Sunday, December 16, 2012

Chinese Dumplings

Homemade chinese dumplings have been a favorite food of mine since I was a little kid. In my opinion they are ten times better than restaurant dumplings, but Jack says that they are just completely different. If you have a spare 2-3 hours some evening I highly recommend giving these a try they are actually easier than one might think.

This recipe will make about 40 dumplings.


  • 4 cups of flour
  • 1 1/2 cups of boiling water
  • 1lb of ground pork
  • 1/4-1/2 head of cabbage
  • 1 tbls of garlic
  • 2 tbls soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbls sesame oil
  • half of a beaten egg
  • dash of salt

To start you have to make the dough or to save time you can purchase wonton wrappers at the store. The only problem I have with the wonton wrappers is that they are a little thin so when you're pan frying the dumplings they sometimes break a part. To make the dough it is easiest to use a food processor, if you don't have one I highly recommend purchasing one as they are miracle workers in the kitchen. I actually requested a food processor before I requested a coffee machine, because they are that useful. I have a 7 cup cuisinart that goes for around $100.

If you do not have a food processor you can still make the dough it will probably just take more time.

Making the Dough

  • First start a pot of boiling water.
  •  Take 2 cups of flour, pour it into the food processor, and add just a dash of salt. Put the lid on and start to mix the flour while slowly adding in 3/4 cups of the boiling water.
  •  You will soon notice the dough starting to form a ball when it does this let it spin around the machine 41 times. Yes this is a random number my mom made up, but it seems to work so we stick with it. *FUN FACT: this is actually one of the ways my mom taught me how to count as a kid*
  • Check the dough and make sure that it is firm enough to roll into a ball. If it is too wet add some more flour and continue mixing. If it doesn't turn into a ball and spin around you can add cool water until it does.
  • After you've mixed the dough, take it out, form it into a ball, place it on a floured surface, cover it with a towel, and let it set for 30 minutes. 
  • Do this process twice so that you have two balls of dough. 
  • While it's sitting you can make the filling!
Dumpling Filling: You are going to use the food processor again so make sure you clean it out. 
  • Take about 1/4 of a head of cabbage wash it off and throw it into the food processor to shred it.
  • After it's finely shredded add in the meat, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, and egg.
  • Thoroughly mix all of the ingredients.
Preparing the dumplings: This part can be tedious, but is fun to do if you have a partner.
  • For this you will need a spoon, a small dish of water, a rolling pin, and a cookie sheet.
  • Take the ball of dough and cut it in half. Roll the half out and cut into it so that you have about ten medium sized squares.You will do this for both balls of dough.
  • While one person is rolling the dough the other person can be the filler. In each square you take about a teaspoon or more of meat it depends on how big you made your squares and plop it in the center of the square. You are going to want to position the square so that it's like a diamond. With your finger wet the edges of half the piece of dough and fold it over so that it makes a small triangle. Press the edges down with your fingers to seal it closed.
  • They should look like this when you are done.

Cooking the dumplings
  • Cooking the dumplings is very easy. You'll need a large pot of boiling water and a large pan with frying oil set at medium high heat.
  • Make sure that the water is boiling and continues to boil the entire time you're cooking. 
  • Take about 4 to 5 dumplings depending how large your pots and pans are and place them in the boiling water. Let them cook for exactly 7 minutes.
  • Take them out of the water and place them onto the frying pan until they are crisp and a light golden brown.
  • Continue these steps until all your dumplings are cooked.

This may seem like a lot to do, but it's a lot easier than it seems and the end result is heavenly. It's definitely more tedious than it is difficult. These dumplings are my favorite food in the entire world right next to my mothers egg roll recipe which I still have yet to figure out. When I do you all will be the first to know how to make them.

Dipping sauce is obviously a great compliment to this meal. My personal favorite is vinegar and fire oil. Jack uses just plain soy sauce and my sister uses a mixture of half soy sauce and half hoisin sauce. A majority of the people I've introduced these to prefer the soy sauce and hoisin sauce so i would recommend that first. 

Try making them and let me know how they turn out I'd love to hear peoples opinions.

PS I've never made these for some one and had them NOT fall in love with them so I'd say they are definitely worth the time.

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