How to Make Zha Jiang Mian And Pork Dumplings

today on America's Test Kitchen dan

makes bridge at the ultimate Chinese

pork dumplings

Lisa reviews ginger graders and Keith

makes Julia a Chinese favorite Beijing

style meat sauce and noodles it's all

coming up right here on America's Test



cooking with family is an important part

of Chinese culture and especially one

dish dumplings well that's a family

affair we've got a member of the HEK

family here it's Dan he's gonna show us

how to make great pork dumplings and

Arenal so Bridget this is one of those

things where you have them out at

restaurants and you're like you couldn't

imagine how you could possibly make them

at home right right this recipe we're

gonna take you through the whole process

and it's actually easier than you think

it would be but it really starts with

making your own dough so you can go and

buy those wrappers they don't have that

nice chew and that texture that we want

for homemade so we're gonna start really

simply with two and a half cups of

all-purpose flour this is 12 and a half

ounces we love our food processor for

putting dough's together this is gonna

be great for that all right and now I

have some boiling water over here which

is actually traditional and useful for

this dough so I'm gonna measure out a

cup of boiling water here you always

want to boil your water and then measure

it so you know we have the accurate

measurement I'm gonna turn this on and

while it's running we're gonna go right

down the feed tube with the hot water 30

to 45 seconds is all it takes to come

together really fast that's partly

because the food processor works so

quickly but it's also because we're

using hot water so it helps to hydrate

the flour more quickly so the dough's

gonna be ready to work with sooner also

limits gluten a little bit so it's gonna

be easier to stretch and work with so

I'm just gonna knead this for two to

three minutes on the board here just

kind of get that gluten to work together

and make a really nice Network okay so

that's just a couple of minutes there

and you can see oh yeah it's really

supple but it's not sticking at all you

did not flour the board at all no and we

would definitely need to if we were

using cold water I'm just gonna kind of

round it off got a nice taut exterior so

we're gonna wrap this in plastic wrap

we're gonna let it rest for 30 minutes

during that time flours gonna hydrate a

little bit more that gluten that we did

form is gonna relax

so it's gonna be even easier to work

with so just set that aside no

refrigeration no refrigeration even

don't we want to let that sit at room

temperature so I'm just gonna scrape out

our food processors here so we can use

it again all right as Dan mentioned

boiling water is very important to this

recipe and that's for two reasons one in

the boiling water hydrates the starches

but it also helps to denature the gluten

now let's take a closer look at that

flour is made up of starch and protein

molecules when you add room-temperature

water to flour two different types of


girls in the flower glutenin and gliadin

they linked together to form protein

fibers called gluten and those mesh into

an elastic network now the gluten

Network helps to give baked goods like

bread its structure with that same

structure that we like in bread can make

things like dumpling dough pretty hard

to work with the elastic gluten wants to

snap back on itself so that's where the

boiling water comes in boiling water

denatures the protein strands in the

flour and that alters the structure of

the proteins preventing them from

linking up and forming as much gluten

and less gluten results in a more

malleable dough that doesn't stick to

your hands or snap back when you try to

manipulate it all right so Dan you

cleaned out the bowl there I did some

light housework so next up we're gonna

work with napa cabbage here so we're

making a classic pork and cabbage

filling it's fantastic we're gonna make

quick work of this cabbage using our

food processor so this is five cups

that's we've cut into 1-inch pieces I'm

just gonna pulse this until it's nice

and small about eight to ten pulses

telling you it's not as hard as you

think to make these okay so that took

care of the chopping I'm gonna get this

into a small bowl over here cabbage is

wonderful flavor texture we love it and

unfortunately has a lot of water and if

we don't get that out before we put it

in the filling is just gonna suck out

everything we do in there so we're gonna

get the water out first and that's where

the 1/2 teaspoon of salt it's just gonna

sprinkle that over salt is gonna draw

moisture out we're gonna let this sit

for about 10 minutes you'll see tons of

water come out and then we'll squeeze it

and get rid of it sounds good so ten

minutes are up and you can see that

water pooling right underneath there

quite a bit quite a bit so there's even

more than that in there so we're gonna

do is just use our hands and just give

