Dumplings (& minced pork stirfry)

Chinese new year is approaching & I’m in full on prep mode for our annual get together next week! Although I often do more of a dinner (where I’m in & out of the kitchen), this year I’m going to do as much as possible in advance to avoid hovering around the stove all evening. I want to make sure I’m enjoying the party!

Most of the stuff is going to be a quick ‘throw in the oven’ or cold canape bites…however, there are a few people coming that are dumpling fans. Fortunately they’re super easy & quick to steam or boil, so I’ll do a couple of batches during the evening to stop any rumbling bellies. I love potsticker style dumplings but I don’t want to be bothered with the smell of frying or have the risk of hot oil splashing on me (or anyone!) on the night.Processed with VSCOcam with a5 preset

Anyway, regarding dumplings.. I promise you they’re not difficult to make. You can make the wrappers themselves but I find the quality of the ones available in Asian supermarkets are very good and most of all, they save you A LOT of time. For the filling, you can add anything from meat to fish and almost any vegetable or leafy herb. Just be sure to salt & squeeze out the excess juice from any watery vegetables you are using or things can get a little soggy.

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In terms of folding & sealing dumplings, again I promise it isn’t hard! I taught a mini cookery class for my mother in-law & her sisters last year and they were really good & surprisingly fast after they had a few goes. I have a couple of photos here of dumpling making but there are so many other good instruction photos, posts, photos and videos like thisthis or this one which do a good job of explaining the folding. The main thing I would say is to make sure the ends are tucked & sealed nicely as nobody likes it when a dumpling opens & falls apart when cooking!

On a final note, there is a benefit of this recipe. If you get distracted, tired of folding or end up with some leftover filling.. just quickly stir fry it! Add a bit of extra soy sauce to taste, but it’s awesome served on plain rice or in some lettuce leaf ‘cups’. Almost 50% of the time I make these dumplings, I purposely save some filling purely to do this.. so there’s really no reason to fret if you feel like you have a lot of mix here!

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 presetPork & Cabbage Dumplings.. A good place to start
There are hundreds of combinations you could use but this is a classic pork dumpling recipe I’ve been using for quite a while. It’s good boiled, fried, and is an easy one to start with. If you can, make a big batch like this & keep the dumplings in your freezer for a quick easy meal. Plus as I mentioned above, you can simply stir fry any leftover filling and serve it in lettuce wraps/with rice.

Thumb sized chunk of ginger, unpeeled
500g finely shredded cabbage
300g grated carrot
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp Shaoxing wine
2 tsp sesame oil
500g minced pork (with some fat in it, not the super lean stuff)
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 spring onions, finely chopped
2 eggs
2 packets (100+) of white ‘Northern style’ dumpling wrappers

  1. Smack the ginger with the flat side of a knife & put it into a small cup with about 1/4 cup of hot water & set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, generously salt the cabbage & carrots and leave them to sit for a good 10 minutes. Scrunch the mix and squeeze out the excess vegetable liquid (or save it for use in a stock/soup base)
  3. Add 3 tbsp of the ginger water & all the other remaining ingredients to the cabbage/carrot mix.
  4. Have a small bowl of water at hand. Put about 1 tbsp of mixture into the centre of a dumpling wrapper & seal using a little of the water.
  5. Place spaced apart onto a lined baking tray & freeze. Once frozen, place them together in a ziplock bag & store till you are ready to cook them!
  6. How to cook dumplings..

Tips: Experiment with whatever ingredients you have at home. Some great combinations are with pork & chinese chives/wild garlic, lamb mince & coriander, egg & chive, white fish & cucumber, etc. Just remember that if you are using a watery vegetable, try & salt them before so you remove a bit of the excess water.

Dumplings au porc et choux…Un bon début
Il existe des centaines de combinaisons possibles, mais voici une recette classique au porc que j’utilise depuis longtemps! Cette recette peut se faire bouillie, à la vapeur ou frie. Si vous le pouvez, préparez une grande quantité et gardez-les dans votre congélateur pour un repas rapide. Vous pouvez faire utilisant les restants en sauté et les servir avec du riz or dans une feuille de laitue.

Gingembre de la grosseur d’environ un pouce, non-épluché
500g de  choux émincé ou râpé
300g de carottes râpées
2 cas de sauce soya
2 cuillère à soupe (cas) de vin de Shaoxing
2 cuillère à thé (cat) d’huile de sésame
500g de porc haché
1 gousse d’ail, écrasée
2 échalottes coupée finement
2 oeufs
2 paquets d’enveloppes à dumplings (100+)

  1. Écraser avec force le gingembre & mettre dans une petite tasse. Couvrir le gingembre avec ¼ de tasse d’eau chaude et laisser de côté.
  2. Dans un large bol, saler le chou & les carottes et laisser de côté pendant 10 minutes. Enlever l’excès de liquide en pesant sur les légumes (ou garder ce liquide pour la base d’une soupe).
  3. Mélanger 3 cuillères à soupe d’eau au gingembre et tous les autres ingrédients au mélange de carottes et choux.
  4. Avoir un petit bol d’eau à portée de mains.  Mettre environ 1 cuillère à soupe du mélange au centre de l’enveloppe à dumpling et refermer en tapotant avec un peu d’eau.
  5. Mettre les dumplings séparément sur une “lined baking tray” et congeler. Une fois gelés, les mettre dans un sac “Ziploc” et les conserver jusqu’à la cuisson.
  6. Comment cuire les dumplings… 

Conseils : Oser expérimenter avec différents ingrédients que vous avez à la maison. De bonnes combinaisons se font avec de la ciboulette chinoise, pousses d’ails, agneau haché et coriandre, œufs et ciboulettes, poissons blancs et concombres, etc.

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