Our family love all types of dumplings. We affectionately call our kids ‘Dumpling Monsters’ because they love dumplings so much. We are lucky very that our local area have so many Shanghai restaurants with really good quality dumplings. Although we mostly eat dumplings out, I occasionally like to make my own simple dumplings to freeze to use for those last minute meals.
With the weather being so cold and we have been staying in quite a bit, I was able to make dumplings at home many times. I also started making my own dumpling wrappers. The first time I made it I was really surprised at how easy it is to make the dough and roll out the wrappers. Since then I have not use the store bought wrappers. But I must warn you that it is quite time consuming to make the wrappers (especially when I’m rolling out 45 wrappers for each time I make dumplings). Homemade wrappers are so much softer and they are easier to stick together so you don’t need to seal with water. I would still use the store bought wrappers for the convenience. These dumplings are great to make a huge batch and freeze for later. I love steaming these dumplings and pan fried to finish off. I recently discovered that they are called pot stickers as well. The restaurants just call them dumplings.
With the amount of dumpling wrappers I had to roll, I seek the help of my sous chef. To roll out the dough you need to have dowel rolling pin. I didn’t have one so I cut off the handle of my wooden spoon which did the trick.
Pleating the dumplings on one side is really easy and it looks so good too.
Pork and Cabbage Dumplings Recipe
Makes about 45 dumplings
4.5 cups* of plain flour
boiled hot water (roughly about 2 cups*)
500g pork mince
300g (about 5 medium leaves) finely shredded Chinese cabbage (put cabbage into bowl and add 1 teaspoon of salt and allow to sit for 20 minutes to draw out the water)
2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
4 spring onion thinly sliced (white and light green part only)
7 dried shiitake mushroom (rehydrated in hot water)
3 tablespoons soya sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice wine
To make dumpling dough
In a medium mixing bowl, add the plain flour and make a well in the centre. Slowly add small amount water at a time and mix the flour with a spatula. Keep adding and mixing the flour until all flour are combined (you don’t have to use all the water). Knead the dough inside the bowl to combine all the lumpy bits together. If the dough does not come together easily the add a teaspoon of water. If too sticky the add some flour.
Transfer the dough to a slightly floured work space. Knead the dough with the heel of your hand for about 5 minutes. You should get a smooth and slightly elastic dough. Cling wrap the dough to rest for an hour.
To make dumpling fillings
In a medium bowl, add pork mince, grated ginger, spring onion, shiitake mushroom. Squeeze excess water from the chinese cabbage and add to the mince mixture. In a small bowl add soya sauce, sesame oil, white pepper, rice wine, sugar and stock/water. Stir mixture until sugar dissolved. Pour this seasoning over the mince mixture and mix and fold until everything in combined.
To make dumplings
Once the dumpling dough are rested you can make the dumplings. There is a large amount of dough in this recipe so cut up the dough into quarters. Using one quarter at a time roll out the dough to into a thick log with a 4cm diameter. Cut the cylinder into 1.5cm thick. Flatten the disk by pressing down the the palm of your hand. Using a dumpling dowel, roll ONLY inwards from the outer edge of each circle, so you maintain a regular circle. If the dough is a bit sticky then sprinkle some flour. Roll out a couple of wrappers.
Once you have rolled out some dumpling wrappers, spoon a tablespoon of the filling onto the centre of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper over and press the centre then pleat only one side of the dumpling leaving the other edge straight. This gives the dumpling a nice crescent shape.
Panfry the dumplings
Panfrying the dumplings give a crispy bottomed finish. Filled a medium or large nonstick fry pan with about one centimetre of water and a dash of vegetable oil. Assemble the dumplings in the fry pan and cover. Allow the dumplings to steam for about ten minutes. Keep an eye on the dumplings so when all the water evaporates open the lid. The little bit of oil that remain will help crisp up the bottom (add more oil if required). Serve immediately with dark vinegar or chilli oil.