it a good squeeze but you could just see

how much just comes out it's so crazy

that would ruin a dumpling filling

okay so squeeze that out and I just go

into a little bowl over here okay so

check out how much liquid we get that's

at least a half a cup okay so now we are

finally getting into the meat of the

matter our pork we're gonna use ground

pork so I've got 12 ounces of ground

pork here into my trusty food processor

again now we're gonna season this really

really nicely so we're gonna turn to a

number of key ingredients that just

bring a ton of umami and salt and flavor

great so we're gonna start with 1/2 1/2

tablespoons of soy sauce we haven't one

1/2 tablespoons of toasted

me oil really flavorful yes I also have

a tablespoon of vegetable oil we don't

want all of our fat to come from that

toasted sesame because it can really

overpower I also have one tablespoon of

Chinese rice wine you can use dry sherry

if you can't find that I have a

tablespoon of hoisin just salty but also

have that nice sweetness it is a flavor

explosion explosion a tablespoon of

grated ginger half a teaspoon of salt

quarter of a teaspoon of white pepper it

has that really beautiful fragrant kind

of floor aroma very different than black

pepper so now we're gonna process this

now this is totally different than

making meatloaf or burgers where we want

this really crumbly tender mixture right

we want this to be more on the sausage

end of things like a little bit snappy

it really holds together and traps all

those juices and fat inside

yeah compact so about ten pulses should

go yeah you can see it start to stick to

the sides

yes so now what I'm gonna do is just

scatter it over our salted drain cabbage

I also have four scallions that are just

minced up you need that Allium that

really nice kind of sharpness in there

great way to add it so I'm just gonna

pulse this together until it's combined

about eight pulses what looks excellent

so now I'm gonna go into our Bowl here

I'm gonna pack it in really nice and

tight here and smooth at the top of it

we wrap it transfer to the fridge and

let it firm up a bit while we get our

wrappers ready to go okay our dough has

rested for thirty minutes and you can

see it's slacked out a little bit and

then we've got our pork filling over

here which is chilled a bit so I'm gonna

go a nice cross here and then I'm just

gonna take out a quarter of it will work

with a quarter of the dough and a

quarter the filling so I'll set this

aside and we'll work with just that okay

all right so let's get into this dough

here so the first step is we're gonna

get this down to a 12 inch cylinder

really not hard to do it almost does it

on its own if you look at it the right

way so I have a ruler here that's 12

inches so we're gonna cut it into four

equal pieces now so I like to go right

down the middle first and then cut each

half in half a lot of math in this


just watch out so we're gonna work with

just one of these at a time and the

others we're gonna wrap in plastic and

just set them off to the side so they

don't dry out gotcha okay so our next

cylinder we're gonna go 8 inches this

time it's a very forgiving dough isn't

it yes go in and out okay so that's 8

inches okay I'm gonna divide that in

half and then I'm gonna pass one over to

you mostly we want to cut these into 5

equal pieces

I have equal pieces yep so it's 4 cuts

and I've got a little bench scraper

there for you all right

okay we've got this wooden board here

where we need a lot of flour okay I'm

just gonna come in and dust here thank


let's just kind of smooth it out a

little bit and then we're gonna go kind

of with the cut side up there okay and

put them down on the flour and you can

give him a little flip flour on both

sides okay I said before we got our

rolling pin out what we're gonna

actually do is just use our palm and

press down on them we can get it down to

about two inches just by pressing like

that another nice trick is if you have

your bench scraper you can come right

over on the side here and press down oh

look at you you don't have kind of

irregularities of your palm involved

there yeah I like that technique there

we go nice okay great

so there's a wet towel over here so you

what we want to do is just cover them up

while we're working with just one all

right okay great so you have plenty of

flour also really nice idea take your

rolling pin get some flour on that as

well and you don't really have to apply

much pressure it's such a soft dough but

you're just kind of starting in the

middle pressing out and I like to just

kind of give it a quarter turn every

time I do that so we're rolling these

out at this point seven three and a half

inches nailed it nailed it nice so what

we're gonna do is we're gonna put a

scant tablespoon in each one okay you

want to place it right in the middle all

right so next up here is to brush away

excess flour it's gonna make sure that

we bond it together really nicely yes

