Culture Street

Food

Chinese Pork and Cabbage Dumplings

On June 13, 2014

Feeds 2 for a main meal, 4 for a starter

Dumplings are the definitive Chinese peasant food but no matter where your cultural heritage lies, there’s no denying these little parcels are the ultimate comfort food. The sensation of chomping into one of these plump parcels and its juices squirting down your chin is unbeatable. And before you start thinking it’s all too hard, remember many hands make light work – this is a great recipe for a communal effort.

Dumpling Skins
1 cup (150g) plain flour
110ml freshly boiled water

Spicy Dipping Sauce
¼ cup (60ml) light soy sauce
2 tablespoons Chinkiang vinegar*
? teaspoon sugar
2–3 teaspoons Chinese chilli oil*
1 tablespoon finely shredded ginger
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic

Filling
½ teaspoon salt
200g Chinese cabbage* (wombok)
finely shredded
280g pork mince
1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
? cup spring onions OR Chinese
chives, chopped
? teaspoon ground white pepper
¼ cup (60ml) chicken stock OR water
1½ tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon shaoxing rice wine*
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil

Special Equipment: dumpling roller (from Asian grocer) OR a 2cm x
20cm piece of dowel

To make the dumpling skins, place the flour in a medium mixing bowl, make a well at
the centre and pour in the boiling water. Using chopsticks or a fork, stir until you get
a crumbly mixture. Once the dough is cool enough to handle, tip the mixture onto a
clean benchtop and knead for about 5 minutes OR until you have a smooth, firm-ish
ball of dough, adding more water or flour along the way if necessary. Cover with
cling wrap and rest for 10 minutes.

To make the spicy dipping sauce, mix all the ingredients together and set aside.

To make the filling, mix the salt with the cabbage and allow to sit for 15 minutes
to draw out the excess water. Rinse the cabbage before squeezing well to remove
as much liquid as possible. In a medium mixing bowl, combine cabbage with the
remaining filling ingredients and mix until combined.

To make the dumplings, sprinkle the dough with some plain flour and roll into
2–3 cylinders, 3cm in diameter. Cut into 2cm thick discs and flatten with the palm
of your hand then cover them with an overturned bowl to keep them moist.

With a dumpling rolling pin, roll inwards only (to maintain an even circle) from the
outer edge of each disc to the centre. Roll the skins until they are 1mm thick. Stuff
a teaspoonful of the filling into the centre of each wrapper, fold and seal. When
crimping pleat only one side of the dumpling – this will pull the dumpling into a
traditional crescent shape. If this sounds too difficult, pinching to seal the seam well
is the basic goal.

To cook the dumplings, bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Lower as many
dumplings as you wish into the water and wait for them to float. Cook for a further 10
seconds before scooping the dumplings out with a slotted spoon and transferring them
to a well-oiled tray or plate. For a crispy finish, pan-fry the boiled dumplings with some
oil in a large non-stick frypan over medium heat until the bottoms are golden brown.
Serve immediately, crispy bottoms facing upwards, with the spicy dipping sauce.

*Available from Asian grocers

Recipe and images from Same Same But Different by Poh Ling Yeow

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