Undoubtedly, one of my favorite things to eat are dumplings. All types of dumplings… shrimp, pork, chicken–I don’t discriminate. I see “dumpling” on a menu and they’ve got my attention. So you would think it would have dawned on me sooner (being a recipe blogger and all) that I can learn to make them myself!
Not only was this an interesting research project into the filling, where to find dumpling skins, and most importantly, how to fold them but now I appreciate even more so the art that goes into making the perfect dumpling. I find that I get a little better every time I make these and I hope that rings true for you, too!
I always do my research before making any new recipe (which shouldn’t be surprising given that my full-time job is a researcher!), but for this recipe I really did my research. I can’t say that I grew up eating dumplings and watched my grandma in the kitchen making them for years. So I had to really educate myself before diving into this endeavor. I read countless recipes on different versions of pork dumplings and watched a bunch of YouTube videos on different folding techniques.
All that to say… if this is your first time attempting to make dumplings, then I did a lot of the hard work so that you can now enjoy the process, and most importantly… the product! I love making a big batch of them and freezing a bunch for later. To freeze them, you can leave them on the sheet pan overnight, then once they are fully frozen, you can store them in a zip lock bag.
- 1 pound ground pork 20-30% fat
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce or shoyu
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon chili oil
- 1 cup fresh chives, sliced thin or scallions
- 2 packages dumpling wrappers, room temperature Find these in any Asian grocery in the frozen section
- 2 cups room temperature water
- 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
Place the pork, soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil, chili oil in a large, and the egg in a large mixing bowl (do not add in the chives yet). Mix everything together with your hands for about 2-3 minutes until very well combined. Cover the bowl with saran wrap and let it marinade for about an hour. Add in the chives and combine again using your hands.
I have a video on my Instagram highlights (www.instagram.com/thefoodjoy) if you want to watch it visually, otherwise read the below instructions!
For assembling the dumplings, I suggest taking a baking sheet and lining it with plastic wrap so you can place the finished dumplings on the sheet as you go. I also prefer to do this at my kitchen table, sitting down as it does take some time.
Set your bowl with your filling to one side, a small bowl of room temperature water (about 1 cup) and the dumpling wrappers in front of you, and the baking sheet to the other side.
Start by holding the dumpling wrapper in one hand (your non-dominant hand), and using a regular spoon with your dominant hand, scoop a heaping spoonful of the filling into the center of the wrapper (about a tablespoon or so). Put down the spoon and take your finger, dip it into the water and wet the outer circle of the wrapper (on the inside/same side as the filling).
Take the bottom of the wrapper and bring it together with the top (so it looks like a taco shell or half-moon), pinching it to create a small seal using two fingers, leaving the sides unsealed.
Create three pleats on each side. Start closest to the middle, working your way to the outside, create a small fold in the direction of the center of the dumpling. Completely seal the edges and place on your baking sheet. Continue until the filling has been used up!
Depending on the size of your dumpling wrappers and how much you fill them (since this isn't a precise science!) you could end up with anywhere between 20 and 40 dumplings but likely 25-30.
Pan Frying the Dumplings (you will need a pan with a top for this part)
Heat a pan, preferably a cast iron if you have, on medium heat. Evenly spread one tablespoon of oil in the pan. Place about 6-8 dumplings down in the pan, pleated side up. Heat for about 1-2 minutes or until the bottom is golden brown.
Add about 3/4 cup of water to the pan and immediately cover the dumplings and let steam until the water has evaporated. Remove the dumplings and let cool down for about a minute before enjoying.