Ying's ideas of easy Chinese home-cooking

Chinese Chive Box

韭菜盒子

I was born in Canton where people are not good at making dough. I grew up having rice and rice related food. It was when I started my college life I learnt cooking from different Chinese culture and various cuisines of the world. I remember the first Chinese New Year I spent in Scotland. Me and a girl from Shanghai, also sharing the same corridor with me in the dormitory, wanted to celebrate the festival with other schoolmates in the same corridor, so we decided to make Jiaozi(dumpling), in vegetarian and non-vegetarian ways. They were all surprised how inexperienced I was in making Jiaozi. Most people considered all Chinese ate Jiaozi often. In fact, Jiaozi is not what people usually eat in South China.

Since I had my own small family, I have prepared food that can be stored in the freezer and reheated easily for quick breakfast and lunch. Different types of dumplings and pancakes are most handy. Chinese Chive is one of my favourite Asian herbs. It’s most commonly seen in dumpling stuffings. Also fried egg with chive is as simple as fried egg with tomato that most Chinese can make. Besides, Chive box is a very common snack in northern part of China. I am still not a good dough maker so for this recipe, I use self-raising flour. What the wrap makes of is not that important. I have even tried the leftover Jiaozi wrap for the box wrap. They tasted wonderful as well!

Ingredient –
self-raising flour, Chinese Chive, egg, green bean noodle. Those are the key ingredients. Sometimes I would like to add a little dry shrimp.

How to do –
1. Make the dough. Add a little salt in the flour and mix well with water. Add water gradually. The dough should not be too dry and sticky. Let it rest aside. If you are good at making bread or bun, then use the way you make bun or bread dough;
2. Poach the green bean noodle till they are soft and translucent. Adding green bean noodle is for adding more texture and a bit starch can help to mix the egg and chive together;
3. Fry eggs. For the amount of four big chive boxes, I use two small eggs. I don’t think it does matter how much fried egg you put in the stuffing, the chive plays the key role after all;
4. Chop the chive, noodle and egg into small bits and mix them well;
5. Season with salt, sugar, white prepper powder and sesame oil. You could have a taste while seasoning;
6. Now start wrapping. It really depends on how thick the wrap you like and how big the box you want. Flatten the dough in a big round sheet, fill as many as possible stuffing then seal it in the middle;
7. Oil in pan. Put the boxes with the seal on the bottom. Press down a little otherwise it would look like bun rather than pancake. Pan-fry double sides in low heat and lid on till they are golden. It should be crispy outside and soft inside.

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