This is the first time making dumplings all by myself since...when I was dumped out of mom's belly. The reason is to share the Chinese culture and the feelings deeply in the soul with my beloved one. The video above is made by my favorite home chef, who is originally from Xi'an, the ancient capital of China. She is living in Canada now. I tried to follow her instruction. Here is what happened.
Place flour in a large bowl. A large bowl makes kneading way easier. Add water at 60% of flour weight. Xiaogaojie (Sister Gao) used 400 grams of flour and 240 grams of water. I cut it in third. She adds salt, I forgot. The dough is kneaded till smooth, then is covered with a shower cap to rest until the stuffing is made.
To make chicken stuffing, the chicken breast is sliced while half frozen, which makes cutting easier. After that, the pieces are cut into strips then chopped into little cubes. You can use a grinder if you have one.
What's after the cubes? Bang bang bang, smash smash smash until the breast turns into ground chicken. Transfer the mess into a bowl, add soy sauce, salt, egg, pepper, and your favorite spice to taste. Stir in one direction vigorously until the mixture is sticky, about 2 minutes. This step enhances a chewy yet silky texture.
Before the dough is mixed, I added a little salt in chopped cabbage to let it sit. In the second picture, you can see how much water comes out of cabbage for the sake of salt. Squeeze as much water from the cabbage as you can, place into ground chicken. The stuffing feels tighter without that much water in the cabbage.
For some extra taste, some leak and a table spoon full of olive oil is added to the stuffing. Stir in one direction till the mixture is smooth and well mixed.
Take the dough out of its nap, poke a hole in the middle, break it into a strip, roll the strip thin, cut into small pieces, the size of 1 table spoon, a chest nut, or a small brussels sprout. Roll them into little rounds.
With a rolling pin, roll each ball into a thin wrap. Place stuffing in the middle of a wrap, turn it into a dumpling or whatever shape you'd prefer.
Turn on stove to medium low, pour a little oil to coat the pan, place dumplings with a little space in between, add 1/4 cup of water in the pan. Cover and let steam until dumplings are cooked. The video say to steam for 5-6 minutes. I cooked them for 20 minutes on low heat since the dumplings are filled with way too much raw stuffing. After 20 minutes, the dumplings are turned upside down to let the other surface brown some more for about 1 minute. Serve with dumpling vinegar or your favorite sauce. My family prefers teriyaki sauce. After all the work, what do you say? Sharpen your tools!