Whether steamed, boiled, pan-fried or deep fried, dumplings are delicious. I’ve been eating a fair amount of dim sum the past year, which has afforded me the opportunity to try lots of different dumpling textures and flavour combinations that I wasn’t previously acquainted with.
This particular recipe isn’t too adventurous – I think arguably this is the most common type of asian dumpling out there – but it is surprisingly simple and it is really quick to prepare. Doing all the vegetables in the food processor really speeds up the filling making process. It’s nice to know exactly what you are putting into the dumplings.
½ Pound of Ground Pork
½ Pound of Sui Choy / Napa Cabbage
Approx 15 Chinese Chives (or 3 Green Onions)
½ inch of chopped ginger
1 tablespoon of soy
White or Black Pepper
1 package (40-50) dumpling wrappers (the one I buy came in a pack of 2)
Roughly chop the cabbage and chives/green onions into 1-2 inch lengths then put in the food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
Combine the chopped vegetables with all of the other ingredients (except for the wrappers!) and mix with your hands until combined – you are now ready to start forming dumplings!
Forming the dumplings is actually pretty easy once you do a couple. Basically put a teaspoon or so of the filling into the centre of the dumpling, wet one edge with a finger dipped in water, then fold and pinch several times to seal the dumpling. This is a good easy technique: http://youtu.be/egODr0wK9H8
As I make the dumplings I place them on a cooking sheet – some get cooked right away and the rest I put into the freezer. Once frozen remove the dumplings from the cooking sheet and put into freezer bags. Now you have dumplings that are ready when you are.
To cook the dumplings, heat up a pan to medium and then add oil. Place the dumplings (folded side up and not over crowded) and cook until golden brown on the bottom, approximately 5 – 7 minutes.
Once browned, add ½ cup or so of water to the pan, turn down the heat and then cover the pan. The dumplings will steam and cook through.
When the water is more or less evaporated the dumplings can be removed from the pan and are ready to serve. I like to serve them with a dipping sauce that is a mixture of Chinese vinegar, chili oil and soy.
Oh, the delicious dumpling.