Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Chinese Pork Dumplings

I found this recipe in our local newspaper in January, a few weeks before the Chinese New Year, and was immediately intrigued.

Worried at first about locating the dumpling wrappers, I found an ample selection in the freezer section at our local Asian market. Make sure to read the packages well, as there's a difference between dumpling and won-ton wrappers.  The dumpling wrappers are precut into either squares or circles, and are packaged in a stack.

These pork dumplings are delicious, and very easy to prepare, but make sure to allow enough time to fill, and seal.  Its a time-consuming process, but I was pleasantly surprised at how well the moistened wrappers seal.

1/2 of a small head of Napa cabbage, sliced thinly, then crosswise into 1 inch lengths
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound ground pork (I used hot Italian sausage for an added kick), lightly browned, and drained
3 to 4 green onions, sliced thin, white and light green parts only
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 large egg, slightly beaten
30 round or square dumpling wrappers
canola oil
soy sauce, chinese mustard, plum sauce for serving
parchment paper

Place the cabbage in a bowl and toss with salt.  Let the cabbage sit for about 5 minutes, until wilted.  Squeeze handfuls of the cabbage in your fist, and discard the liquid that collects at the bottom of the bowl.

Combine the cabbage with the pork, green onions, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, pepper and egg.  Mix well.  Turn mixture into a skillet, and saute lightly.  Remove from heat.

Prepare work space.  Set a finger bowl of water, and a baking sheet lined with parchment at your work space.  Lay several dumpling wrappers on the work surface, and place a scant tablespoon of cabbage/pork filling in the center of each. Dip a finger in the water and run it around the edge of the first dumpling wrapper.  Fold the wrapper over and pinch it closed.  If the wrapper opens, come back to it in a few minutes.  Repeat with the remaining wrappers until all the filling is used.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Place as many of the dumplings in the pan as will fit in a single layer without touching.  Cook until the bottoms have turned golden-brown.  Pour 1/2 cup water into the pan, and cover immediately.  Steam the dumplings for 3 to 5 minutes, until all the water is absorbed, and the wrappers are translucent.

Transfer to a serving platter, and repeat with the remaining dumplings.  Serve with soy sauce, hot Chinese mustard, plum sauce, and mounds of sticky rice - YUM!

1 comment:

  1. I somehow missed this post. Sounds like a fun idea for a future Sunday dinner.