Tuesday, February 16, 2010


大家好!欢迎你们看这些中国很好吃的东西: 胡萝卜鸡蛋饺子!

Ok, so unless you are one of very few Chinese-speaking people I know of who read this blog, the above will have ranged from a series of boxes to some cool but undecipherable symbols. However, as some of you may know, Sunday was the Chinese New Year, and it is now officially the Year of the Tiger. Over at the school where I work there's been a lot of fuss over it, which has been cute--lots of kids cutting out red lanterns and writing baby calligraphy and the like. There are many, many traditions surrounding the Chinese New Year, and one of them is eating dumplings, because they are shaped like old Chinese money. Since the New Year celebration is in many ways focused on gaining luck for the year to come, it's only natural that money-shaped foods would be common.

When I lived in China two years ago, there was a restaurant around the corner from my school that my friends and I called "Dumpling Restaurant" because that was basically all they served. My favorite dumplings had a carrot and egg filling. Last year, I tried to make these, and it didn't go so well, but this year I was determined to get it right. And I did!! Incredibly, they're not even all that difficult or time-consuming. I've not been this psyched about a kitchen adventure for awhile, and coming from me that's saying something. So, without further adieu....

胡萝卜鸡蛋饺子- Huluobo Jidan Jiaozi- Carrot Egg Dumplings
(Disclaimer: This recipe was more improvised than usual, and thus the ingredients are less specific than usual. But I swear it works.)

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup rice flour (Note: most recipes I saw online didn't call for rice flour, so it's probably fine if you use all wheat. But I found that the rice flour made a more elastic as well as tasty dough).
  • dash salt
  • water as needed
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 1 scallion, minced
  • 1 in. ginger grated on the small side of the grater
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 TBS sesame seeds
  • dash of soy sauce
  • dash of rice vinegar
  • small dash of sesame oil
  • pinch of coriander
  • pinch of white pepper
  • pinch of black pepper
  • small pinch sugar
  • drizzle of mirin (sweetened sake. use whatever sweetener, really).
  • drizzle of chili oil
Dipping Sauce
  • 1 seeded, finely chopped thai pepper (or whatever spice. That's just what we had).
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • generous glug or two of rice vinegar
  • dash ginger powder
  • dash soy sauce
  • small dash sesame oil
  • drizzle of mirin (Or some other sweetener.)

The Wrapper
  • Combine the flours and salt and mix in enough water (in small amounts) to get a soft but not sticky dough.
  • Knead the dough in the bowl for a minute or two and leave it for half an hour.
  • After you prepare the filling (below), break off small pieces of dough (between nickel and quarter sized, I found) and roll them, flouring as needed, into very thin circles--close to translucent, if possible. We found that a rolling pin worked best for this, but you can try your hands if you like.
  • Fill the circles with just enough filling so that the wrappers can close easily. You might mess a couple up figuring the exact amount out; don't worry about it. Put the filling in the center of each circle, dab a little water on the edge, and fold the wrapper in half, using the water to help close it. Pleat the edges to seal.
The Filling
  • Scramble the eggs with some of the salt, a pinch of both peppers and coriander, and perhaps a fifth of the ginger and garlic. Make sure to scramble them until they're quite dry.
  • Put the eggs into a bowl and mix all the other ingredients in, adding spice as needed. Break the egg up into little pieces. I found my hands were the best instrument for this.
  • Once you fill the wrappers (see above), steam for 12-15 minutes, or until the wrappers turn sorta transparent and taste wonderfully chewy. A bamboo steamer is best for this, but we don't have one, so instead we used a metal colander placed over a few inches of boiling water. Our method of keeping the dumplings from sticking to each other--strips of wax paper between each dumpling--worked marginally well. It's sort of astounding how possible it is to improv in the kitchen. Serve with dipping sauce (below).
The Sauce
  • Mix everything together in a small bowl and taste it. It should be spicy and good. This was basically my attempt to recreate and combine the little bowls of vinegar, hot sauce, and minced garlic that accompanied all of my Chinese dumplings.
Enjoy. A lot. And once again, Happy New Year! 新年快乐!

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