XianSuiJiao - hometown sweet savory rice dumplings, and memories of my grandfather’s village (家乡咸水角)

Hometown sweet and savory glutinous rice dumplings (家乡咸水角) – memories of my grandfather’s village at ZhongShan (中山)

Ingredients

Filling
  • 1 Chinese sausage, steamed for 15 minutes, finely chopped
  • 1 rash of bacon, finely chopped
  •  200g ground pork
  • 1/2 leek, white only, finely chopped
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • some bamboo shoot (approx. 30g or to taste), finely chopped
  • a few stalks of coriander (say 10g), finely sliced
  • a few stems of garlic chives (say 20g), finely sliced
  • a few scallions (say 10g), finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp. fried shallot, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp five-spice powder
  • small amount of white pepper powder (optional)
  • 1 tbsp. oil for pan frying
Chinese pork sausage
Chinese pork sausage
Bamboo shoots
Bamboo shoots
Fresh garlic chive
Fresh garlic chive
Fried shallot
Fried shallot
Dumpling skin
  • 2 cups glutinous rice flour (extra flour for dusting)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup fine sugar
  • 1 cup water  (you may need more, or less, depending on the brand of flour you use)
Glutinous rice flour
Glutinous rice flour
Others
  • 500ml oil for deep frying

Method

Filling
  • Bring a frying pan to medium heat;  add 1tbsp oil, onion, leek, bacon, pan fry for 2 minutes.  Add ground pork, five spice power, white pepper and fried shallot,  pan fry until the pork slightly cooked. Add hoisin sauce, oyster sauce and sesame oil, mix well.   Add Chinese sausage, bamboo shoot, scallion, garlic chive and coriander, stir well; remove from heat, leave aside to cool.
Dumpling skin & dumpling
  • Mix well the glutinous rice flour and baking powder in a large container. Boil water and sugar until dissolved. Pull 2/3 of the liquid over the flour mix.  Use a spoon (or your hand) to mix the flour with water to form a dough. If too wet, add some more flour, if too dry, add some more liquid.  Kneel quickly to form a smooth dough.
  • Roll the dough into a long roll, cut out a small portion (size doesn’t matter, as long as can cover the  filling you put in the dumpling, and they are all about the same size).  Cover the remaining dough with a damp towel. Work the small dough with the palm of your hand, press into a disc with fair thickness, say 1/2 cm.  Put some filing in the middle of the disc, close it up to roll into a round or oval shape.  If you are like me, not very good to working the glutinous rice dough, I will get a small piece of glad wrap, put the round dumpling inside the glad wrap, tighten the glad wrap to firm up the dumpling and push it into shape.
Deep frying
  • Bring 500ml oil to hot (190c) in a pot.  Deep fry the dumplings by small batches.  When the dumplings float to the top of the oil, it is generally cooked. I prefer to cook them for further 2 minutes to get some extra color.
  • Remove the dumplings using a tong. Put onto a few paper towels briefly (say 30 seconds) before transferring onto a wire rack to cool.  Dumplings are not stackable, can easily lose their shapes while warm.
  • Serve warm.

Memories of my grandfather’s village at Zhongshan (中山)

The deep-fried glutinous rice dumplings are filled with pork, bacon, Chinese sausage, leek, bamboo shoot and garlic chive –  sweet, savory and gentle.   Someone told me that the dumplings were originated from the Zhongshan region (中山) where my grandfather was born.

My grandfather’s family lived in a village called Yunhan (云汉村) in a town called Shaxi (沙溪镇). My childhood memory of the village where our relatives lived was picturesque, with peaceful lychee trees growing alongside a small creek, laden with juicy purple-red fruits. The houses in the village were the traditional terrace houses with beautiful classic wooden furniture made with ‘sour wood’ (酸枝), one of the most priced hardwoods in Southern China. At the back of each house, there was a courtyard with a sand filter.  Water was carried home from a nearby well, commonly in two wooden buckets on a pole, then filtered to drinking water in a sand filter.  Most courtyards were lined with stones. The stoves were also made of stones where straws and sticks were burned to cook food.

A well-off region with fertile farmland and money from offshore relations, hospitality at the village was always warm and welcoming.

Zhongshan 云汉村 in 1970s
Relatives walking along the lychee tree lined river, at Yunhan village (云汉村), Zhonghshan, 1970s
DelishHomeCook, village, ZhongShan 中山, GuangDong, China
My family’s village at ZhongShan in early 1980s
Hometown Sweet & Savory Glutinous Rice Dumplings (家乡咸水角) XianSuiJiao

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