Chinese Pork Dumplings
- Prep Time 0:45
- Cook Time 0:10
- Estimated Cost $14.50
- 46 Comments
Some people meditate with river rocks or yoga or gongs. Some people throw Tarot cards or the I Ching. Some people chant. Good for them.
I, however, make dumplings.
I find it endlessly soothing--the mixing of the meat, the flouring of the rolling board, the folding of the tiny ruffles that seal my dumplings together, creating a perfect vacuum for cooking the tender pork mixture.
It may not qualify as Zen, but it's my own personal Nirvana. And it's not as hard as you might think.
First, you mix pork (or another ground meat) with flavorings...
...so it looks like this.
Next, get your wrappers ready on a floured surface, with a little bowl of water.
Put a little bit of filling in the center of a dumpling wrapper.
After dabbing water on the edges, fold it in half, like a taco.
Carefully fold little pleats on one side of the dumpling, sealing as you go.
The finished product should look like this.
Make a whole plate of 'em.
Then fry them in vegetable oil, so the bottoms get brown and crispy.
Pour in a little water and steam away.
The finished product is crispy on the bottom and juicy inside. I like them with chili paste for an extra kick.
- 3/4 lb ground pork (you can also use beef or chicken, but add 1 egg yolk to make sure it stays moist enough) $2
- 6 napa cabbage leaves, minced $1 for a head
- 8 garlic chives (available at Asian grocery stores. If you can't find them, subsititute 4 minced green onions), minced $1.50 for a bunch
- 1 handful fresh cilantro, minced optional
- 1/4 medium onion (or 1 shallot), minced $0.50 for a whole onion
- 3 tbsp minced ginger $0.50 for a medium-sized piece of ginger
- 3 cloves garlic, minced Pantry
- 3 tbsp soy sauce, Pantry
- 1 tbsp sesame oil, $3 for 12 oz.
- 2 tbsp corn starch $2 for 14 oz.
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar $2.50 for 14 oz.
- 1 tbsp Asian chili paste optional
- flour for dusting Pantry
- 40 round dumpling or potsticker wrappers, allowed to come to room temperature $1.50
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil for frying Pantry
Recipe Serves 6
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the pork (or beef/chicken plus an egg yolk), minced cabbage, garlic chives (or green onions), cilantro (if using), onion (or shallot), ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, corn starch (if using), rice vinegar and chili paste (if using). Mix well, using clean hands, to combine.
- Place your dumpling wrappers on a lightly floured surface, along with the filling and a small bowl of water.
- To assemble the dumplings, use a clean finger to brush the edges of a dumpling skin lightly with water.
- Place about 2 tsps of the pork mixture in the center of the wrapper, making it into a neat little mound, leaving a large border of empty wrapper.
- Fold the wrapper in half, like a little taco, but do not seal it.
- Make 5-6 small pleats on one side,as you seal the wrapper together, pinching gently to ensure total closure. The dumpling should resemble a little crescent moon.
- Repeat with the remaining filling and wrappers, until all the potstickers are made are made.
- To cook the dumplings, heat the oil in a large frying pan (make sure it has a fitted lid and set it near the stove), over medium heat.
- Working in batches, arrange the dumplings close to one another (but not touching) in the pan) and let cook for 2-3 minutes, until a golden crust begins to develop on the bottom.
- Carefully pour about 1/4 cup water over the gyoza, then cover the pan quickly and let steam for about 3 minutes.
- Remove the lid and let the dumplings aerate until the excess water is cooked away and the bottoms become crisp again.
- Transfer the cooked dumplings to a serving platter, repeat with the remaining uncooked dumplings, then serve immediately, with a half-and-half mixture of soy sauce and rice vinegar for dipping.