Are you looking for the best food infusion of all time? Then the famous Peking Ravioli might be the recipe you are searching for. This delicious dish has an interesting history and even better taste.
In this guide, you will learn one of the best recipes for Peking dumplings that will bring you closer to Chinese cuisine while also incorporating American elements for the ideal gourmet sensation.
It’s easy to make and you can’t go wrong with the ingredients, so keep on reading to find out everything about this Boston-style Chinese food on yet another culinary experience you cannot miss.
What Is Peking Ravioli?
Peking Ravioli is one of the most popular Chinese dishes in Boston, and it’s essentially Peking Dumplings with a twist. But what makes these delicious bites so popular?
The story begins in ancient China where there were three popular kinds of dumplings:
Each one spread across the world with its own delicious path, but if you are looking for the dumpling that inspired Peking Ravioli you need Jiaozi. However, Jiaozi is not what you would get if you order fried Peking ravioli, so what is it?
As history usually does, this dish was invented by a creative cook aiming to bring Chinese traditional cuisine to America and Italians that have come in search of a better future. Boston-based Chinese restaurant owner Joyce Chen decided she needed to find one thing that all people love and that will become recognizable.
By creating pan-fried Chinese ravioli this cook made one of the most interesting foods and names combination. Delicious dough, stuffed with meat and veggies served with sauce became so popular that it’s often referred to as Boston-Style dumplings.
The dish was popular among the Italians looking for the taste of homemade dough and among Americans who love to have crispy fried food. All in all, it was a brilliant invention.
You can find steamed Peking ravioli pretty much anywhere in the world but every cook and restaurant will make it with a twist and unique. This is the beauty of the dishes that are made on the go and for everyday enjoyment.
Is Peking Ravioli same as potstickers?
Many people call Peking Ravioli just another potsticker, but is this the same dish?
The important thing to remember is that classic and traditional dumplings are boiled or steamed, not fried. A new way of preparing the dumplings by frying them in the pan came from the influence of American cuisine and other places.
As the name implies, potstickers stick to the pot or, more precisely, they’re fried before they are cooked. Thus there is a resemblance to Peking Ravioli.
On the other hand, you can have hundreds of Peking dumplings in your life and they could all be different depending on the cook, recipe, and ingredients. One thing they will have in common is the crispiness of frying in a pan or a wok.
The best Peking ravioli recipe
If you are looking for the best Peking Ravioli recipe we have prepared one of the most popular versions in Boston and worldwide. These pot-stickers are easy to make even if you decide to create the dough from scratch.
Since this recipe has three main components we will start by the preparation of the single ingredients and then explain how to cook everything together.
You can always use the ready-made store-bought dough or make your own for a more homemade feel and taste.
Here is what you will need if you decide to make the dough:
- 10 ounces (2 cups) of all-purpose flour
- About 3/4 cup water
Just these two ingredients and a bit of work are needed to make the best dough for your wrappers. You can either prepare the dough in the food processor or by hand, it’s up to you.
Keep in mind that the kneading part will take some time but the end result is worth it.
Put your flour in a bowl and add water, slowly. Some recipes call for boiling water, but room temperature one is just fine. Mix the water with the flour and let it rest for a few minutes and allow the gluten to develop.
After a few minutes, you need to knead the dough for at least 2 minutes several times, or until it becomes smooth and easy to work with. If you get tired you can always take a break and leave the dough covered in a bowl.
Once you have the perfect consistency without lumps you need to allow the dough to rest for at least half an hour. Traditionally it would be resting for at least 2 hours in the fridge, but you need to let it warm up to room temperature once you are ready to prepare the dish.
When the dough is ready you will need a flat surface and a rolling pin to make the dough as thin as possible. This takes some time and practice, but you will learn all the tricks fast.
Once the dough is flat enough you can cut it with a glass if you want circles, or with a knife.
Every dumpling is about 4 inches across, but you can make them as big or as small as you would like. Keep in mind that smaller dumplings are easier to cook and eat in one bite.
Peking dumplings are famous for that meaty filling, but the truth is there are so many variations that you can customize it to your liking and taste each time you make the dish.
For the best results, we strongly recommend these ingredients for the filling:
- 1 lb ground meat (usually pork, or any other meat)
- Finely chopped ¾ inch of ginger
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp of Soy sauce
- 2 tbsp of Sesame oil
- ⅓ tsp of salt
- 4 scallions (optional)
To prepare the filling simply mix all of the ingredients and add spices if you wish. If you are not sure how the filling is going to taste you can always microwave a small amount on a paper towel and taste it once it’s cooked.
This will allow you to determine if you need to add more salt, while you won’t eat the raw meat and risk food poisoning.
The filling is not cooked separately and it should go raw in the dumplings. This way all of the sauce from the meat will blend perfectly with the dough and leave it moist and delicious.
Keep in mind that you can experiment with the filling and add different ingredients that you have in your pantry. Make the meaty base the same but optionally add cabbage, carrots, or bamboo. It will bring more crunch to the dish, but some people might like it even more.
You can even make Peking Ravioli without the meat if you want a vegetarian version, but make sure to add more vegetables for a fuller taste in the end.
You might not realize it but the sauce is one of the most important things when it comes to these pan-stickers. It’s easy to make and turns out great every time.
Here is what you are going to need:
- ½ cup of water
- 1 tsp of sugar
- 4 tbsp of Soy sauce
- Garlic powder
- Sesame oil to taste
- Rice vinegar to taste
Once you have all the ingredients in a bowl just give everything a good mix and taste it. You can add more salt if the sauce needs it, but in general, you are ready to prepare the Peking Ravioli.
One thing to keep in mind is that this recipe is quite forgiving and you can experiment with the sauce too. Try adding a dash of Hoisin or fish sauce for that extra boost of flavor.
Since the dumplings are meant to be dipped in the sauce before eating it needs to be made fresh and delicious.
Try to make the ingredients in the sauce compliment the ones found in the filling and keep the salt to a minimum, because it can easily become too salty. For additional spice, you can always add some chili peppers or flakes.
When you have the stuffing and the dough ready you can make these dumplings really fast. Just add two tablespoons to each piece of dough, or enough to fill it up but allow you to fold the dough in half.
If you want to make sure the Peking dumplings are not going to open during cooking you can put some egg white or water to make the edges stick together. Additionally, you should pinch the edges to make that unique dumpling look. There is no right or wrong when it comes to the shape of dumplings.
The filled dough can be prepared right away or even frozen if you made a bigger batch. This way you can have prepared Peking Ravioli in your freezer, and ready to be cooked in minutes.
No matter if you are preparing the dumplings right away or frozen, you should always fry them on the pan first to get that golden crispy color and crunch. Once they are fried on both sides you can add water to the pan and put the lid on.
Simmering for a few minutes will allow the meat to become fully cooked, while the juices from cooking create that unique umami-tasting dumpling. Once the dumplings are ready you should serve them hot and with the Peking Ravioli dipping sauce.
It can be an amazing appetizer, snack, or even the main course depending on your preferences. One thing is for sure, the blend of amazing aromas and delicious taste will leave you wanting more.