Pork Dumplings

While this took some time, the results were DELISH. Take an afternoon and try this! Via The Kitchn.

Makes 70 to 80 dumplings

Ingredients

  • ½ medium head Napa cabbage (about 1 pound)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 bunch cilantro, minced (about ¾ cup)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger, grated on a microplane or finely minced (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 large eggs, whisked
  • 1 (12-ounce) package round dumpling, wonton, or gyoza wrappers
  1. Slice the cabbage and mix with salt: Slice the half-head of cabbage down its length, through the root, to make 2 quarters. Then slice each quarter into very thin strips, cutting cross-wise. Toss the slices with the salt in a large mixing bowl and set aside for 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Squeeze the liquid from the cabbage: While it rests with the salt, the cabbage will start to release liquid. When it’s ready, grab handfuls of the cabbage and squeeze out the water. Transfer the squeezed cabbage to another mixing bowl.
  3. Combine the cabbage with the rest of the filling ingredients: To the bowl with the squeezed cabbage, add the ground pork, sliced scallions, cilantro, soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil, and eggs. Work the mixture together with your hands until fully combined.
  4. Arrange your dumpling-making station: Clear a large space on the counter. Set a small bowl of water, the bowl of filling, and a parchment-lined baking sheet nearby. Open the package of dumpling wrappers and arrange a few on the work space in front of you.
  5. Place 1 scant tablespoon of filling on each dumpling wrapper: It doesn’t look like much filling, but using any more gets messy and makes the dumplings hard to pleat closed! Once you get the hang of pleating the dumplings, you can try adding a bit more. [I couldn’t get more than a full ½ tablespoon into my wrappers without the filling spilling out when I tried to fold the dumplings.]
  6. Dampen the edge of the wrapper with water: Dip your finger in the bowl of water and run it around the edge of the dumpling. This will help it to seal closed.
  7. Fold the dumpling in half: Lift the dumpling from the work surface and fold it in half. Press the top closed.
  8. Make a pleat in either side: Use your opposite thumbs to fold a tiny pleat on either side of the dumpling, then press firmly to seal the dumpling closed. You may need to dab a little water under the pleat to make it stick closed. [Refer to the recipe link for pictures. But really just do the pleat that feels best for you. Youtube is great for this sort of stuff!]
  9. Repeat with all the wrappers and filling: Continue filling and pleating the rest of the wrappers using the remaining filling — this is where having a few extra hands comes in handy! As you finish each dumpling, line it up on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
  10. Cook or freeze the dumplings: You can cook the dumplings immediately, or freeze them on the baking sheet. Once frozen solid, gather them into a freezer container and keep frozen for up to 3 months.

Instructions for Cooking the Dumplings

  1. Sear the dumplings in a skillet: Film a skillet with about a tablespoon of oil and warm over high heat. When the oil is shimmering, arrange the dumplings in the pan as close as they’ll fit without actually touching. Cook until the bottoms have turned brown and golden. [This works whether starting from fresh or frozen; they will still brown in the oil.]
  2. NOTEEE: If you have too much oil still in your pan, adding water can cause a grease fire. I know from scary experience. Therefore, I always start with more like a ½ tbsp of oil (for 6-10 dumplings) and then go from there. I would also turn down the heat from high before adding the water. Safety first!
  3. Add 3 tablespoons of water to the pan: Pour 3 tablespoons of water in the pan — the water will immediately sizzle and begin to steam.
  4. Cover the pan and lower the heat: Cover the pan immediately and reduce the heat to low. (If your skillet doesn’t have a lid, cover with a baking sheet.)
  5. Cook the dumplings for 3 to 5 minutes if fresh, or 6 to 8 minutes if frozen: When done, the wrappers will appear translucent and noodle-like; the filling will be opaque and warmed through (you can cut one open to check).
  6. Transfer to a plate and serve: Transfer the cooked dumplings to a plate and serve with soy sauce or other dipping sauce.

Recipe Notes

  • Steamed dumplings: Line a steamer basket with parchment and steam over simmering water for about 6 minutes if fresh, 8 minutes if frozen.
  • Boiled dumplings: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the dumplings. Stir so they don’t stick together. Add 1 ½ cups of cold water and bring to a boil again. Add another 1 ½ cups of cold water and bring to a boil a third time. Check one dumpling to make sure they are cooked through; boil another few minutes if necessary.
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