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First Time Making Pork Dumplings - Über Success!

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i have been so thoroughly disappointed by the lack of good dumplings out there that I decided to make them at home, thanks to my fellow Chowhounds. I have no idea why it took me so long to make them myself, given how easy they were to make. I would highly recommend making them -they're easy, and although a bit time consuming, they're well worth it. My world traveler hubby (aka Mr. Picky), said that my dumplings were the best he's ever had outside of San Francisco. He wasn't so thrilled with this dipping sauce. He suggested that plum or hoisin sauce would be better.

I must confess that because this was my first time making dumplings, I cooked a bit of the filling first to check for spiciness. I did adjust the recipe and added a few things that definitely improved the flavor.

Note: I have a tendency to be very specific in my recipe and instructions - your experience may be different. Feel free to adjust the spices and technique as necessary.

PORK DUMPLINGS

I package wonton skins
1 lb ground pork (my package weighed 1.14 lbs)
2 chopped green onions
1 tablespoon lite soy sauce
2 teaspoons Saki or Mirin
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 clove crushed garlic
1 egg
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon season salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teasppon white pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

To saute:
Chicken broth (I used 4 cans)
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
I did add a little extra oil to the pan for the third batch to keep the dumplings from sticking.

Mix all ingredients together, by hand, in a large bowl. Fill wonton wrappers with approx. 1-1 1/2 teaspoons filling (I used a small ice cream scoop). Moisten edges of wonton with pastry brush dipped in water. Press edges firmly together. Chilll for 30 minutes. (I put the dumplings in the freezer)

For each batch:
In a large non-stick frying pan over medium high heat bring 1 cup chicken broth and oils to a simmer. Add the dumplings (my pan held 8 dumplings), turn heat to medium, cover and steam for approximately 9 minutes. Watch carefully - (at the 3 minute mark I checked the dumplings to see if they were sticking to the pan - I used a spatula to release them) -add more broth to the pan during cooking if you want a more steamed dumpling. If you'd like the dumplings fried, cook until the broth cooks off, then fry for a few minutes until golden brown on one side - do not turn over. Serve with dipping sauce and hot mustard.

SOY-GINGER DIPPING SAUCE
MAKES ABOUT 1/2 CUP

2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. Chill until ready to serve.

I would like to thank the Chow community for giving me the courage to make these dumplings from scratch. If I can do it, so can you!

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  1. Thanks for the detailed recipe! Glad to hear that you experienced success with this.

    1. I make dumplings a lot, but have never chilled them before cooking them. I'm curious about what makes that step necessary. Also, if you're ever in an Asian grocery store pick up some gyoza wrappers - they're great for dumplings. Though you've probably heard that before since you asked the chowhounders about making dumplings. Bravo to you for doing it. Beef and ginger filling is also great.

      7 Replies
      1. re: suse

        Pork AND Shrimp filling is really good also!!! I buy whatever they have ;Gyoza or Won-Ton wrappers. the only difference that I can tell is the shape. Same thickness. And I am not that fond of fried dumplings but prefer them steamed or less bothersome method is just boiled for 4 or 5 min and done. If anyone would like the recipe I'll post it.

        1. re: Chas

          Yes, please!

          1. re: fooddiva

            My favourite dipping sauce for pork dumplings is the chinese red vinegar. It adds a really nice sweet-tart taste. There is so much flavour already in the dumplings that I find a complex dipping sauce really competes with the flavour.
            I'm also a fan of putting finely shredded napa cabbage in with the pork mixture.

            1. re: mightycheesehead

              Is Chinese red vinegar the same as Chinese black vinegar?

              CBV has also been recommended as a dipping sauce. Now that I think about it, I wonder if that's what the stuff at the Korean place was. Tasty, in any case.

              BTW, second on the pork & shrimp dumplings. The ones I've had at a Taiwanese joint in Berkeley have whole shrimp, a little pork and some green veg and are known on the menu as boiled leek shrimp pork dumpling. They will warn you it takes 15 minutes when you order them, I guess with the below explanation we all now know why.

              1. re: Louise

                Red vinegar and black vinegar are different. You can get them both at an Asian grocery store. When I lived in Shandong province - where boiled dumplings are the thing - they were always served with black vinegar for dipping and raw garlic cloves. As far as I know, that combo is a northern Chinese thing. When I visited the south, there were more steamed dumplings, as well as pot stickers. The steamed dumplings seem to require a more subtle dipping sauce. Black vinegar is pretty intense.

          2. re: Chas

            If you're interested in boiling them the Chinese way, then drop dumplings in when the water is boiling and let the water come back to a boil. Add a cup of cold water. Bring it back to a boil. Repeat that two more times and the dumplings are done. This keeps the noodle from getting overcooked while giving the filling plenty of time to cook. Works every time. Also, you may already know this - if you have too many dumplings freeze them raw on a cookie sheet. Once they're frozen, put them in a freezer bag. This keeps them from sticking together and you can have homemade dumplings on hand. I boil them just a bit longer at the end.

            1. re: suse

              Thanks for this description! I absolutely could not make sense of the directions on the packages I buy from my local asian market, where it said to bring it to a boil 3 times. The mysters is solved!