13.10.08

Gyoza (Guo Tie) - the Chinese dumplings II




To answer the question of what Guo Tie (Pot or Wok Stickers) are, here I am. I'm not too sure about the history of Guo Tie (or Jiao Zi as they are known in China) as it is traditionally eaten in China way back when the civilization started (that's some 5,000 years ago!). Jiao Zi and not Guo Tie are traditionally eaten on Chinese Lunar (Chinese use the Lunar calendar that follows that Lunar pattern instead of Solar) New Year. They signify Unity (Family) which is an important concept in the Chinese culture especially during the festive seasons.

My mum actually learnt how to make the dish from a Chinese friend of hers. And ever since, we stop buying the wrappers (skin) from the market as fresh skin is much tender! (See my previous post for recipe.)

Fillings-wise, the traditional Chinese recipe calls for Minced Pork and Cabbages (if I'm not wrong Tianjin Bai Cai.. a type of Chinese cabbage which is extremely sweet). Over the years, I have subsituted the ingredients with others and still produce the same delicious dumplings (sometimes even leftover ham). So I believe there is no hard and fast rule to what should be included. It can be adjusted to one's taste and preference for any sort of meat.. Pork (Pork and Beef mix), Lamb, Chicken (was popular in Singapore during the "Pork scare") and even Fish (it's more delicious and healthier!!!).

For seasoning, using Chinese ingredients will yield better results. So use a generous amount of light soy sauce (about a tablespoon), a teaspoon of Salt (to increase the flavour... bland Guo Tie taste awful!), Pepper, Sesame Oil. These are the basic ingredients.

You can vary the dish by replacing the Chinese cabbage with ordinary cabbage, add some shredded Carrots, a few stalks of Green Spring Onions, diced Ham or even spice it up with shredded Ginger.

For my secret ingredient which always adds extra flavour to this dish.. Shallots! Yeap. Simple as that. Diced up some Shallots (or Onions if you can't get any). Fry them in Oil till they are nicely caramelized (golden brown). Add them to the meat. Et voila! Lovely lovely!

I hope you can experiment with how to wrap the meat in the skin if not, do check around the web for some step by step instructions as it can be a pretty Sticky situation.

To cook these dumplings, simply fry them off in a pan or cook them off in the soup. Serve with a dipping sauce. Traditionally it served with Black Vinegar and Shredded Ginger. Or if you do not like Black Vinegar like me, simple use Light Soy Sauce!

That's it! Have fun wrapping the Dumplings!

2 comments:

BK said...

Wow your Guo Tie look really great! I must have some when you are back. ;)

Hey, I have an award for you, you may pick it up at my blog. See you soon! :)

SheR. said...

Hee hee BK.
No probs. That plate of Guo Tie is only enough for my fiance you know! Hahah.. He loves them so much. He asks for them all the time. But I only can make them when I'm in the mood for it. :P