Asian Dumplings

Dipping Sauce:

 

  • Soy sauce

  • Sesame oil

  • Apple cider vinegar or Chinese black vinegar (aka 'sorghum vinegar)

  • Chili oil or sauce

 

Taiwanese Pork Dumplings (2015 Workshop)

 

Happy Lunar New Year! 

Jiaozi 饺子 Dumplings are delicious anytime of year, but during Lunar New Year they are especially celebrated and consumed as a symbol of wealth due to their resemblance to the old school Chinese gold and silver ingot. There are so many ways of making dumplings out there, but here's a succulent recipe from our friends at the Hua Foundation.

 

This recipe makes about 80 dumplings. For a printable version of this recipe, click here.

 

You'll Need:

 

  • 2 lbs dumpling wrappers 水餃皮

 

Filling:

 

  • 1 lbs lean ground pork 猪肉

  • 1 lbs Taiwanese 'Li sun' cabbage 高麗菜

  • 1 bunch green onions (5-6 stalks) 青蔥

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil 香油

  • 2 tsp salt 鹽

  • 2-3 dashes white pepper 白胡椒

  • 1 tsp grated ginger juice 薑汁

  • 1 tbsp cooking rice wine 米酒

 

 

Let's go:

 

  1. Finely chop cabbage in a food processor or by hand.

  2. Chop green onions by hand.

  3. Tenderize ground pork using a food processor or a meat tenderizer (a food processor will yield a smoother texture).

  4. Mix cabbage, pork, green onion and seasonings.

  5. Boil or microwave a spoonful of filling to test for flavour. Adjust seasoning as needed.

  6. Let the filling marinate for at least 3 hours in the fridge.

Chinese Dumplings (2018 Workshop)

 

This recipe makes about 100 dumplings. For a printable version of this recipe, click here.

 

You'll Need:

 

  • 3 package dumpling wrappers

 

Filling:

 

  • 2 1/2 lbs antibiotic and hormone free ground pork 猪肉

  • 2 tbsp water

  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce

  • 1 tsp sugar

  • 1/2 tbsp cornstarch

  • 1 tbsp minced ginger

  • 5 stalks minced green onions 青蔥

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil 香油 

  • 1 tbsp grapeseed or canola oil

  • 2 tsp salt 鹽

  • 2-3 dashes white pepper 白胡椒

  • 1 stalk celery

  • 2 king oyster mushrooms

  • 1/2 bunch leafy greens (kale, spinach, Asian greens)

 

 

Let's go:

Marinate the filling the night before: 

  1. Mi​nce ginger and green onion together. Heat up sesame and vegetable oil on stove and quickly take off heat just as it begins to smoke.

  2. Pour oil on top of ginger and onion. Let mixture cool.

  3. Place pork in large bowl and add water. Mix the pork and water with a pair of chopsticks, stirring in one direction. 

  4. Once meat reaches a tenderized / pasty texture, add the ginger/onion mixture and remaining ingredients except for celery and mushroom. Stir, cover securely and leave in fridge overnight.

Put it all together:

  1. Finely chop celery and mushroom in a food processor or by hand. Saute on medium heat with sesame oil and soy sauce.

  2. Remove leafy green stems and chop leaves finely. Add to marinated pork. If using a green with high water content, add bit more cornstarch to filling.

