When I was in Beijing earlier this year, I was so lucky to get to go to a cooking class with the amazing Joyce from Garden at Lama Temple restaurant. My Mum organised it before we arrived in Beijing as it is sometimes hard to get a booking.
The restaurant is really just the very small front room of Joyce’s house. The house is a typical hutong house, so very small and sparse but full of character. It was just our family in the cooking class. You would not fit more than a few people in the room.
Joyce showed us how to make noodles and various types of dumplings. It was actually much easier than I thought it would be. I think this is something that I could do at home. For the first time I was able to properly pull the noodles to get them into the right length. They tasted so fresh and the filling of the dumplings made them delicious. We had pork and chicken and vegetarian options. I had a little trouble with folding them but they still tasted amazing. We also made some nice dipping sauces to go with them. There is nothing like the traditional cooking technique and doing it in a traditional home to make things taste authentic.
After the cooking class and a yummy lunch of fresh noodles and dumplings we asked Joyce if she knew a good fortune teller in Beijing. And wouldn’t you know it, there was one right next door! It was meant to be! So we went next door and Joyce translated for us while the fortune teller told me and my sister our future. Apparently you are not supposed to tell people what he says but I will say that he was very accurate for both my sister and I with what kind of jobs we want to do in the future and even hinted at my potential upcoming issue with diabetes.
If you would like to book a class with Joyce next time you are in Beijing her details are http://www.mamaslunchbeijing.com/#_=_ (not a sponsored post, I just think she is a lovely lady and would love to support her small enterprise!)
Pork and Cabbage Dumpling
Main Ingredients: Seasonings:
– Minced pork,90g – Chopped leek,15g
– Chopped cabbage 120g – Chopped ginger,5g
– Wheat flour,150g – Soy sauce, 4-5 tsp
– Water, 78g – Salt, to taste
– Cooking wine, 1 tsp
– Oyster sauce, 1 tsp
– Five-spice powder, 1/2 tsp
– Heated vegetable oil, 4-5 tsp
– Sesame oil, few
1. If you have chicken stock, put 2-3 spoons of chicken stock, the taste will be so good.
2. You can use cabbage only, or mix with carrot and mushroom, smashed peanuts…
3. When using Chinese cabbage, first chop, and then squeeze out some water.
- Make a dough. Putting water into wheat flour, a little at a time, stir well. Making a firm dough, knead until the dough is smooth, cover it for 20-30 minutes.
- Preparation. Heat oil with seasonings and cool it down. Chop vegetables.
- Mix Filling. Put all seasonings into pork, stir well; put cabbage in and blend well, put few drops of Sesame oil to enhance the flavor. Taste the salt.
- Making the wrappers and pinch. Roll the dough into a long cylinder and cut it into 26-30 portions. Flatten each piece and roll into a circle about 2.6 inches ( 6.5 -7cm) in diameter. Place 1 full tsp of the filling on each circle and fold over. Pinch tightly to seal the edges. Repeat until all the dough or filling are used.
- Cook. You can boil, pan-fry or steam the dumplings. Use cold water to make a dough for boiled ones, use warm water to make a dough for pan-fried dumplings, and use hot water to make a dough for steamed ones.
Boiled- Putting dumplings into boiling water, stop the boiling 3 times with cold water, keep lid on for 1 minutes after stopped heating, drain out the water and eat with black vinegar and light soy sauce.
Pan-fry- Cook with medium to low heat for 5-6 minutes, make pot stickers.
Steam- Cook with high heat for 8 minutes after steam.
–Fine Wheat Flour (Medium elastic), 100g
— Water, 50g
— Salt, 1/3 tsp
- Mix wheat flour with salt and water to make a dough. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, cover it and let it stand for at least 1 hour. 2-3 hours are the best.
- Flatten the dough with your hand (Very important, don’t knead and fold the dough at this step). Roll it into a big rectangle piece, about 3-4 mm thick. Cover it for 2 minutes, cut the dough into 0.80-1cm wide strips. Take the end of the strip with your hands, pull it slowly to make it longer and hit the board to make it even.
- Throwing the noodles into boiling water (or soup), cook for 2 minutes until the noodles float to the surface. Remove, drain, put sauce on and serve.