Hillary and I are serious dumpling fanatics. There’s nothing quite like a meal of steamed, fried, or soup dumplings with a side of scallion pancakes. We love to visit Shanghai Deluxe (NYC) for soupies, Dim Sum Garden (Philly) for fried, and Thai Lake (Philly) for steamed. About three years ago, I tried my at hand at dumpling making – mostly so I could eat them whenever I wanted. I quickly learned that it’s too difficult an endeavor to have on-demand dumplings, which is probably a good thing for my health. However, this recipe is perfect for when you want to throw a dumpling party with friends or just want to make use of the rice wine/sesame oil/soy sauce that’s been sitting your panty.
Andrea Nguyen’s Asian Dumplings is the best starting point for newbie jiaozi/gyoza chefs. However, there is one essential instruction Nguyen doesn’t stress enough. Don’t try to make the dumpling wrappers yourself! Make your life a thousand times easier and buy the 50 pack of wrappers from the Asian supermarket. Using the below recipes you can make either fried or boiled dumplings.
- 2/3 lb ground pork
- 1 cup chopped Napa Cabbage (only the leafy part)
- 1/4 cup minced Chinese chives or scallions
- 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
- 1 1/2 TBS soy sauce
- 1 TBS rice wine
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 package of round dumpling wrappers (I prefer Shanghai style)
- Peel and wash cabbage leaves. Slice the leafy part from the thicker stem. Chop the leafy parts until you have about 1 cup worth and place in a bowl. Generously salt the cabbage and let rest for 10 – 15 minutes.
- While the cabbage sits, prepare your pork mixture in a large bowl. Finely mince the chives and grate the ginger into the bowl. Add pork, soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil, salt, and pepper. Mix together until everything is well incorporated.
- Return to the cabbage. This step is KEY!! Squeeze the cabbage using your hands, colander, and/or cheese cloth until most of the moisture is gone.
- Add cabbage to the pork mixture and fold everything together.
Making the Dumplings
- Prepare your wrappers, a bowl of warm water, and non-stick area for the dumplings.
- Put one wrapper in the middle of your palm and place a tablespoon of filling in the center. Using the tip of your finger rub the warm water around the edge of the wrapper.
- For Boiled: Make a “half-moon” fold by simply pressing together the edges of the wrapper to make a semi-circle shape.
- For Fried: Follow the same step as half-moon, but then make 3 or so pleats across the top of the fold.
- Set all your dumplings on a baking sheet/parchment paper and cover with a dish towel until your ready to cook.
Cooking the Dumplings
- For Boiled: While your making the dumplings, put a large pot of water to boil. Once the dumplings are ready drop them into the boiling water and stir them around so they don’t stick. Lower the heat and cook for 6 minutes. Remove dumplings one by one with a slotted spoon.
- For Fried: These babies are much more tricky than boiled! In a non-stick pan or wok add a 1 1/2 TBS mixture of canola oil and sesame oil. At medium-high heat, fry the dumplings for 2 minutes making sure the oil in evenly distributed. Reduce heat to low and add 1/3 cup water. Quickly cover the pan because the oil will start to pop violently. Keep the pan covered for 6 minutes more then remove lid and fry for an additional minute.
Details: You’ll probably get 25-30 dumplings worth. Enough for a tasty dinner and next day lunch!