How To Make Traditional Pork Dumplings

How To Make Traditional Pork Dumplings

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I love making dumplings at home. It’s a project that a family can share while chatting around the kitchen table, whether on any old Sunday afternoon or during the evening hours before midnight at Chinese New Year.

Shopping for ingredients is a breeze. When I’m in Chinatown, I pick up fresh dumpling wrappers, Shaoxing rice wine and a pound of fatty ground pork. Everything else is available at your local chain grocery store.

Back home, it only takes 20 minutes to make the dumpling filling. From there, I grab anyone nearby to pitch in. Making dumplings is like folding laundry — the more help you have, the faster it goes. Three people can knock out 30 dumplings in 10 minutes flat.

As you fire up your stove, remember that there are two easy ways to make dumplings, boiled and fried. I generally prepare half of my batch each way and then enjoy with chili sauce, red rice vinegar and soy sauce for dipping.

I’ve refined this basic dumpling recipe over many attempts, finally landing on a filling that uses cabbage, green onions and ginger to produce a light, satisfying flavor that’s complemented well by any salty or spicy dipping sauce.

Here’s how to make traditional pork dumplings, step-by-step. The detailed tutorial with pictures and directions is at the bottom of the page.

Your turn! What tips can you share from your family’s recipe? Want to ask a question before you start cooking? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!


Traditional Pork Dumplings Recipe

Makes: 30 Dumplings | Prep Time: 60 Minutes | Cook Time: 15 Minutes
dumplings-new-1

Ingredients

12 ounces cabbage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh ginger
2 green onions
2/3 pound ground pork
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine
2 teaspoons sesame oil
30 dumpling wrappers

Directions

1. Finely mince the cabbage in a food processor. Place in a large bowl, sprinkle with the salt and set aside for 10 minutes.

2. Add the pork, ginger, green onion, pepper, soy sauce, rice wine and sesame oil to the food processor. Pulse 5 times until the ingredients are combined well. Set aside.

3. Place the cabbage on a kitchen cloth, twist the top and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Add the dry cabbage to your pork mixture and combine.

4. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the pork and cabbage mixture in the center of each dumpling wrapper. To wrap a dumpling, dab water along the inside edge of the wrapper, fold in half to form a semicircle enclosing the filling, then seal the edges together to stick. Finally, fold 5-6 small pleats around the top edge of the dumpling. Repeat until all of your dumplings are done.

5. Separate the dumplings you’ll need for your meal and then freeze the rest in a heavy plastic bag for later.

6. There are two easy ways to cook dumplings.

– To boil: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 15 dumplings to the pot and boil for 9 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Remove the dumplings from the heat and drain, repeating with any remaining dumplings.

– To fry: Heat a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Place 15 dumplings in a single layer and fry for 2 minutes. Turn the heat down to low, add 1/3 cup of water, cover and steam for 5 minutes. Uncover, return heat to medium-high and fry until the water has evaporated. Remove the dumplings from the heat, repeating with any remaining dumplings.

7. Serve immediately with chili sauce, red rice vinegar or soy sauce for dipping.


Step-By-Step Tutorial

Traditional Pork Dumplings

Start by gathering your ingredients. There are a million-and-one ways to make Chinese dumplings, but a simple filling with ground pork, cabbage, green onions, ginger and a few spices is a great place to start.

Traditional Pork Dumplings

Finely mince the cabbage in a food processor. Place in a large bowl, sprinkle with the salt and set aside for 10 minutes.

Traditional Pork Dumplings

Add the pork, ginger, green onion, pepper, soy sauce, rice wine and sesame oil to the food processor. Pulse 5 times until the ingredients are combined well. Set aside.

Traditional Pork Dumplings

Place the cabbage on a kitchen cloth, twist the top and squeeze out as much liquid as you can.

Traditional Pork Dumplings

Add the dry cabbage to your pork mixture and combine.

Traditional Pork Dumplings

Create a dumpling making station by gathering a cutting board, a small bowl of water, a tablespoon and a place to put your finished dumplings.

Traditional Pork Dumplings

Spoon 1 tablespoon of the pork and cabbage mixture in the center of each dumpling wrapper.

Traditional Pork Dumplings

To wrap a dumpling, dab water along the inside edge of the wrapper, fold in half to form a semicircle enclosing the filling.

Traditional Pork Dumplings

Next, seal the edges together to stick.

Traditional Pork Dumplings

Finally, fold 5-6 small pleats around the top edge of the dumpling.

Traditional Pork Dumplings

Repeat until all of your dumplings are done.

Traditional Pork Dumplings

Preparation Method #1: To boil, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 15 dumplings to the pot and boil for 9 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Remove the dumplings from the heat and drain, repeating with any remaining dumplings.

Traditional Pork Dumplings

Preparation Method #2: To fry, heat a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Place 15 dumplings in a single layer and fry for 2 minutes.

Traditional Pork Dumplings

Turn the heat down to low, add 1/3 cup of water, cover and steam for 5 minutes.

Traditional Pork Dumplings

Uncover, return heat to medium-high and fry until the water has evaporated. Remove the dumplings from the heat, repeating with any remaining dumplings.

dumplings-new-2

Serve immediately with chili sauce, red rice vinegar or soy sauce for dipping.

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