Ingredients (yields about 40 dumplings)
270g all-purpose flour
About 2/3 cup water
(55% of water vs flour ratio in terms of weight)
250g ground pork
½ tablespoon ginger, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons green onions, minced
2/3 to 1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white sugar
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oi
1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine (substitute it with Japanese mirin)
2 cups napa cabbage, minced
DIPPING SAUCE (for 1 serving)
1 tablespoon Chinese Chinkiang vinegar (substitute with balsamic vinegar)
½ tablespoon light soy sauce or to taste
1 teaspoon any chili oil or minced fresh red chili, optional
- Combine all wrapper ingredients in a mixing bowl. Use your hand to mix them together.
- Tip the dough out on a lightly floured surface and, using your fingers and palms, knead for 5-6 minutes till the dough becomes smooth.
- Put the dough back to the bowl, cover it with cling wrap and leave to rest for 20-30 minutes.
- Divide the dough into four equal pieces. Pick one piece, roll the dough into a long snake of about 1.5cm diameter then divide it into 10 equal pieces.
- Simply use your hand to pick up each piece and pound it into the floured surface to make a small circular disc. Then use a rolling pin to smooth out each disc till it’s about 8cm in diameter – edges are thinner than the center as this has to hold the filling. You can constantly dust the rolling pin with flour to keep the wrappers from sticking.
- Place ground pork in a mixing bowl. Add minced ginger and green onions. Mix well.
- Add rest of the filling ingredients and mix well.
- Combine above mixture with vegetable of your choice. Stir the mixture in one direction for about 50 times so they bind well.
#1 Buddah’s Belly (pinched-edge dumpling：this method is the most popular and fastest folding way for boiled dumplings in China. Place a tablespoon of filling in center as an American football, fold the wrapper in half at center firstly. Use your left thumb and index finger to hold the left half and use your right thumb and index finger to hold the right half. Simultaneously, slightly squeeze the two side toward the center part while pressing the two edges together.
#2 One-line dumplings – place a wrapper in the palm of your hand and spoon 1 tablespoon of filling into the center of the wrapper, form a taco shape and bring the front and back together in the middle. Start folding (making pleats), pinching and sealing one end of the wrapper, heading towards the middle. Then do the same with the other end. Aim to make 2 folds on each side. This type of fold works well with water-boiled dumplings.
#3 Two-direction crescent moon dumplings: place a wrapper in the palm of your hand and spoon 1 tablespoon of filling into the center of the wrapper, form a taco shape and bring the front and back together in the middle. Start folding(making pleats), pinching and sealing the edge of the wrapper, moving out from the center to the end of one side until they’re sealed to the ends. Aim to make 3 to 4 pleats/folds on each side. Best for boiled dumplings.
#4 One-direction crescent moon dumplings：place a tablespoon of filling in the center the wrapper in one palm, using the fingertips of the other hand make pleats along the half of the edge of the wrapper (like the way you make Bao Zi or Soup Dumplings). Lift up the other half of the edge of the wrapper and seal the edge with the pleats.
#5 Tortellini (Chinese Ignots) – place a wrapper in the palm of your hand and spoon 1 tablespoon of filling into the center of the wrapper, form a taco shape and bring the front and back together in the middle. Use your finger tips to pinch around the edges of the wrapper and make sure the edges are really stuck together. Fold one side OUT to a middle point and fold the other side. Press the ends of two folds TOGETHER.
How to cook
Option A – water-boil
- The whole process takes about 12-15 minutes.
- Bring a big pot of water to a boil.
- Add the dumplings into the boiling water and cover the pot. Fill into the pot with 1 cup of cold water every 2-3 minutes for three times whenever the water starts boiling. Use the slotted spoon to push around the dumplings in the water to keep them sticking to the bottom from time to time.
Option B – pan-fry
- Coat a medium size frying pan with 1 tablespoon of cooking oil and place it on the stove over medium heat.
- Place into 10 dumplings. Dumplings can be close to each other. Once the bottom of the dumplings is browned, gently add into about ½ cup of water and cover with a lid immediately. The water shall cover about half of the height of the dumplings. Cook for about 7-8-minutes. During this time, you will likely hear the ‘popping’ from the pan. The sound means that bottoms of the dumplings are getting nice and fried while the fillings and tops steam. What you are waiting for is the water to evaporate. When it does, the sound under the lid will change from bubbly pops to a pretty serious steady crackle. At this time, you can lift the lid away and peek to see if the pan’s dry. If not, cover it again.
- After you’ve uncovered the dumplings, turn off the stove. Jerk the pan a little to give it a good shake and see if the dumplings are stuck or if they slide away. If they seem stuck, shake the pan a little more to unstick them or slide a spatula under them to separate them from the pan.
- Center a heatproof plate that’s bigger than the pan over the pan. Put on oven mitts to protect your hands. Holding the pan and plate tightly, flip them both together. Do it fast! Lift off the pan. This step is optional – if you do not feel comfortable to flip the plate, just use a spatula to move the dumplings to a serving plate.
- Serve hot.
- Simply add, combine and mix all the ingredients in a dipping sauce plate.