because flour to prevent sticking now we

want stick now we want some stick okay

so we're gonna start with the back here

and the front and we're gonna bring them

up and meet them in the middle just like

that and the seal right there is gonna

be a one and a half inches across

beautiful okay so here comes the

pleading so we're gonna take this side

here and pull it up to the back from

this side it would be like that exactly

yep all right just like that and then on

this side so you want to keep closing

that down okay all the way and get

right next to the filling so you don't

have too much of an air pocket in there

and then we're gonna repeat the same

thing on the other side coming up and

overlapping now the final step once you

have it together is to just kind of

curve it around so you get that

beautiful nice true crescent shape ah

very nice

go and then we just transfer them over

to this flowered parchment baking sheet

okay so now we know how to do it we just

got to do it uh thirty-eight more times

so we're just making 40 of these total

alright it's a good thing to do with

family and friends

I think once you know what you're doing

though it goes a lot faster look at this

beautiful dumpling landscape we have 40

gorgeous dumplings in front of us

they have multiplied we're gonna cook 20

right now 20 them freeze beautifully and

then you can cook them from frozen so

you put the effort in front and then you

have a nice weeknight meal

perfect so if you want to set those

aside all right here and we'll work with

just these so we're gonna use a classic

potsticker technique here where they

sear then they steam to cook through and

then they researh so the easiest way to

do it and to arrange 20 in here is to

start in a cold skillet so I've got a

tablespoon of vegetable oil and I'm

gonna use a pastry brush just to get a

nice even coating on the bottom here is

how we arrange 20 dumplings in this

skillet so we're gonna start here and do

16 around the outside kind of nesting

them and then the last four just Nestle

in like this so now we're gonna heat

these over medium heat I'm gonna cook

them uncovered like this about three to

four minutes we're looking for a little

bit of browning to start on the bottom

let's check these out that's been about

4 minutes Oh perfect beautiful spotty

brown spotty brown they're ready a

little bit crisp mm-hmm we're gonna sock

it out though so what we're gonna do is

move this off the heat while we add 1/2

a cup of water ok it's gonna sputter a

lot so we wanted to do it off the heat

I'm very nice beautiful so we're gonna

pull it back on the heat now bring it up

to a boil and then we're gonna cover and

go medium-low heat for about six minutes

and this is the step that really cooks

them through so that filling is is fully

done so that's six minutes we're going

to take the lid off Oh

most of the water is gone there's just a

little bit left and once it's gone we're

gonna crank this up here to medium-high

it's gonna start browning again that

beautiful flat side will turn golden

crispy brown it only takes about a

minute to three minutes all right let's

take a look at one of these and that is

gorgeous perfection that's what you're

looking for so we're gonna turn off the

heat and get these on to our platter no

I like to plate them with the crust side

up not only for you know beauty and no

bragging rights ethics aesthetics but

also because it keeps it nice and crispy

that makes sense you don't want that

crust sitting right on the plate and

steaming exactly so these obviously look

beautiful but we're gonna know how good

they are until we so we have a couple

different options for how to dip all

right so we've got some soy sauce and

black vinegar which are totally

traditional and delicious we also have a

Sichuan chili oil and this is really

cool it's got a combination of heat from

the chilies and then also this numbing

quality from Szechuan peppercorns and

it's an amazing combination

all right let's dig in yeah alright you

took two so I'm gonna do exactly the

same I don't want to be rude that's just

the start and eat them all right

that's so good crispy on the bottom Oh

super crispy that wrapper is so nice and

chewy if you used regular store-bought

wrappers they can be really thick so

where it's pleated it ends up too gummy

and too thick and doughy we've been

talking about the filling I would eat

that filling all by itself

tons of flavor packed in there it's not

just steamed a little bit of pork no and

it's still tender even though you really

processed it and it was so easy

well I'm gather your family and why

don't you make dumplings as well make a

dough by processing boiling water into

flour knead and then let that rest

create a filling with pork soy and

spices along with chopped cabbage and

scallions roll fill and pinch each

dumpling and then

until spotty brown add water cover and

steam until those dumplings are crisp

and super brown serve with soy sauce and

a little numbing chili oil so from our

