Introduction: How to Make Chinese Leek Boxes
Chinese Leek Box is one of the most popular appetizers in China.With hot, tender leeks and fried eggs inside, crispy wrap outside, the leek box tastes surprisingly delicious! This instructbale will guide you step by step to make Chinese Leeks Boxes from scratch. Follow the steps below would allow you to have a taste of real Chinese snacks. Anyone who is old enought to cook should be able to follow the instructions. Be aware that since the instruction requires pan frying the prepared wraps on an pan, children might not be able to cook the boxes on their own. Although experiences in making the dough from flour wil help, novice cooks should also be able to perform all the steps and accomplish the tasty Chinese Leek Boxes. The approximate time required is about one to two hours for nonexperienced people. For experienced ones, it might take 30 minutes to one hour. The time also depends on how many boxes you are going to make.
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Step 1: Gather Ingredients and Tools Needed
In order to make ten Chinese Leek Boxes, you will need the following items:
1. 2 cups of All purposes of flour
2. 5 eggs
3. 0.25Kg of leeks
4. 1 teaspoon of salt, or to taste
5. 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil
6. 1/2 teaspoon of Chinese pepper powder
7. 3 teaspoon of vegetable oil ( or any type of oil for frying the eggs)
8. 0.5 cups of warm water
Note: The number above is approximated for preparing ten pieces of leek boxes. You are free to adjust the amount of ingredients proportionally or according to your personal taste.
4.Two Forks or two pairs of chopsticks
5.Frying Pan and Spatula
6. Two to Three bowls (Two relatively large bowl and one small bowl)
7. A large and deep bowl or container to make the dough
8.A cup for measurement
Step 2: Prepare the Dough
1. Put all the needed flour in a large,deep bowl.
- Tips: It is easier to rub the flour in the bowl if the bowl is deep.
2. Make a small hole (around one centimeter of diameter) in the center of the flour.
- Tips: This step will make it easier to rub the flour around the center and in one direction without messing up.
3.Pour the prepared warm water in and around the hole, like the second image.
- Tips: The image shown here is just to show you how it look like when pouring water onto the flour. For unexperienced cook, be sure to put the water to a cup and pour it slowly and carefully to avoid pouring too much water.
- Tips: It will not harm if the water is poured out of the hole, as long as the water is on the flour. It just make things easier if pour the water in the hole. It is very hard to pour all the water in and around the hole. Don't be frustrated!
4. Use forks or chopsticks to stir the flour in the bowl in one direction. Refer to the third and fourth image.
- Tips:The speed for stirring the flour does not really matter as long as all the flour still remains in the bowl. You would find a moderate speed is more comfortable.
5. Continue stirring the flour until the dough ball begins to leave the sides of the bowl.
- Tips: If you find your dough is too sticky, you might add too much water. Feel free to add small amount of flour in to the bowl to make the dough less sticky. Otherwise, if the dough crumbles apart, add small amount of water, like one or two teaspoons.
- Attention: Add only asmall amount of water or flour when you try to adjust the stickiness level! Add too much water or flour will make the dough much bigger than what you really need.
6. Pull the dough away from the bowl when the dough does not stick to the bowl anymore, like the sixth image.
7. Put the some flour on the top of the cutting board.
- This step is to prevent the dough sticks on to the board.
8.Put the dough on to the cutting board where there is flour on it.
9.Fold the dough over and push down with your hand.
10. Turn the dough over, fold it, and push down again.
11.Repeat step 10 and 11 over and over again until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- The dough is ready when it is soft and smooth on surface and holds together nicely like a ball.
- It should look like similar to the dough in the last image.
12. Turn the big bowl over.
13.Put the prepared flour underneath of the bowl.
- Tips: This step is to prevent the dough from becoming dryer and crumbling apart.
14. Wash the cutting board and wipe it up to prepare for next step.
- If you have extra cutting board, you can ignore this step.
Step 3: Prepare the Filling
This step will need five eggs, 0.25Kg of leeks, 1 teaspoon of salt, or to taste, 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil, 1/2 teaspoon of Chinese pepper powder, 3 teaspoon of vegetable oil ( or any type of oil for frying the eggs).
1. Crack each of the five eggs into a relatively large bowl.
- Note:The bowl does not have to be as big as the bowl we used for making the dough, but it should be large enough to hold all the cracked eggs with extra space for whisking.
- Attention: Avoid getting the shells of the egg into the bowl. You can also crack the eggs in a separate bowl first to avoid putting bad eggs in the aggregate bowl.
2. Whisk mixture in the large ball with a fork or a pair of chopsticks, like the second and third page.
- Note: Be careful not to splash the egg mixture out. It is hard to wash the clothes with eggs mixture.
3. Continue whisking mixture until the yolk and egg white mixed together very well.
- The liquid in the bowl should look uniform like the fourth image.
4.Add 1 teaspoon of salt into the mixture,like the fifth image.
5.Mix the salt the mixture.
Warning! Because we are pan frying the eggs with oil, do step 6 to 9 patiently and control the temperature of the pan.
6.Adjust the oven temperature to middle level and wait to heat the pan,like image 6.
- The pan is ready around 30 seconds.
7.Add the vegetable oil to the pan and wait around 1 minute.
8. Pour the well-mixed egg mixture on to the pan.
- Warning: The oil might splash out and hurt you if there is some water in the mixture. You should do this step carefully and not stay too close to the pan.
