It is actually embarrassing the number of dumpling images I have on my @izzyhaveyoueaten instagram account. You could say dumplings have a firm and everlasting place in my heart. From as a small child in a SE Asian riverside town, slurping delicious dumplings at hawker stalls, to sampling everyone else's version ranging from back alley London to stylish Seoul, I never met a dumpling I didn't like. They are good in a soup, amazing pan fried, and up there when they are steamed.
So many cultures have their version of dumplings and no wonder. They feed the masses. They are a great snack, lunch, dinner or supper option. So yeah, I can always go on about the plusses of a dumpling, but why don't I just share my basic hybrid recipe here for those of you who haven't made dumplings. Just take this as a loose framework, and make your own favourite version with prawns, kimchi, green veggies and so on .
Always serve with a good chilli/soy dipping sauce.
1 packet Shanghai dumpling wrapper squares or rounds
500g ground/minced pork
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 cup finely diced green cabbage or wombok
1 cup finely diced spring onion
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon white pepper powder
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup finely diced and patted dry kimchi of your choice
Mix the pork mince thoroughly with all the diced veggies, the spices and seasonings.
Set aside to chill in the fridge for about half an hour.
Mix the flour with 2-3 tablespoons of water in a small bowl.
Bring out the bowl of pork mince.
For dumpling making, clear a space on your bench.
Lay out the flour slurry, a small spoon, the mince mixture, the dumpling wrappers, a clean tea towel, and a large flat plastic box lined with baking paper.
Now take a wrapper, and place in the palm of your hand. Lightly wet two if the four sides with the flour slurry.
Taking the spoon, scoop a neat amount of pork mix into the centre of the wrapper.
Fold the wrapper over and press to seal all the edges, with also gathering up from the other corners into the centre. (see video).
Pat your fingers dry on the tea towel as you move onto the next: it is easier to handle these babies with dry hands.
Place the dumplings into the box, be sure they don't touch each other.
If you use all the wrappers, you'll get about 40 dumplings, and the 500g of pork will be enough for this number of wrappers.
If you want to cook some right away, drop them into gently boiling salted water and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and serve with soy/chilli sauce. and a side of steamed Chinese veggies lightly seasoned with sesame oil and salt.
To pan fry, sprinkle a few drops of oil into a frypan, and when hot, place the dumplings in the pan.
When the bottoms begin to brown, flip them over, add about 3-4 tablespoons of water, pop a lid on the saucepan and give the pan a good shake.
Turn the heat to low and cook for 2-3 minutes.
The dumplings don't keep long- 24 hours in the fridge, but they do freeze well.
Hope the video helps!