Test Kitchen to your kitchen easy to

make fun to make it's Chinese pork

dumplings well done thank you


we love freshly grated ginger and all

kinds of sweet and savory recipes

cookies and cakes stir fries and glazes

sauces and soups and normally we just

use our rasp grater the rasp can grate a

tablespoon of ginger in one minute but

we've seen all these tools that claim to

ace the job so we bought 10 and after

grating pounds and pounds of ginger we

learned that seven of these or no better

and in fact this one took four minutes

to grate the ginger so all of these were

out and that left three that were better

and of those this was our favorite it's

the microplane home series fine grater

for 1495 it's super speedy this thing

grated a tablespoon of ginger in just 15

seconds look how easy this is it has

sharp edge holes they sliced the fibers

so you get less waste it's got a big

grating surface so you get more ginger

per swipe it's got an open paddle so

it's easy to get all the puree this

comfy handle feels nice and secure and

the open design makes it easy to clean

to see how it held up we created another

whole pound of ginger on her winner and

it was still as sharp as the first time

we used it so if you cook with a lot of

ginger this thing pays for itself

today we're making a Chinese noodle dish

called Zhang Mian also known as old

Beijing noodles Beijing meat sauce or

fried sauce noodles but whatever you

call it it's delicious and Keith's gonna

show us how it's made you read it does

have a lot of different names but no

matter what you call it it's a very

simple dish that starts with an ultra

savory meat sauce served over chewy lo

mein noodles and that's all sprinkled

with slivered fresh vegetables it's a

really delicious sauce but there are a

couple of items that we had to find

substitutes for to make it accessible to

the home cook all right so we're gonna

start with our meat I have 8 ounces of

ground pork it's an intensely flavored

sauce so we don't need a lot but we're

not gonna just use straight ground pork

we're gonna use a little bit of baking

soda in here to make sure it stays juicy

and tender when we cook it so I have 1/8

teaspoon of baking soda I'll just

sprinkle that over and I also have 2

teaspoons of water and that will just

make sure that baking soda gets

distributed in that ground pork I'm just

gonna mix this together we're just gonna

set this aside now we're gonna focus on

our substitutions traditionally this is

made with two sauces that we have here

they're kind of hard to find for most

home cooks the first one was a ground

bean sauce like I said it's not

available to most home cooks but what

was available was red miso paste

fermented soybeans big umami flavors and

so I have 5 tablespoons of red miso


so our second sauce is what we call a

sweet bean paste hard to find you're not

gonna walk into your local supermarket

and find this we used hoisin this has

sweet flavors salty flavors momy flavors

much like hoisin does and most people

probably have voicing in their pantries

so we have three tablespoons of hoisin

here we're going to add that to our red

miso now there was one flavor that

Voisin did not provide and that was kind

of a smokiness or a bitterness that a

sweet bean paste had but the hoisin does

not and we tried a lot of different

things and we endothelin molasses it

does almost have a smokiness to it yeah

and it's gonna really lend a lot of

depth of the sauce so we have three

tablespoons of oils in one tablespoon of

molasses also we're gonna finish this up

with five tablespoons of soy sauce which

is a traditional ingredient and a half

cup of water okay so we have our two

main components for

sauce ready and now we can focus on the

vegetables so we're gonna start with a

half of an English cucumber we're gonna

leave the skin on I'm just gonna cut

this in half and then we're gonna just

cut this into matchsticks really simple

create a nice flat surface and you can

just create slices now you have these

planks you can just run your knife along

like this okay cucumbers done and we're

also going to be using scallions we're

gonna use the tops the green part as a

vegetable component to top our noodles

and then we're gonna use the white part

for the aromatics I'm just cutting these

on a bias a fancy word for an angle so

we have eight scallion greens I'll just

put that in a bowl and give those to you

to set aside so now I have the white

green and white part I'm just gonna take

the root end off these line them up like

that get rid of that and I'm gonna cut

these into half-inch pieces and now I'm

going to take this and I'm gonna go over

to the food processor we're gonna let

the food processor do the work in this

case so I have our scallion white green

and white parts I have two cloves of

garlic and I have a half inch of ginger

that has been peeled and sliced thinly

now this is a pretty traditional

aromatic base for a lot of Asian cooking

so I'm just going to pulse this five to

