golden. Turn to low heat.

4. In a small bowl, mix starch and water, ratio should be 1:10.

5. Pour starch water slowly into pan. Stop when the water reaches about 1/3 height of dumpling.

6. Cover pan with lid.

7. When the water almost dry after several mins, remove lid. Turn to medium heat. Let the water dry completely. The turn off stove.

8. Take a big plate that can cover pan. Put the plate on the pan like a lid. Then switch them upside down to let dumplings drop into plate.


Chinese Dumplings

Dumplings are essential to most Chinese during Chinese New Year. I was born and grew up in northern part of China. And dumplings are always one of my favorite food.  

Making dumplings is not very easy but home made dumplings taste much better than the frozen ones bought from supermarket. When I was at home, my family made every part of dumplings, from dumpling skin to  dumpling filling. My dad or my mom or sometimes my sister could chop a big pieces of meat into minced one which is ideal for fillings. And my mom would chop vegetables to match with meat:

Pork with Chinese cabbage.

Pork with celery.

Pork with leek.

Pork with lotus root.

Beef with carrot.

Beef with radish.

Mutton with carrot.

Mutton with radish.


Leek with Tofu.

Leek with egg and Tofu.

Leek with vermicelli and Tofu.

Chinese cabbage with Tofu.

Chinese cabbage with vermicelli.

Actually, I don’t know how to make minced meat. So I just bought minced pork from supermarket. Then add in a little chopped spring onion, ginger, soy sauce, salt, black pepper, oyster sauce, seasame oil, and oil. Let the filling rest for a while before using.

Divide the dough into many small pieces. 

Use rolling pin to make them into thin dumpling skins. I don’t like dumpling skins sold in market. Cos when you boil the dumplings, it’s easy for them to get broken. 

Scoop filling onto the center of dumpling skin.

Then press the two ends together tightly.

Dip the bottom of dumplings into flour before place them aside.

Dumplings stuffed with meat needs longer time to be cooked. So have a taste to see if they are cooked before serving.

For the dip, you can try mixed garlic with soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame oil. If you don’t like garlic, you can just mix a little soy sauce, vinegar and sesame oil in a small bowl. Of course, if you want it to be spicy, you can try Chinese famous chili sauce Lao Gan Ma.
Seriously, I can have dumplings everyday without getting tired of them.

A Simple Japanese Cuisine Dinner: Soba & Fried Shishamo & Fried Dumplings

My husband loves soba, especially cold soba.

It’s very easy and quick to make cold soba.

1. Put soba in boiling water for 3 minutes.

2. Take soba out and soak in cold water. Then drain them.

3. Put several ice cubes on sushi mat. And put drained soba on ice.

4. Sprinkle some seaweed.

5. Eat with soba sacuce.

Fry Shishamo in pan till both sides turn golden brown.

There is a lot of eggs in shishamo’s belly, very tasty.

Soba, Shishamo and some fried dumplings make a simple and delicious Japanese dinner.

Quick Fried Dumplings

I love dumplings. Maybe because I come from northern part of China, I have an affection for dumplings. Every time I miss my hometown, I feel like having some dumplings.

Except commonly seen dumplings cooked in boiling water, another way is to fry them. 

It’s not complicted. And it’s also a quick and convenient dish, since I always buy some frozen dumplings in the fridge in case that I miss them or I feel tired and not like cooking.

1. Pour a little oil in the pan. ( non-stick pan) Swirl the pan a little to make the oil cover the whole pan.

2. Put the frozen dumplings ( freshly-made ones are also ok) in the pan. Better place them in order. 

In a square shape or circle.

3. Let dumplings stay in the pan and fry for a while. When their bottoms get golden brown, add in water to the height as tall as 1/3 height of the dumplings. Then cover the pan with lid.

4. After several minutes, water in the pan will become less. Before it’s almost dry, pour in some flour water. ( ratio should be flour: water=1:10) Sprinkle some black sesame and chopped spring onion as well.

Just wait till the water is dry with low heat.

Dumplings’ bottoms taste crunchy.