I was given a packet of gyoza wrappers by my neighbour today. Yup, the same one who always gives me food. I thanked her profusely because she had unknowingly helped answer the million-dollar question on my mind, "What are we having for dinner tonight?" Mommies (or Daddies) who cook for the family will empathise. Some days, you just don't feel like stepping into the kitchen.
Today was one such day. I was in half a mind to buy back dinner, but then the thought of sizzling hot Guo Tie tempted me like the forbidden fruit. And I caved in.
*hangs head in shame*
Hey, you can't blame me, really. These are mean little parcels of YUM. Known as Guo Tie / Gyoza / Pot Stickers (until Teflon came along), they all refer to the same thing: juicy, succulent dumplings!
What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
Bet The English Bard never in his life expected those lines to apply to dumplings ;P
So, making the filling was the easy part. I made 2 versions: pork + prawn and cabbage + leek. It took only 20mins to prepare them.
For Pork + Prawn
- Add finely chopped water chestnuts, minced garlic, spring onions to minced pork and fresh prawns (chopped up into bits).
- Season everything with soy sauce, fish sauce, corn flour and sesame oil.
For Cabbage + Leek
- Salt the cabbage first (about 1/2 tbsp salt for every handful of shredded cabbage) ... yes THAT much salt! The salt will draw the water out from the cabbage.
- Wait 15 mins before squeezing out all the water from the cabbage (you do NOT want moisture in your dumplings otherwise they will turn soggy).
- Add water chestnuts to squeeze-dried cabbage and shredded leeks.
- Season with sesame oil.
And that was the easy part. Now, on to the tedious bit - the wrapping of the Guo Tie! No wonder dim sum restaurants charge an exorbitant S$5+++ for a plate of 4. I wrapped for a good 45mins and produced a paltry yield of 24 dumplings.
Pork + Prawn meets Cabbage + Leek ... like playing Reversi.
"Dumplings huddled for a pow wow," I thought to myself while photographing this. Sometimes, I amuse myself to no end *cue hysterical laugh*.
For the dipping sauce, julienne some ginger finely, and add them to a saucer of black vinegar. Check out the lovely hue of jade visible from the translucent dumpling skin!
Well, the Guo Tie turned out surprisingly good, especially the vegetarian one. It was crunchy and sweet, thanks to the winning combo of cabbage, leek and water chestnuts. Heavenly! In fact, we all preferred it over the nice-but-predictable meat version. Hurray! Another vegetarian dish the family can all enjoy.
But for now, I need a good scrub to get that grease out of my hair before giving my achy breaky back a good rest. Would you pay $30+++ (~ S$35.60) for 24 dumplings? I'm mulling over that one.