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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Vegetarian Jiaozi (Potstickers)

After successfully making Baozi (steamed meat buns) I imagined that the Jiaozi (potstickers) wouldn't be so tough to make.  Actually, they're pretty quick to make if you have the dumpling wrappers on hand.  I didn't have enough time to make my own dough, but the packaged dough works very well, and the ingredients are not a long list of unpronounceable words.  They have wheat flour, water,and tapioca flour, and salt.  Nothing else added (which is pretty amazing).
I decided to make a vegetarian version since I didn't get around to buying turkey and grinding it myself.  You can't buy packaged ground turkey in France, only pork and sometimes veal.
Anyway, usually vegetarian Chinese versions call for tofu, but since tofu isn't really as healthy as it is publicized to be, I subbed in some homemade paneer.  It is a bit more firm in texture than tofu, but otherwise is a perfect substitute and a good source of protein.  Most importantly, I always have some on hand.
Yield 30 Jiaozi
30 dumpling wrappers
small saucer cold water for assembly
drizzle of oil for cooking
1/4 cup water for cooking
200g paneer, diced
1 tsp doubanjiang (Pixian broad bean chili paste)
1 clove garlic, grated
1 inch ginger, trated
1 tsp light soy sauce
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tsp vegetable oil
3 Tbsp chopped scallions
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
Dipping Sauce:
1 1/2 Tbsp light soy sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp black vinegar
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ginger powder
1/4 tsp sugar
1.  Make the filling.  In a bowl, mix all the filling ingredients together.  You don't want them to be dry.  Add a drizzle of water if it gets too crumbly.
2.  Assemble.  Place about 1 to 1 1/2 tsp filling in the center of the dumpling wrapper.  Dip one finger into the water saucer and slide it around the edges of the wrapper.
To fold, keep one edge straight and fold the other edge into it making ruffles.  Make sure to pinch the seams together so that the filling is sealed.  It took me a while to get the hang of the folding.  Do not overstuff or you will not be able to fold.  The ruffles are optional but I like the way they look.
3.  Cook.  In a wide flat heavy based non stick pan, brush the bottom with a bit of oil and heat to high heat.  Line each dumpling into the pan so they do not touch.  Grill this way about 1 minute, then turn them to another side and grill another minute.
When two sides have colored, add about 1/4 cup water.  Be careful as the pan is super hot and the water may jump out and burn you.
Reduce the heat, cover and cook for another 5 minutes or until the water is gone.
4.  Make the dipping sauce.  Mix all the dipping sauce ingredients together.

Ready to eat!  Using chopsticks, take one jiaozi, dip it, and insert into mouth.
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