This recipe suits me be it the preparation method or the shaping of the dumplings and as such, it is a good and simple recipe for new house chefs. As for the shape, it is not my invention but a guotie shape common in China especially the Shandong Province.
We tend to use guotie (pot stickers – 锅贴) and jiaozi (steamed or boiled dumplings 饺子) interchangeably and most readers will think that pan fried jiaozi are guotie. Technically there are slight differences. If you pan fried water boiled or steamed jiaozi, it should be called pan fried jiaozi aka 煎饺 or jianjiao instead of guotie
Besides the differences in the cooking method (steaming/boiling vs. pan frying), guotie traditionally are shaped differently from the jiaozi and it did not seal the the whole dumpling.
Jiaozi is usually shaped in the ingot shape, seal completely to prevent meat juices losses during the cooking process. On the other hand, there is no need to seal the guotie, as all the meat juices will flow out and sip by the guotie crust after it is cooked thus make the guotie crust more tasty.In addition, if there are too much meat juices trapped inside the guotie, the bottom will take a long time to become crispy.
As it is a pan fry process, it cannot be too tall and thick as it will be difficult to cook the meat, as such, one of the common shape of guotie is like those in this illustration though there are slight variations in between different Chinese cities.
The first part of the preparation (dough kneading and filling preparation) is the same as jiaozi. I already have a recipe for jiaozi using machine kneading , ingot shaped but with cabbage meat filling and for this recipe, I have decided to share the chives fillings and use the home friendly method that need no mixer. This method is much easier and a method commonly used by the Chinese households in China. For the Jiaozi recipe, you can refer here: Let’s Not Have Rice Today–Chinese Dumplings or Jiaozi (包菜饺子）or clicking the picture below.
You may or may not have notice that guoties are usually served with the bottom up and that is totally different from the serving of jiaozi. One of the reasons is to show the beautiful crispy bottom of the guotie but the more important point is that with its bottom facing up, it will provide more air and have less chance for the meat juices to dampen the crispiness of the bottom and hence affect the texture of the guotie. Guotie when served in the restaurant are supposed to have a crispy bottom and that is one of the attractiveness of eating this special shaped dumpling.
“Guotie (simplified Chinese: 锅贴; traditional Chinese: 鍋貼; pinyin: guōtiē; literally: “pot stick”) is pan-fried jiaozi, also known as potstickers in North America (a direct character translation), or yaki-gyoza in Japan. They are a Northern Chinese style dumpling popular as a street food, appetizer, or side order in Chinese. The filling for this dish usually contains pork (sometimes chicken, or beef in Muslim areas), cabbage (or Chinese cabbage and sometimes spinach), scallions (spring or green onions), ginger, Chinese rice wine or cooking wine, and sesame seed oil. Guotie are shallow-fried in a wok (Mandarin “guo”). A small quantity of water is added and the wok is covered. While the base of the dumplings is fried, the upper part is steamed and this gives a texture contrast typical of Chinese cuisine.” (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jiaozi#Guotie)
WHAT IS REQUIRED
Servings: About 30 guo ties
- 500 grams of plain flour
- 240 grams of warm water
- Pinches of salt
- 500 grams of minced pork
- 200 grams of prawns, cut into big pieces
- 200 grams of chives, chopped
- 2 tablespoons of lard or cooking oil or sesame oil
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon of corn flour
- 2 tablespoons of minced ginger garlic paste
- Pinches of salt
- Dashes of white pepper
- 1 teaspoon of chicken stock powder
- Some shredded ginger
- Some Zhenjiang black vinegar (镇江香醋）
- Some chilli oil
- 2 tablespoons of plain flour mixed with 1.5 cups of water
- Adequate oil for pan frying
STEPS OF PREPARATION
- In a mixing bowl, put the flour and salt. Add the warm water and use a chopstick to stir until it resemble a crumble form. Use hand to knead until it forms a pliable dough. There is no need to knead until a very smooth dough. After resting, the dough will become smooth. The most it will take 5 minutes to knead the dough.
- Cover the dough with a piece of wet cloth and let it rest for at least 15 minutes. The longer the resting, the easier it is to handle the dough subsequently. The dough will become softer and smoother. Again, there is no need to have a smooth dough as you will be rolling the dough.
- Meanwhile, put all the filling ingredients into a big mixing bowl, stir in one direction until it forms a sticky mass.
- In a work surface heavily dusted with corn flour or plain flour, shape the dough in a long cylindrical shape and use knife to cut the dough into smaller pieces (about 15-20 grams) .
- For each dough, use palm to press down so that it forms a round shape.
- Take one piece and use a rolling pin to roll the dough as thin and as round as you want. As a guideline, a 1-2 mm thickness is acceptable. Sprinkle more flour to avoid sticking. Get ready all the dough before the wrapping process and remember to dust adequate flour in between the rolled dough.
- Take one piece of the dough, put a tablespoon full of fillings and shape the fillings into an oblong shape. Pull up 2 sides and seal the meeting part. There is no need to seal both ends of the dumpling which is a characteristic of guotie.
- Mix 2 tablespoons of plain flour with 1.5 cups of plain water. Stir until well mixed. This is an estimation and it depends on the size of your frying pan. You can always made more if it is not enough. This will help to provide a crispier bottom and may connect the guotie together.
- Heat up a greased frying pan and arrange the guotie on the frying pan. Leave some spaces in between to avoid sticking to each other. Pan fry under medium heat for 2-3 minutes until the bottom is slightly cooked.
- Add the flour water prepared above such that it reaches about 1/4 height of the guotie. Cover the frying pan and bring the water to boil. Once it boils, reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer until the dough is cooked . You will know it is cooked when it looks translucent. Estimated timing is 3-4 minutes.
- Once the top part of the dough become translucent , open the lid and let the water evaporate until it dries up. After the water dries up, you can drizzle some cooking oil and continue to pan fry until the bottom becomes crispy.
- Guotie is best served immediately after pan frying and served with black vinegar ginger dip. To prepare the condiment, just add shredded ginger with chilli oil and the black vinegar,stir until well mixed.
After you read the recipe, are you confident to prepare guotie now? Well, the only slightly more difficult part is the rolling of the dough into round shape . Do not worry, when you shape the guotie, any excess crust due to imperfect rolling can be cut off by scissors. If you are still not confident, get some store bought pastry but the only thing I am worried that the store version can be very thin. Guotie is supposed to be a one dish meal and therefore the ratio of the crust and the fillings need to be appropriate. Well, i will leave this to the readers as some may opt for low carb diet nowadays.
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