Pork & Prawn Dumplings
This week I’m bringing you something I’ve been craving all week, the ultimate in comfort food, dumplings!
Originating in China, dumpling are essentially ground meat and vegetables wrapped in a thin dough. You’ll be most familiar with the likes of wontons, jaozi and har gow, but if you look further beyond China, you’ll find dumplings present in most other cultures with their own form: Japanese gyoza, Nepalese momos, Polish pierogis, even the Italians have ravioli, the list goes on and on.
I’ve decided to share a super quick and easy Chinese dumpling recipe for you try. It’s a classic pork dumpling, but you can add aromatics and condiments of your choice. When it comes to folding them, I’m sharing two folding techniques as well as three different ways to cook them. I’ve also added my suggestions on how to dress and serve them. The choice is yours! So go on, have some fun in the kitchen and make some dumplings your own way!
Makes- 50 dumplings
Cooking time- 45 minutes
Skill level- Easy to moderate
- 1 tray (500g) of pork mince
- 1 packet (500g) of dumpling wrappers (Gyoza, Gow Gee)
- 1 bunch of Chinese chives or 4 stalks of spring onions
- 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon of cornflour
- 2 eggs
Optional Extras- If you have any of these at home, feel free to add them in to boost the flavor or to change the dumpling mix.
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- ½ red onion, finely chopped
- 1 small finger of ginger, grated
- 1 tablespoon of fish sauce
- 150g of prawns, peeled and finely chopped
- Finely chop as small as you can the aromatics of your choice.
- Crack your eggs into the mixture. Stir until fully combined.
- Also add the condiments that you want and stir until combined.
- Slowly add the cornflour and further mix until combined. The cornflour and egg act as binders to bring all the ingredients together so you get a paste like mixture.
- Also peel the wrappers from each other in the bundle so you don’t have to worry about this when you start folding. Cover the wrappers you’re not using with a tea towel so that they don’t dry out.
Now we need to cover the meat filling with the dumpling wrapper so that none of the filling is exposed and no water can get in during the cooking process. There are so many ways to fold dumplings but I’m sharing two relatively simple ways to do it because in my opinion, you want to be spending less time folding dumplings and more time eating them because regardless of how they look, they will taste the same.
Option 1- Purse Fold
This is how I learnt to do it. Spoon a heaped teaspoon of the filling into the centre of the dumpling wrapper. Dip your index finger into a small bowl of water and trace the perimeter of the dumpling wrapper. Fold in half but only pinch the top closed (your dumpling should look like a taco) and then slowly bring each side up and fold them over like an envelope. Place onto your bench top and pinch together to seal it.
Option 2-Taco Fold
You literally fold the dumpling wrapper in half like a taco and seal up the edges. Simply dip your index finger into a small bowl of water and trace the perimeter of the dumpling wrapper and then fold the dumpling in half like a taco and seal up the ends. If you pinch them with spaces in between, they end up getting crimpy edges when you cook them.
When it comes to cooking dumplings, you can cook them a whole heaps of ways depending on what you prefer. I’m going to show you the three main ways:
- Ideally you would use a bamboo steamer to steam dumplings, however I actually don’t have one at home so use the following hack.
- Grab a colander or anything that resembles a bowl and has holes in it and place it on top of a pot of boiling water. Make sure there is space and air flow between the boiling water and colander so that your dumplings can steam.
- Crumple up some baking paper and then line your colander with it. This prevents the dumplings from stick (you’ll thank me later).
- Add your dumplings to the colander ensuring they have enough space between each other and then cover with a lid and steam for about 8 minutes.
- Using mittens, open the lid to check if they are ready. Remove and serve onto a plate.
- Self explanatory but drop your dumplings into a pot of boiling water ad cook for approximately 8 minutes.
- The only thing to be weary of with this method is that sometimes they can stick to the bottom of the pot, so make you you gently add them to the water and give the pot a stire every few minutes.
- Once the dumpling float to the surface, scoop them out with a slotted spoon and serve hot.
- Pan frying is a fun cooking method because you get a crispy bottom but steamed top. Heat a fry pan (that you have a lid for) and once hot, add some oil to the pan and then add your dumplings.
- After 3 minutes or so the bottom should crisp up and be a golden brown colour.
- Now add some boiling water to the pan, enough to fill just the surface of the pan. Cover the pan with a lid and allow to steam for another 5 minutes.
The normal way to eat dumplings is to have them on a plate with separate dipping sauces that each person can dip into, but when I eat them at home, I like to add all of my condiments and herbs to the same plate as the dumplings and eat the straight from the plate. Less dishes and less work!
- Finely chop herbs of your choice - I normally go for coriander and spring onions.
- Place your dumplings onto a plate and hit it with some sesame oil.
- Add a dash of white vinegar to a bowl of soy sauce and then using a spoon drizzle the sauce on top of your dumplings. Don’t try to pour soy sauce from the bottle onto your dumplings. It always ends up in a soy sauce disaster for me. This method is more controlled and you use less sauce.
- Now drizzle your dumplings with some chilli oil. For a homemade chilli oil recipe, check out my ‘Chilli Oil’ highlights on my Instagram page.
- Finally, sprinkle the herbs of your choice that you finely chopped.
If you loved this recipe, you can check out my Prawn & Ginger Wonton recipe!