We just finished posting on how to make those delightful Chinese New Year's sweet treats, the Jau Gok Peanut Puff Dumpling, or 炸油角. This little dumpling is really easy to make and easy to wrap as well if you use a dumpling press of some sort. But...if you want to go all traditional and hard core and wrap by hand, the wrapping is a bit more tricky, so we decided to do a quick post on How to Wrap Jau Gok Peanut Puff Dumplings 炸油角 by hand.
First of all I would like to say that wrapping the Jau Gok is one of those things that probably everyone sucks at when they start but once you figure it out it's real easy and natural to do. Kinda like bicycle riding. So...confession...my first bunch of Jau Gok were really, really funny looking things (that only a mother could love...) But, trust me, just keep plugging away and it will be alright very soon!
Roll out your Jau Gok dough (see our Jau Gok recipe) to 1/8" inch thickness. Use a 2" to 2 1/2" cookie cutter (or a overturned glass cup with proper sized rim) to cut out dough rounds. Holding your cut out wrapper, press and turn on the edge 1/2" between your thumb and forefinger to thin the edges of the dough, leaving the center untouched (and therefore thicker.)
Spoon a teaspoon or so of your Jau Gok filling onto your dough round. How much depends on how big or small you make your Jau Gok. The filling should pack firmly inside the dumpling no matter what size you make it.
Bring the wrapper up on both sides and press together at the top. Press close the wrapper on one side, then the other, poking the filling in with a dry finger as needed. The filling should fill up the dumpling with no air pockets. The edge as you pinch your dumpling closed should be around 1/4" wide.
With your dumpling sealed, the next step is to press the wrapper lip to create an even wider lip of wrapper around the filled part of the dumpling. This wider lip allows you to fold and crimp the edge with the pretty pattern. The lip should end up about 1/2" wide.
With the widened lip facing you, make the first pleat by folding over the left edge and pressing firmly with thumb.
For the next pleat move over a bit and grasp the widened lip of dough between thumb and forefinger, then fold lip over by 1/4" (i.e. half the width of the widened lip) and press thumb down firmly on the lower 3/4th's of your fold. This step is the trick of the whole thing. By not pressing down on your fold completely, leaving that 1/4th of your fold alone, you will leave a nice bump as you crimp the edges. See the photo above where there is a bump and then my fingerprint, then a bump, then my fingerprint, etc.
Repeat the above step at even intervals all around the Jau Gok, remembering to press firmly so that the dumpling is sealed well.
Done! Your Jau Gok 油角 is wrapped and ready for the hot oil. They really are quite pretty to look at aren't they? I like the hand wrapped ones much more than the ones we pressed out with our Jau Gok gadget. But of course it takes more time. Which ones do you like?
Check out our Jau Gok Recipe where we also show how to use a dumpling press to make Jau Gok. Wishing to all our dear readers a Happy Chinese New Year!
More Chinese New Year Dishes at The Hong Kong Cookery:
Buddha's Delight | Luohan Zhai 羅漢齋
Potsticker Pork Dumplings 鍋貼
Chinese New Year Tray of Togetherness 中國新年攢盒
Stir Fried Nian Gao Rice Cakes 炒年糕
Chinese New Year Cake Nian Gao 年糕
Tong Yuan Rice Dumpling 黑芝麻湯圓
Chinese New Year Celebrations 香港新春節慶
Chinese New Year Flowers 中國新年花
Homemade Chinese Pork Jerky Bakkwa 自制猪肉干
Braised Dried Oysters with Black Sea Moss and Roast Pork 髮菜蠔豉燜燒肉
Chinese Smiling Sesame Cookie Balls 笑口棗
Jau Gok Peanut Puff Dumpling 炸油角 / 炸角仔