KS 3 & KS 4
Design and Technology- Food Technology;
Cross-curriculum learning - Citizenship, History and Geography
Steamed Chinese Pork Dumplings/Vegetarian Dumplings
Download Lesson Plan (Full Updated Version)
- 25 fresh dumpling skins
- Plain flour for dusting
For the stuffing
- 110 g minced pork
- 80 g prawns, finely chopped
- 30 g Chinese leaves, finely chopped
- 50 g Chinese chives, diced
- 1 tsp ginger, finely chopped or Lee Kum Kee Minced Ginger
- 1 tbsp Lee Kum Kee Premium Oyster Sauce (or Panda Oyster Sauce)
- 1 tbsp Lee Kum Kee Double Deluxe Soy Sauce (or Premium Light Soy Sauce)
- 1 tbsp spring onions, finely chopped
- 1 tsp Lee Kum Kee Sesame Oil
- 1 tbsp Lee Kum Kee XO Sauce
1. Arrange the round skins on a lightly floured tray and cover them with a damp kitchen towel to prevent them from drying out until you are ready to use them.
2. Place two teaspoons of filling made with finely diced and sliced meat, shrimp and vegetables, in the centre of each dumpling skin and moisten the edges with water. Fold the skin in half and seal the edges by pinching it together in pleat.
3. Arrange the dumplings in a bamboo steamer (lined with parchment paper at the bottom) and steam for 8-10 minutes. Serve immediately with dipping sauce.
Alternatively, the dumplings can be pan fried for a crispy version.
A. Activity Plan
- How to make dumplings, which is one of the most traditional, most famous dishes of the Chinese cuisine;
- Use various ingredients like prawns, pork, Chinese leaves, ginger, spring onion and Chinese chives which are common in Asian cuisines;
- Use various seasoning source e.g. oyster sauce, sesame oil and soy sauce;
- Learn cooking techniques – steaming, wrapping and pan-frying;
- Learn how to use a bamboo basket for steaming;
- Increase cultural understanding through learning about Chinese cuisines, utensils like wok and eating culture
B. Popular ingredients in Chinese dishes
1. Chinese leaves
These can also be used as a milder and more delicate alternative to green cabbage in salads and other recipes.
2. (Chinese) Chives
Chinese chives are darker green in colour, more fibrous in texture and stronger in flavour than those available in British supermarkets.
Fresh root ginger is an indispensable ingredient in Chinese cookery; its pungent, spicy and fresh taste adds a subtle flavour.
4. Spring Onions
These are onions that have small bulbs and long green stalks. They are usually eaten raw, but you can also grill or sauté them.
C. Chinese Sauces
Oyster sauce is made with oyster extracts from oysters. Lee Kum Kee Premium Oyster Sauce originated since 1888 made with oyster extracts from the finest oysters. Use it as an all-purpose seasoning sauce to uplift the umami taste of meat and vegetables. Traditionally used as a marinade, it is a seasoning for stir-fries, as a condiment for many Chinese dishes.
Chili Bean Sauce
Lee Kum Kee Chili Bean Sauce is a Sichuan style ingredient paste with a pungent blend of salted chilli peppers, soybean and broad bean pastes. The Chilli Bean Sauce can be used for Sichuan style stir-fries or as a dip. The sauce can make a very spicy dish.
Lee Kum Kee Sesame Oil is used as a flavour enhancer in Chinese cuisine, making it a staple oil in every Chinese kitchen. The oil, which is manufactured from sesame seeds, is also used in alternative medicine as a source of vitamins and minerals and plays a role in controlling blood pressure.
Lee Kum Kee XO Sauce is an all-purpose condiment made from dried scallops, dried shrimp, red chilli peppers and spices. This spicy seafood-based sauce originated from Hong Kong and is common amongst dishes from the Guangdong province. XO comes from extra-old cognac, a Western liquor popular in Hong Kong and usually associated with high quality and luxury.
Double Deluxe Soy Sauce
Lee Kum Kee Double Deluxe Soy Sauce is made through fermentation of a combination of Koji Starter, soybean and flour, then fermented again with naturally brewed soy sauce. This double fermentation, known as 'Shuang Yu' or 'Shuang Qu' in Chinese is an old method of brewing soy sauce which originated in South China. Most soy sauces are fermented only once, while with this double brewing process, making this sauce takes up to 6 months.
D. Preparation and Cooking techniques
Wrapping is an essential technique to make dumplings. Place two teaspoons of filling in the centre of each dumpling skin and moisten the edges with water. Then fold the skin in half (forming a semicircle), and make sure that none of the filling falls out. Pinch the dumpling together at the top with thumb and forefinger and seal well. The dumpling will look like a tiny Cornish pasty.
Keep your dumplings on a floured tray and covered until you are ready to cook.
Steaming is not a very popular cooking technique in the West but it has been used by the Chinese for thousands of years and today it is very common in China. Steamed food is cooked by gentle moist heat, which must circulate freely in order to cook the food. It is an excellent method for bringing out subtle flavours and is always used for dim sum and fish.
E. Cooking tools
A most useful and versatile piece of equipment, the wok may be used for stir frying, blanching, deep-frying and steaming foods.
A wok is a versatile round-bottomed cooking vessel originating in China. It is used especially in East and South-East Asia.
The most common materials used in making woks today are carbon steel and cast iron. Although the latter was the most common type used in the past, cooks today tend to be divided on which woks are superior, i.e. carbon steel or cast iron.
2. Bamboo Basket Steamer
The Bamboo Basket steamer is very popular for steaming, especially for dim sum. Bamboo basket steamer comes in several sizes, of which the 20cm (8 inches) is the most suitable for general use. The food is put in the bamboo basket steamer and then placed above boiling water (a rack can be used to raise the food above the water level) in a wok or pot. You can also simply put it in an electrical steamer. Covering the steamer with a bamboo lid can prevent the steam from escaping. Several steamers, stacked one above the other, may be utilized at once.
To prevent the food from sticking to the steamer surface when it cooks, you can lay a parchment paper or some lettuce leaves. Before using a bamboo basket steamer for the first time, wash it and then steam it empty for a few minutes.
F. Story behind the dishes
Dumplings (Jiaozi) are traditional Chinese food. In Northern China, people eat dumplings on Chinese New Year Eve for celebration. Dumplings are popular in many Asian countries and dumplings can be found with a huge variety of fillings, including beef, pork, vegetables and fish etc.
The origin of dumpling is not very clear but one legendary story about dumplings is saying that dumping was invented by Zhongjing Zhang. Zhang was a herbal medicine doctor in the Eastern Han Dynasty and wrote a book called the Treatise on Febrile Diseases and Miscellaneous Diseases. Zhang prepared herbal medicine soup to help some patients who suffered from ear infections. He also produced a small rolled up pancake with minced stuffing, all wrapped in the shape of an ear.
The patients who drank the soup and ate the dumplings claimed to feel much better. Zhang continued to make the "dumplings" until New Year's Eve, when on the New Year's day the local people were able to celebrate the recovery of the patients. Then it turned into a tradition that therefore involved making dumplings for the New Year celebrations.
Today it is believed that eating dumplings on New Year's Eve will bring luck and happiness, especially given their resemblance to ancient Chinese money. Dumplings are also served after people get married or a baby is born.