Wo Tip is a kind of Chinese dumpling that is made of minced pork, vegetables and wrapped with wheat flour skin fried on a hot flat pan. It should often be shaped like a crescent, eaten with soy sauce or vinegar but not with soup. When served, you can see the bottom of the wo tip skin is in deep maize color, crispy and juicy inside.
It is said that Empress Dowager Cixi (1835 - 1908) loved dumplings (jiao'zi) very much, but she would refuse to eat when the bowl became cold. So the imperial chefs must made new bowls of dumplings for the empress and dumped the cold ones. One day, the empress smelt the fragrance of some food in her royal garden. She traced the aroma and walked outside the imperial court, discovered that there are people frying dumplings which looked in golden yellowish color. She curiously sampled a piece of jiao'zi, it was so delicious and juicy. The cooks told her that these were the cold dumplings, now they were being reheated by frying with cooking oil, because this method could make the retort process much easier.
There is another saying about the origin of wo tip. A master chef from Guangdong Province tasted the fried dumplings during his tour to northern China. He felt the delicacy was great, he then introduced it to his hometown and improved it, so it became today's wo tip. Actually "wo tip" is a direct transliteration from Cantonese, a dialect of Guangdong Province.
Shanghai has always been a city gathering the eating habits at home and abroad, so it is easily to see the why the northern Chinese delicacy introduced to the city. The skin of Shanghai wo tip is flimsier than the fried dumplings of northern China, with more stuffing filled in and very juicy.
Ingredients and Method
For making a 100-wo tip dish (it can be served in a small party !), it is needed to prepare wheat flour about 1kg, 25g of salt, 150g of peanut or corn oil, pork 1kg, white sugar 25g, Shaoxing Yellow Wine 30g and sauce made of shallots and gingers about 15g.
First of all, mince the pork by a knife, add salt, sugar, wine, sauce and 300g of water, mix them all, and then stir these ingredients evenly together, so the result becomes the stuffing of wo tip.
Secondly, the flour should be mixed with warm water of about 350g, knead it for several times and make it to a long bar. Divide it evenly into 100 small pieces, roll them flat and shape them to round cakes which about 17cm in diameter each. Add the stuffing (15g for each wo tip), fold the skin and wrap it to a crescent-like form.
Thirdly, heat the flat pan, and then add 100g of cooking oil. Wait for a minute or two; put the wo tips on the pan. After three or four minutes, cover the pan and the dumplings to be heated for four or five minutes more in stronger fire. Add 50g of cooking oil now and wait four minutes again. During frying, the flat pan should always be moved to avoid the dumplings' bottom sticking the pan and burn as a result. Thus, the juicy and crispy Shanghai wo tip dish is ready to serve!