KUALA LUMPUR, May 28 — I have always had a soft spot for boiled dumplings or jiaozi.
If you encounter a really good version, you will fall in love with the silky texture of the skin enveloping the juicy, tasty filling.
Jiaozi also has an emotional connection for me as it is what my aunt will make for us whenever we visit her in Hong Kong.
As she is originally from Harbin in China, jiaozi is her soul food. Her versions are luxurious ones, filled to the brim with minced pork, prawns and even fish. One can easily finish up plates and plates of her jiaozi.
During this lockdown, I've seen many small businesses emerging and while there aren't many making dumplings, there have been a few popping up in my social media timeline.
I decided to give them a try as it's the best way to discover a hidden gem. Do note that some of them aren't actually making the dumplings themselves but have connected with a maker to resell their items on social media.
My first try wasn't so successful. The pictures on the website held so much promise. Even the look of the jiaozi seemed to be perfect — plump and silky skin.
However, we were let down at the first bite... it was under seasoned. Some may say I am picky as they say you can rectify that easily with lots of soy sauce but I like eating my jiaozi on its own or with just ginger shreds dipped in vinegar.
So it was back to the drawing board.
Then I saw Angela Sudhakaran Lee from Cheras advertising handmade dumplings on the Facebook groups and decided to try it out.
I liked the fact there weren't any preservatives or artificial additives in them. She also offers luncheon meat from Zoey's Homemade, Taiwan sausage, bread, pies and more.
She was pretty efficient, delivering them to me even though it was a public holiday. I had messaged her late at night and the next day, she replied and I got my dumplings the following day.
There are different types, using minced pork as the base. You can get celery, mushrooms, chives, pickled cabbage or cabbage. There's 10 pieces in one packet for RM12. If you buy three packets, it is RM35. She also offers a homemade dry chilli sauce for RM8.
I sampled the celery, mushroom and chives dumplings. The celery is my favourite as it lends a delicate fragrance to the tender meat. The skin is nice and silky, just how I like it.
For the chives version, it's perfect for those who like a stronger taste as they're pretty generous with the chopped vegetables.
The mushroom dumplings were the lightest in taste even though I could see they added tiny chopped carrots, so stick to the celery and chive versions.
Should you like a spicier taste, the homemade chilli sauce gives you that. It isn't crazy spicy but lends a nice buzz to your tastebuds. Personally I still prefer my dumplings eaten on their own.
Do note the dumplings don't come with cooking instructions, unlike the commercial ones.
It's pretty simple though. Just bring a large pot of water to the boil and gently place the frozen dumplings inside.
Once they float up to the surface, add three tablespoons of water into the pot. Leave it to boil, then add three more tablespoons of water again. Repeat one more time with three tablespoons of water. This ensures that the fillings are properly cooked. Scoop them up, drain off any excess water and enjoy!
You can WhatsApp Angela Sudhakaran Lee at 019-6840973 for the dumplings to be delivered to you via Lalamove.
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