Dumplings. Gyoza. Potstickers. They go by many names, and they’re all delicious. Here’s a recipe for Chinese-style pork and chive dumplings. For the dumpling filling, it’s important that your meat is not too lean. Fat is flavor! Our pork grind is generally about 15% fat, perfect for a succulent and flavorful dumpling filling. Hand-filled dumplings are time consuming, but the more hands you have the faster it goes. So, invite over some friends to help. The hardest part is learning how to fold and seal the dumpling skins. Once you master that, they are really fun to make.
I find filling and folding each dumpling one-by-one very satisfying, especially with good conversation to pass the time. The dumplings are cooked in batches with a quick pan-fry followed by steaming. The two-step process uses the same pan and goes very quickly. Serve alongside a zesty dipping sauce (recipe included here) and a cold lager.
Pork & Chive Dumplings
This recipe makes approximately 100 dumplings. We picked up the dumpling wrappers and garlic chives at Berkeley Bowl. You should be able to find them at most Asian markets.
For the filling:
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup chopped garlic chives (Regular chives or scallions will do in a pinch.)
- 1/2 cup chopped shiitake mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 1 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- Cooking oil for frying (I like rice bran oil. You can use sesame oil for more flavor.)
- 2 packages 3.5 inch, round dumpling wrappers (100 skins total)
- Corn starch for dusting the sheet pan
- 2 tablespoon Chinese black vinegar (You can use rice wine vinegar for different flavor.)
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger (adjust to taste)
1) MAKE THE SAUCE
- Combine all ingredients.
- Stir well and let sit a room temperature for 1 hour for the flavors to meld.
2) MIX THE FILLING
- Combine all the filling ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. (I like to mix with my hands)
- If you like, cook a small patty of the filling in a frying pan and taste for seasoning.
- Dust a baking sheet with cornstarch so you’ll have a place to put your folded dumplings. The corn starch keeps them from sticking.
3) MAKE THE DUMPLINGS
- Dip a finger in water and moisten the edge of the wrapper.
- Place a teaspoon of filling in the center of a wrapper.
- Fold the wrapper over to make a half-moon shape.
- Start at one corner and crimp the edges.
- Hold one side of the wrapper flat,while you fold the other side in a fan shape.
- Press to seal with each fold.
- Try to push out the air while sealing the wrapper.
- Don’t worry if they’re not pretty. As long a you pinch the sides to fully seal, your dumplings will hold together and be delicious.
- Note: At this point, you can freeze the dumplings for later cooking.
4) COOK THE DUMPLINGS
- Coat a frying pan with a thin layer of oil and heat over medium high. Let it get nice and hot.
- Add add the dumplings (the oil should sizzle!) and fry for 20 seconds or until the bottoms of the dumpling turn golden brown and crisp.
- Carefully pour 1/4 cup of water into the pan and immediately cover with a tight-fitting lid so the dumplings steam.
- Allow the dumplings to steam for 4 minutes.
- Remove the lid and let the dumplings fry for 1 minute longer.
- Use a metal spatula to loosen the dumpling from the pan. They will stick, so try not to tear the skin.
- Transfer dumplings to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil.
- Repeat the process with remaining dumplings.