I don’t know about you, but when I’m eating out a Chinese restaurant, it’s a guarantee that I’m ordering some form of dumpling. They’re just so good! A tender, doughy pocket that’s filled with a savory, flavorful meat mixture is pretty hard to pass up. So whether they’re pan-fried or tucked into a soup, they’re going to make an appearance on my table. The good news is that such deliciousness doesn’t have to be limited to restaurant-fare… You can make your own dumplings right at home that are every bit as tasty. It’s a fun little project, but it’s a relatively easy one and we’ll show you just how to do it!
Making the filling is as simple as it gets. It’s just a matter of mixing up a few ingredients. Here we’ve got ground pork and shredded Napa cabbage that’s seasoned with ginger, green onion, soy sauce, sesame oil, and some Chinese cooking wine. It’s the perfect savory combination – hearty and salty but brightened up with the ginger and green onion.
As far as wrappers go, you could make your own dough, or you could just go ahead and use storebought. This is one instance where we think taking the storebought shortcut is more than okay. The end results are just as good and you’ll save yourself a lot of time by using the packaged variety.
To fill them, you just hold a wrapper in one hand and put about a tablespoon of the filling into the center. Be careful not to overdo it on the filling; that will only make wrapping them harder. Wet the edges of the wrapper with a bit of water and fold it over to cover the filling. (The water helps the wrapper stick to itself.) From there, you just twist or fold or pinch the edges to seal it… There are a million and one ways to seal a dumpling, so find your own style, but just make sure you get the entire side when you do it. (You don’t want any filling escaping when you cook them, after all!)
The easiest method of cooking is just to let these babies hang out for a few minutes in some boiling water. You’ll know they’re done because the wrapper becomes somewhat translucent and the dumpling will start to float. Whisk up our quick soy dipping sauce and then dip, repeat, and enjoy!
Chinese Pork Dumplings
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 lb napa cabbage, shredded
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
- 2 green onions, sliced lengthwise and thinly sliced
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 package dumpling wrappers
- For the sauce:
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Chinese black vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon chili oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Place cabbage in a large bowl and sprinkle liberally with salt, mixing it together with your hands. Allow to rest for 10 minutes, then place cabbage in cheesecloth or paper towels and squeeze out any excess liquid.
- Return drained cabbage to the bowl. Add ground pork, green onions, soy sauce, cooking wine, sesame oil, salt and pepper. Mix until thoroughly combined.
- Hold a dumpling wrapper in one hand and place 1 tablespoon of filling into the center. Wet the outer edge of the dumpling wrapper, then fold into a half moon shape. Using your index finger and thumb, pinch the two sides together, creating pleats to seal the dumpling. Create pleats left to right then right to left to completely seal dumpling.
- Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Boil dumplings until skin is translucent and dumplings are floating, 3-5 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, black vinegar, sesame oil, chili oil, and minced garlic. Serve with dumplings and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Omnivores Cookbook.