ten times and tell all those ingredients

are nice and finely chopped and I'll

scrape it down once or twice on the way

through because there's not a lot in

there and they get kicked up and stick

to the side so our aromatics are nicely

finely chopped and we have one last

ingredient that we're going to put in 4

ounces of shiitake mushrooms that I've

stemmed in sliced a half inch thick a

little bulk through the sauce a little

meatiness a little umami flavor that

complements the other ingredients I'm

just gonna pulse that

you can see that everything is nicely

finely chopped okay now we are ready to

cook so I have a medium saucepan here

I'm just gonna put it over medium heat

I'm gonna add a 1 tablespoon of

vegetable oil and I'm gonna add our pork

to this we're just gonna cook it for a

minute so it's been a minute the pork is

starting to lose his pink color so I'm

just gonna take our aromatics scrape

that into the pot stir this in now we're

gonna let this go 5 to 7 minutes and

what's gonna happen is those aromatics

are gonna release some liquid we want

that to evaporate we don't want that

liquid in there so we're just looking

for this to dry out and start to stick

to the bottom of the pan ok so you can

see that all that liquid has now

evaporated and it's starting to kind of

stick on the sides of the pan and we

have a little bit of color there that's

okay and now we can add our miso mixture

that we mixed earlier we're gonna stir

this in now that's looking good yeah

we're just gonna bring this up to a


we're gonna go 8 to 10 minutes it's

gonna get a little darker and it's gonna

get a little thicker and then at that

point we can cook our noodles sounds

good it's been 8 minutes and I think

that our sauce is ready yeah

yeah it's gotten darker it's thickened

up a little bit and it smells really

intense I'm gonna put a cover on this

this is ready to go we can focus on our

noodles now today we're gonna be using 1

pound of lo mein noodles this is what it

looks like out of the pack eautiful yeah

and this is what it looks like in the

package you can find them in most

supermarkets large supermarkets you can

certainly find them in any Asian food

store if you can't find lo mein noodles

we recommend to use dried Italian

fettuccine it has a similar texture as

long as you cook it al dente

but you only want to use 8 ounces of

fettuccine you don't want to use a full

pound that's right because these are

fresh noodles they have moisture in them

these are dried yeah exactly what you

want to avoid is these Chinese style

noodles that you find in the

refrigerator you know those they don't

have a lot of flavor they're kind of a

mushy they don't have that nice chew

that the lo mein noodles so avoid this

if you can't find lo mein then use dried

fettuccine all right okay so let's cook

our noodles so I have 4 quarts of

boiling water here I'm just gonna drop

one pound of lo mein noodles in here

I'm just gonna give this a quick stir

three to five minutes we'll come back

and we'll eat all right

so I think our noodles are tender I can

just try one here mmm they're perfect

they're tender but they also you can

tell there's a little bit in the center

that's not quite cooked but by the time

we drain it and eat it it'll be

perfectly bites can I ask you to drain

that you know that it's for the noodles

to the platter you've got it whoo they

look hot our sauce is still warm here

you can use a ladle but I'm just gonna

put it right on top right out of the

saucepan it's a small amount of sauce

but it's gonna be really intensely

flavored so we have the cucumber's and

I'm just gonna put these in little

stations around the edge here you can

arrange them however you would like to

I'm adding six ounces of bean sprouts no

prep just open up the package rinse them

off you can go right onto your platter

and I'm gonna add our scallion greens

and a couple piles like this this is

really pretty

oh I'm getting the smells of the sauce

so we've gotten everything nicely mixed

in there and I think I can't wait any


get some more garnish on there want some

more guys yeah that's the stuff mm-hmm

the sauce is rich and deep and then it's

mitigated with the fresh cucumber and

the fresh bean sprouts in the small

amount of baking soda in there is made

sure that that pork is nice and tender

still juicy even though we've cooked it

for 10-15 minutes it's still really

great this is absolutely delicious

really great sausage yeah thank you

welcome so if you want to give it judge

on me on a try start by seasoning ground

pork with baking soda make a quick miso

based sauce and finely chop some

scallions and shitake mushrooms then

cook both with the pork for a few

minutes to make the sauce boil fresh lo

mein noodles until tender then topped

with the pork and some fresh cucumbers

and bean sprouts from America's Test

Kitchen to your kitchen a cool new

recipe for Beijing style meat sauce and


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