QUICK NOTE: Apologies for not posting last week. My sister was visiting, and I was busy napping and making these dumplings! She liked them though, so you have a second opinion. Try them out!
Nom. I LOVE dumplings. Particularly steamed ones. I’m not a fan of the fried or boiled varieties, and not a fan of fried food in general, though I do eat some fried stuff. I digress. I’m quite late for Chinese New Year, but here is my guide to making simple dumplings at home!
NOTE: These are pork and chive dumplings, but you can use any filling you like 🙂
- 500g pork mince (or another main filling of your choice. Veg used as a meat substitute should be chopped small or mashable (Makes 54 dumplings!!!)
- chives – I used a packet of dried diced chives, but usually I use 1 bunch of fresh ones – to your taste buds.
- garlic and ginger to taste
- salt, pepper, maybe some chilli powder
- soy sauce
- a little water
- dumpling wrappers – I use two packs of Double Merinos brand Gow Gee Pastry
From here, you can add any other ingredients you like. I sometimes dice a little onion, or you can try adding some more veg.
Right, steps. Here we go.
STEP 1: If you have time, do this beforehand, cover, and keep in fridge to marinate. Otherwise, you can do it as you’re cooking and it still tastes just fine.
Mix wet ingredients together in a bowl. The amount you add of the spices and condiments is really up to you. The water is important because you need to mix everything together. Not too much though. You can mix using a spoon but this is more fun to mix by hand.
STEP 2: Preset your stove and countertop – I like to get my steamer set up on the stove and start the water boiling before I get around to folding the dumplings. I also like to use baking paper to line my steamers as they are metal and cleaning them is a massive headache if stuff gets stuck.
For your countertop, you will need a chopping board, and a small dish of standard room temp tap water. This is important.
STEP 3: Folding time! I can fit 18 dumplings per steamer tray, and with this amount of ingredients, I can make 3 trays (54 dumplings). I only have two steamer trays so I have to do some quick switcheroos, but it works.
18 is a multiple of 6, and my chopping board can comfortably fit six open wrappers with room to spare. So. I lay out six wrappers, then i dip my fingertips in the water, and brush them lightly over the wrappers. This makes the wrappers stick together when you are folding them into fun shapes! You can use a pastry brush but the effect is the same, and you don’t want them too soggy else they collapse.
OK. Place a blob on mix in the centre of each wrapper – Pro Tip: use less than you think you need – see my tiny blobs). Then I fold each wrapper in half to make a semi-circle. I hold the folded semi-circle in the centre of the flat side, and pleat one side in (approx 3 pleats), and then the other side. This makes the dumpling look like a money bag (different type of dumpling), but when it steams and cooks, it will relax the folds so it looks somewhat like a fan.
I am by no means an expert, so do try your own folding methods! This is meant to be fun!
STEP 4: By the time I fold the first 18, the water has nearly reached boiling point, so I can load up the first tray. USE TONGS. BOILING WATER IS BOILING AND WILL OUCH YOU.
While these are steaming away, fold the next lot, and load the next tray up. I tend to put the second tray on the bottom, the first tray would have cooked a bit.
If you have a third tray, repeat the above steps. If you’re like me, and only have two, then fold the next lot, and store them on a plate or chopping board (or both, in my case, cos I stupidly took out a tiny plate).
STEP 5: The dumplings won’t take long to cook, but be careful that they are not slightly undercooked. Wait for the smell to permeate your home, and some of the juice to leak out a bit. Then you can transfer the cooked ones to a plate (if placing on a platter or holding plate, place a double sheet of paper towel on the plate/platter first to soak up the oils that you don’t want to eat).
If you have more dumplings waiting to be steamed, you may load up the tray again, and swap positions on the steamer stack. I reused the baking paper as it is the same foods.
Leave to cool, serve with condiments, and ENJOY!
These are really simple, and really quick, and steaming means they are a bit healthier than the fried versions. WARNING: They are VERY filling, so don’t be fooled if your eyes are bigger than your stomach!
Thank you for following my recipes! And apologies again for missing last week. You get two posts today to make up for it!