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No-Pleat Chicken Dumplings

A Chinese New Year gift: less pleating, more eating!

I write this from the comfort of my sofa, still nursing a full belly from the last couple of days of (over)eating. My eyes always seem to be bigger than my stomach when it comes to Chinese/Lunar New Year celebrations. I find it hard to resist just ‘one more piece’ of silky steamed fish, or ‘one last bite’ of aromatic roast duck.

Sadly this year we weren’t able to attend the New Year’s Eve reunion dinner at home in New Zealand. As per usual, Mum and Dad went a little overboard. Check out the extraordinary spread below, and note that the photo doesn’t even show the desserts(!).

🎉🎊This is the Chinese New Year Eve reunion dinner at home in NZ that we missed out on! 😭 #yearoftherooster #lunarnewyear #chinesenewyear #dumplings #roastduck #prawns

A post shared by Amy & Julie Zhang (@dumplingsisters) on

The New Year’s Eve dinner kicks off the 15-day Spring Festival, which ends with the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the Lunar calendar. After the first few days of (almost competitive!) eating, I still want to celebrate the Spring Festival with Chinese food, but I become somewhat… lazier. I feel like I need a break from patiently jabbing pork belly with a multi-spiked stabby tool in order to get the perfect crackling on my roast pork. I find it harder to muster the energy to go to the fishmonger and find the perfect, whole fish to steam with ginger and spring onions. And even though they’re supposed to be one of the luckiest foods to eat during the Festival, and also our namesake(!), there’s only so many dumplings a Dumpling Sister can pleat!

That’s why I decided to make no-pleat dumplings for lunch today. You might have already tried our signature recipe for full-on, made-from-scratch potsticker dumplings, or perhaps you’ve had a go making our simplified recipe for spicy potstickers . But if you’re feeling *really* lazy like I am, yet also hungry, then you need to try these no-pleat chicken dumplings. I made a whole stack of ’em in a jiffy – and they still managed to hit that spot that only a dumpling can fill. Paired with a sharp vinegary dressing, I think that these little morsels are the perfect post-NY treat. Moral of the story? Less pleating… more eating! Happy New Year!

Serves
40 dumplings
Ingredients

250g chicken breast, minced
140g bamboo shoots, diced
1 tbsp ginger, diced
3 spring onions, finely sliced
40 round dumpling wrappers, around 10cm diameter
vegetable oil

for the marinade
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp light soy sauce
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp cornflour
2 tsp sesame oil
3 tbsp water

for the dressing
3 tbsp Chinkiang or balsamic vinegar
1 tsp chilli sauce
1 spring onion, finely sliced

I write this from the comfort of my sofa, still nursing a full belly from the last couple of days of (over)eating. My eyes always seem to be bigger than my stomach when it comes to Chinese/Lunar New Year celebrations. I find it hard to resist just ‘one more piece’ of silky steamed fish, or ‘one last bite’ of aromatic roast duck.

Sadly this year we weren’t able to attend the New Year’s Eve reunion dinner at home in New Zealand. As per usual, Mum and Dad went a little overboard. Check out the extraordinary spread below, and note that the photo doesn’t even show the desserts(!).

The New Year’s Eve dinner kicks off the 15-day Spring Festival, which ends with the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the Lunar calendar. After the first few days of (almost competitive!) eating, I still want to celebrate the Spring Festival with Chinese food, but I become somewhat… lazier. I feel like I need a break from patiently jabbing pork belly with a multi-spiked stabby tool in order to get the perfect crackling on my roast pork. I find it harder to muster the energy to go to the fishmonger and find the perfect, whole fish to steam with ginger and spring onions. And even though they’re supposed to be one of the luckiest foods to eat during the Festival, and also our namesake(!), there’s only so many dumplings a Dumpling Sister can pleat!

That’s why I decided to make no-pleat dumplings for lunch today. You might have already tried our signature recipe for full-on, made-from-scratch potsticker dumplings, or perhaps you’ve had a go making our simplified recipe for spicy potstickers . But if you’re feeling *really* lazy like I am, yet also hungry, then you need to try these no-pleat chicken dumplings. I made a whole stack of ’em in a jiffy – and they still managed to hit that spot that only a dumpling can fill. Paired with a sharp vinegary dressing, I think that these little morsels are the perfect post-NY treat. Moral of the story? Less pleating… more eating! Happy New Year!

GET THE METHOD →

Put all the marinade ingredients, chicken, bamboo shoots, ginger and spring onions into a large bowl. Stir well to combine, then set aside for 10 minutes.
To wrap the dumplings: put 1 heaped teaspoon of filling in the centre of a wrapper. Dip your finger into a bowl of cold water then use this to wet all the way around the inner edge of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper over into a semicircle then press firmly at the edges to seal the dumpling shut.
Heat a light slick of oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Arrange as many dumplings as you can in the pan by laying them on their sides (I managed to fit around 12-13 dumplings in each batch). Fry for a few minutes until the dumplings are golden brown underneath, then add 150ml of cold water and cover immediately to trap in the steam. Once the water has completely evaporated, leave the lid off for an extra minute to make sure that the bottoms are crispy.
Stir together all of the dressing ingredients, then pour the dressing into the base of a plate to create a saucy bath for the dumplings. Stack all the dumplings on top of each other, crispy side up.
OUR
TIP!
Be sure to double dip once you’ve bitten into the dumpling!
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