Steamy Kitchen Chinese Boiled Pork Dumplings – any dumplings really come down to one thing. They are a giant pain in the butt to make – but totally worth it – so when you get going you might as well make a big batch.
As Jaden said, salting and squeezing the water out of the cabbage REALLY is essential. It prevents your dumplings from being too soggy!
12 ounces napa cabbage leaves, roughly chopped (or regular cabbage)
1 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/2 teaspoon table salt)
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger (use microplane grater)
1/4 cup minced Chinese chives or green onions (white and green parts)
2/3 pound ground pork
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper (or freshly ground black pepper)
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 package frozen round dumpling wrappers (gyoza/potsticker wrappers), defrosted at room temperature for 30 minutes (I used square wrappers – worked just fine)
for the slurry: 1 tablespoon cornstarch + 1/2 cup water (I didnt have any cornstarch handy, and used Wondra flour and water instead.)
1. To make the filling, put the cabbage in a food processor and process until cabbage is finely minced. Remove the cabbage to a large bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Let cabbage sit for 10 minutes. In the meantime, return the food processor bowl to the stand and add the ginger, chives, pork, pepper, soy sauce, rice wine and sesame oil. Pulse 4 times to mix the ingredients well. Set aside.
2. Use your hands to grab a handful of the cabbage and squeeze and discard the excess moisture out into the sink. You can also spoon all of the cabbage onto a cheesecloth and then squeeze all the water out. Place the dry cabbage back into the large bowl and add the pork mixture. Fold the cabbage into the pork mixture.
3. Mix together the slurry. Take one dumpling wrapper, spoon scant 1 tablespoon of the pork mixture onto the middle of the wrapper. Dip one finger into the slurry and “paint” the edges of the dumpling wrapper. Bring up the bottom side of the wrapper, fold up and press to shape into a half-moon shape, encasing all of the filling.* Place on baking sheet, cover loosely with plastic wrap and repeat with rest of dumplings. Make sure that the dumplings do not touch each other on the sheet.
*At this point, if you have square wrappers, its a bit different. Instead of a half moon, you fold from a square into a triangle. I then folded the ends of the triangle in (see below). Be gentle – its easy to rip them here!
Dont worry if you have a couple screwups, you’ll get the hang of it quickly. Its incredibly easy to overfill – when in doubt, underfill them!
4. When all dumplings assembled, you can cook immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to several hours. To cook, half-fill a large pot with water and bring to boil. When boiling, and gently slide in 1/3 of the dumplings. When water returns to a boil, turn heat to a simmer and gently cook for 6-8 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon and repeat with remaining dumplings. Serve with hot chili sauce. Makes 50(ish) dumplings.
Snowflake Kitchen Dumpling Sauce
Chili Garlic Paste
Rice Wine Vinegar
Mix to taste – I used about equal parts of the soy/vinegar, one clove minced garlic (or frozen garlic cube) and one heaping tablespoon of chili garlic paste – cause I love the stuff. I added honey in small amounts until it balanced the acid and heat.
Really satisfying, even though a ton of work. I boiled the ones we ate that day and froze the rest. I think I might try steaming or pan frying the next batch. The wrappers are so versatile – I am scheming up new things to do with those… I see custom ravioli and dessert wontons in my future!