Chinese Pork & Cabbage Dumpling Filling - as a Meatloaf
Has anyone taken their favorite Asian dumpling filling and made it into a successful meatloaf? I was thinking of taking our family pork & cabbage dumpling filling and making it into a free-form meatloaf - maybe adding an egg as a binder and brushing sesame oil on the top before baking. I love the taste of our dumpling filling but wanted a quick night adaptation (I am not the fastest dumpling-maker!).
Any thoughts? Anyone have any similar recipes they've made, steamed or baked?
I found recipes for Cantonese-style steamed pork "loaf" and some meatloaf recipes that people made "chinese-style," but nothing like I am wanting to try (something that tastes like a dumpling without the skins) - so I am wondering if there is a reason!
Frikadellen (fricadellen) are common in northern Europe. They are a meatloaf mixture sauteed in patties, and contain cabbage. Mom used to saute shredded cabbage to evaporate the water, but this can be accomplished in other ways, like freezing-then-thawing, or microwaving. Having run out of plain cabbage, I once subbed drained coleslaw, and never went back. Now I don't drain - I count the dressing as part of the liquid for the fresh bread crumbs, to which it adds tang. I also use coleslaw in my meatloaf mixture.
I have experimented with using pork and pork sausage instead of beef, rye for the bread, including a little mustard and caraway.
I would suggest you add some bread to the recipe you've developed, since that will create a softer texture.
Success! I fiddled with our family recipe and steamed part of it as meatballs and baked part of it as a meatloaf. The verdict from 3 tasters was that both were great, but all slightly preferred the baked version (better texture).
Recipe: Chinese Dumpling Meatloaf
1 pound ground pork
1/2 pound ground chicken breast
1/2 - 3/4 cup minced napa cabbage leaves (green part only) with water squeezed out
2 large crimini mushrooms, minced
2 dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated & minced
1/4 cup minced cilantro
3 green onions (green and white part), minced
2.5" piece of ginger, minced
2 tsp garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced water chestnuts
1 Tbsp Thai fried shallots
2 tsp Thai fried garlic
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp oyster sauce
1 tsp white pepper
--extra sesame oil to rub top of meatloaf
With your hands in a large bowl, mix all ingredients together very well. It will be a very wet & sticky mix.
Shape into large meatballs and steam until cooked through OR shape into free-form meatloaf, pour approx. 2 tsp of sesame oil on your hands and pat all over meatloaf. Bake in a 350 degree oven until done (I failed to write down how long it took!).
Enjoy with black vinegar dipping sauce!
We make our own:
6 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 or 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar, or to taste (we do a bit more)
2 tablespoons water
1 green onion, cut into small pieces
Optional: add some hot chili oil if you like it (the adults in the family do!).
I think cabbage (assuming napa cabbage) releases some liquids when cooked (which makes dumplings juicy when encased in a wrapper). If you're OK with draining off your "meatloaf", it should be OK.
I've had the homestyle cantonese versions with pork and egg, salted turnips, dry salted fish, etc. but they don't usually contain fresh vegetables.
When I make meatloaf, esp. the Chinese iteration, I like to throw in some minced (or pureed) sea cucumbers.
It adds not only moistness without creating extra water (that you later have to drain off), but also a nice smooth mouthfeel that's not greasy or oily (which can happen sometimes when you try adding extra fat to create that sense of unctuousness).
Great ideas! Thank you!
I figured I'd be using our family dipping sauce with any meatloaf - but it just seemed odd that I didn't find any recipes on the internet for this kind of thing, so I wondered if there was a reason!
I like the big meatball in a dutch oven idea and the cannelloni idea - and may try those too!
Anyone have any dumpling recipes that they think would be well suited for this? I am thinking it might be fun to try more than just our recipe!
Yes, you can.
But you definitely need a binder (like an egg as you suggested).
Also, most people don't use their typical dumpling filling to make "meatloaf" because it tends to be a bit too underseasoned (it's why dumplings are usu. taken with some sort of dipping sauce like soy sauce and vinegar).
Interesting concept -- you might as well give meatloaf a try. Generally, Chinese recipes don't involve baking (probably due to the lack of firewood in China for ovens). The closest dish that is truly Chinese but akin in taste to dumpling filling would be Cantonese steamed pork, which uses ground pork and various add-ins such as minced green onions, chopped water chestnuts, minced shrimp, duck eggs. The pork can be/is seasoned with soy sauce, dried salted cabbage, etc. then steamed in a glass pie tin.
It's kind of a down-home recipe. We ate it over rice with oyster sauce. If you use pork belly ground up (rather than buying ground pork), the result is usually very tender--but bad for your arteries.