Colourful Dumplings

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It is Chinese New Year and we are entering the Year of Green Wood Horse.  Gong Xi Fa Chi everyone! Now will the year of the horse be lucky for you? Well that depends on what Chinese animal you are and how the elements align. I for one am an Ox, and hubby is a Monkey and of course my little angels are Rats. What animal are you? Would you like to find out what Chinese horoscope you are? Chinese Astrology Online have some great horoscopes and information.

Since it is Chinese New Year what better way to celebrate than dumplings! Have you thought of making your very own? It is easy but time consuming so don’t think it will be a quick thing to organise. Making the dough, and getting the stuffing is easy, it just takes ages to put it all together. I was so happy to sit down and have a drink after I finished. I then left the steaming and organising to hubby as I had enough and was ready to eat my wonderful colourful creations.

Colourful dumplings waiting to be cooked

Colourful dumplings waiting to be cooked

Ingredients to make the wrapper:

  • 3 cups of plain flour
  • 1 tea spoon of oil
  • 2-3 cups of water. 1 cup hot and the others luke warm. If you wish to add colour to the dough make the water be carrot juice or beetroot juice. I made the dough and separated it into 3 lots, so to have different colours. In hindsight, I should have done smaller batches of the dough and made the colour from scratch while making the dough. Doing it the long way round meant having to add more flour and most likely weaker colours. My dough from the carrot juice was more yellow and not orange, and the beetroot one was more of a pink not a deep reddish colour.
My different coloured dough for the wrappers. Beetroot on left, Carrot in middle and Plain on right

My different coloured dough for the wrappers. Beetroot on left, Carrot in middle and Plain on right

Ingredients for the stuffing of the dumpling:

  • Chicken Mince if you would like them to be meat based, if not just add vegetables.
  • 1 Carrot & 1 cucumber grated or finely chopped. I chose to grate them as it gives a finer consistency and allows it to fit better in the wrapper.
  • Finely slicked shallots
  • Some coriander, just a sprinkling to give a bit of flavour
  • Soy Sauce
  • Chilli flakes
  • A little bit of cornflour to hold the mixture together. Say a spoonful or so. Mix it and see if it needs a bit more.
  • If you fancy other things to add to the mixture give it a go. You can be creative as you like and if you have certain things in the fridge use them and see what you can create.

Sauce

  • Soy Sauce
  • Dumpling Sauce
  • Rice wine vinger
  • Chilli flakes or fresh cut chilies

Method

Make dough, then get stuffing organised. Make sure to have a cool tea towel over the dough so it does not dry out. Once ready, section off parts of the dough and create little pancakes ready for the stuffing to sit into. See image below.

Adding the stuffing to the wrapper

Adding the stuffing to the wrapper

Once you have the right amount on the wrapper, pull the end up and tweak it so it becomes a little parcel. I am not the best at doing this and my dumplings are not all the same size as you are meant to do. Although it did not cause a problem.  The only thing that can go wrong is that ingredients might not cook and it could be too doughy due to it being too big. So be careful.

Once all done I lined them up on grease proof paper on a tray to make life easier. Once all complete they were then transferred to the steaming pots.

Waiting to be cooked. I'm super hungry now after making them.

Waiting to be cooked. I’m super hungry now after making them.

All cooked and ready to eat.

All cooked and ready to eat.

I hope you enjoy your Chinese New Year meals and maybe this has inspired you to cook your own dumplings. Enjoy!

Thanks to Mauvo.com, you can download some free colouring in sheets for the kids so they can celebrate Chinese New Year as well.  Colouring in always helps keeps my kids occupied and learn about events as well.

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