- Image 7 is what it should look like after this step.
9. Fry the mixture with the spatula until it is ready, like image 7 to 9.
- Image 9 is what the eggs should look like when it is ready.
10.Wash the leeks.
11.Chop the leeks into small pieces on the cutting board, like image 10 to 11.
- Warning: Do step 11 very carefully to avoid cutting yourself! You can do it very slowly if you are not quite experienced at chopping thins on the board.
12. Put the chopped leeks in to a bowl, like image 12.
- Note: The bowl should be relatively large because we are going to put the fried eggs in to the bowl as well.
13. Put the fried eggs in to the bowl with the chopped leeks.
14. Mixture fried eggs and leeks together using chopsticks or forks.
15. Add 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil into the bowl, like image 13.
16. Add 1/2 teaspoon of Chinese pepper powder into the bowl, like image 14.
17.Mixture all the ingredients in the bowl together using chopsticks or forks.
18. Wash the cutting board and wipe it up to prepare for next step.
- If you are using another cutting board for cutting the leeks, you can grab your previous board with flour on it.
Step 4: Make the Wrapper
1.Wipe the cutting board thoroughly if it is washed.
2. Put some flour onto the board.
- This step is to prevent the dough from sticking to the board.
3.Remove the finished dough from the cover of the bowl.
4.Put the dough onto the board.
5. Roll the dough into a shape of stick.
- The dough should now look similar to mine in image 2 after this step.
6. Cut the dough into ten small pieces of similar size using a knife.
- Warning: Always be careful when you use knife cutting things. Never cut yourself by accident!
- I cut them into ten pieces to prepare for ten leek boxes.
7.Shape each of the ten pieces into small balls.
- Each of the small piece should like similar to the piece in image 3.
8.Put your hand on it and push it to make it flat, referring to image 4 and 5.
- Tips: If you have washed your hand, wipe your hand and put some flour on the surface of your hand to prevent stickiness.
9.Use the rolling pin to roll out each piece of dough into a circular wrapper about 8 to 10 centimeters in diameter.
- Tips: Rotating the small dough in one direction as you roll it will help make it into a circular shape, like image 6 to 12.
- Note: The wrapper should be neither too thin nor too thick. It should be around 0.5 centimeter in thickness.
- The edge should be slightly thiner than the middle of the wrapper because we are going to fold the edges together.
- When this step is finished, your wrapper should look similar to the wrapper in the last image.
Step 5: Wrap the Filling Into the Wrapper
Wrapping the Chinese leek box is quite similar to wrapping Chinese dumplings, except the larger size. If you have wrapped Chinese Dumplings before, go ahead and use your own style of wrapping and ignore the following instructions. Otherwise, follow the instructions below.
1. Put some water into a bowl, like the first image.
- Tips: Warm water is better. But if not available, ordinary water is fine. Don't put hot water in the bowl!
- A small bowl is enough.
2. Dip one finger into the water and use the figure to spread water around the edge of the wrapper.
- This step will make it easier to fold the edges together in the following step 4.
3.Place around two spoon of filling in the middle, like image 2.
- Note:Avoid putting too much filling into the wrapper, because it'll leek out during the folding process.
4. Fold the opposite side of the wrapper together to make the wrapper into a half moon.
5.Pinch the edge of the wrapper together and make a fold like what you see from image 4 to 10.
- Tips: Use your thumb of both hands to push the fold on to the edge of the wrapper to make them stick stronger.
6.Continue making the folds in the same direction, until you reach the ending of the side.
- The finished wrapper should look something similar to the wrapper in the last image.
- The folds on the edges are to strengthen the sealing and create pretty ruffles.
7. Now, You have finished one boxes! Continue finishing the remaining wrappers in the same way!
If you find wrapping the wrapper with filling is too difficult, just make sure the edges of the boxes stick together and they do not have to be in good shape.
Step 6: Pan Frying the Boxes
Warning: Pan frying the boxes involves oil at a high temperature. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully to avoid hurt yourself! Once the temperature is too high and a lot of smoke ring from the pan, remove the pan from the stove immediately and turn off the stove!
1.Turn on the stove to middle heat and heat the pan, like image 1.
- This process should took around one minute.
2.Put one box on the pan.
- Wait around two to three minutes to heat the bottom of the box, or until golden brown.
- The time of waiting depends on the condition of your stove.
- Attention: Never adjust the temperature to high heat to shorten the waiting time! The boxes can burn easily! Doing so will only result in burned out and bod taste leek boxes.
3.Flip over the box to check the condition of the box.
- The box should look similar to that in image 2.
4.If the bottom of the box is still white, flip back and wait for longer time.
5.If the box is golden brown, you can cook on the other side of the box until both sides are a gorgeous golden brown.
6.If your pan is large enough, feel free to put another box onto the pan while waiting for the last box to be cooked.
7. Repeat step 2 to 6 until all the boxes are well cooked!
- Image 7 is what the well cooked boxes look like.
Step 7: Congratulations!
You have successfully made the Chinese Leek Boxes! These steps are so complicated, I know! Be proud of yourself!!! Not everyone can make the Chinese leek boxes. The image is what my boxes look like. Your boxes might look prettier than mine. Also, be cautious when you taste it because it is hot!
Maybe put it aside for five minutes to cool down before you taste the boxes!
Don't be frustrated if the box is not in good shape. Practice makes perfect. Making the boxes more times will make you expert.