Makes 25–30

Ingredients

25–30 ready-made Shanghai dumpling pastries (square) or thinly rolled squares of shui gao dough

For the filling

50g (1.oz) dried shiitake mushrooms

200g (7oz) Chinese celery (swapsies:Western celery)

50g (1.oz) Tian Jin preserved Chinese cabbage (optional)

1 clove of garlic

½ a thumb-size piece of ginger

1 spring onion (scallion)

5 sprigs of fresh coriander (cilantro)

100g minced pork

For the marinade

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

½ tablespoon pure sesame oil

Method

To prep

1. Soak the shiitake mushrooms in hot water overnight, or for at least 2 hours, then drain.

2. Finely chop the mushrooms, celery, cabbage, garlic, ginger, spring onion and coriander and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the minced pork and the

3. Marinade ingredients and mix well.

4. To make the smiling nun fold, place one of the pastries on a flat surface in front of you. Place roughly 1 ½ teaspoons of the marinated mix in the centre of the pastry.

5. Fold the bottom edge of the pastry over the filling, flush to the top edge, then press down on the top edge to lightly seal. Tightly roll the filling over towards the top edge once, forming a sausage roll or cigar shape, but keeping the corners of the wrapper still free.

6. Press down on the edges of the pastry either side of the filling, to stick them together.

7. Now pick up the edges of the pastry, holding the innermost pleats or corners. Overlap the inside pleats over one another, using a little water to help them stick, pinching and squeezing the edges tight.

8. Leaving the outer unfolded edges open should make the dumpling look like a slightly podgy-looking ‘nun’, with a gummy smile, when turned on its side.

9. Do the same with the rest of the pastries and filling.

To cook

1. Heat the vegetable oil to a medium-high heat in a large frying pan. Place the pastries in

2. the oil and flip them over straight away; this ensures that you do not need to add much more oil and prevents the pastries from getting too greasy. Pour 3 tablespoons of water over the top of them and quickly cover with a lid, repeating this process once every minute

3. for roughly 3–4 minutes, or until the bases are golden brown. This will steam and fry your

4. dumplings simultaneously.

5. Flip them once more and fry the other side in exactly the same way, intermittently adding a little water, then covering with a lid to steam them through. When both sides are golden brown, remove the lid and fry for 1 minute further on each side, to allow the pastries to crisp up once again. Serve on skewers, with a mixture of soy sauce and vinegar on the side, for dipping.

Dipping Sauce

½ teaspoon Chiu Chow chilli oil

1 tablespoon oyster sauce

½ tablespoon light soy sauce

100ml (3½fl oz/? cup) chicken stock

1. Combine the dipping sauce ingredients in a small pan, mixing well.

2. Gently heat, reducing the sauce slightly, then pour into a dipping bowl and serve.