  3. Mix everything together. Boil or microwave a spoonful of filling to test for flavour. Adjust seasoning as needed.

  4. You may have extra wrappers leftover to wrap some veggie dumplings:

Vegetarian Dumplings (2018 Workshop)

 

You'll Need:

 

  • 1 1/2 - 2 packages dumpling wrappers

 

Filling:

 

  • 1 1/2 lbs winter squash (red kuri, delicata)

  • Five spice, oil, salt

  • 1/2 bunch leafy green (kale, chard, spinach, Asian green), destemmed

  • 2 portabello mushrooms

  • 1 small carrot

  • Seasonings: minced garlic, salt, mirin, soy sauce, sesame oil

  • 1 tbsp dried black fungus, rehydrated in warm-hot water

  • 1 block firm tofu, crumbled

  • 6 dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated (start 2 hours earlier)

  • 1 piece dried glass noodle (aka mung bean vermicelli), rehydrated

  • 1 tbsp fermented bean curd, smashed/chopped

 

 

Let's go:

 

Night before or 2 hours before:

  1. Cut squash in half, remove seeds.

  2. Rub oil, salt and five spice on squash and roast at 375 degrees until fork tender (about 1.5 hours).

  3. Cool and peel/discard skin. Fork squash into small pieces and set aside.

  1. Finely chop kale, portabello mushroom, carrot by hand or food processor. Saute with tofu and bean curd in oil and seasoning, making sure to cook off and evaporate excess water.

  2. Rinse shiitakes and squeeze out excess water. Chop finely.

  3. Take noodles and fungus out of water and chop finely.

  4. Mix everything together. Adjust seasoning as needed.

Wrapping

  1. Prepare your wrapping station: 

    • small spoons for filling;

    • small bowl of water for sealing;

    • clean, moist towel to cover wrappers to prevent them from drying out;

    • 2-4 trays dusted with cornstarch for wrapped dumplings

  2. Put 1 tbsp of filling in the middle of each wrapper. Use your finger to brush water on the edge of the wrapper, but only half (not the full circle). Fold wrapper in half. Pinch the edges, making sure to completely seal the filling inside. 

  3. Place on trays dusted with cornstarch. Make sure dumplings don't touch, or they will stick together and rip later.

  4. If you want frozen dumplings, place baking sheet in freezer for 30-60 minutes (or until frozen solid), then store them in a plastic freezer bag.

 

 

Cooking

 

To fry: Heat 2 tbsp oil in a nonstick pan over high heat. Place dumplings evenly on pan, laying them out on their flat sides. Add approximately ⅔ cup water, reduce heat to medium, and cover to steam for 10-12 minutes (or a little less, if you’re cooking fresh dumplings). All the water should be evaporated when you lift the lid. Now eat!

 

To boil: Bring water to a boil in a big stock pot. Add dumplings. When water returns to a boil, add 1 cup cold water. Repeat 2 more times. This trick prevents the skin from becoming soggy and ensure that the filling is cooked through. 

 

 

Kevin's Pro Tips:

 

  • The Golden Ratio: A beginner's guideline for your wrapper to filling ratio is 1:1 (1 lb wrappers for 1 lb filling), and once you feel more confident you can graduate to 1:1.25Your meat to cabbage filling ratio is also 1:1.

  • Hand chop all your ingredients for a different, chunkier texture.

  • Try wrapping your dumplings in different ways:

    • Add more folds to catch more dipping sauce

    • When making dumplings for pan-frying, wrap them so they sit flat. You'll maximize the area that gets crispy and crunchy.

  • Use seasonal and local ingredients where possible. You can really taste the difference when you buy fresh, quality pork in this dish.

Where to Buy Ingredients:

 

  • Windsor Quality Meats (4110 Main Street) - local, antibiotic-free pork

  • Chinatown Supermarket (239 Keefer Street) - local and pesticide-free produce, Asian seasonings, condiments and sauces

  • Grace Noodle House (9079 Shaughnessy Street) - fresh dumpling wrappers, noodles and other dim sum 

  • T & T Supermarket (Stadium Skytrain or Keefer and E 1st Ave) - great for one stop shopping

Chinese New Year Extras:

 

  • Alongside the dumplings, celebrate CNY with other foods such as fish, mandarin oranges and long noodles. There are also some special foods made of rice flour, like New Year Cake 年糕 and sweet rice balls called Tang Yuan 唐元 that are made with a sesame or peanut filling and served in dessert soup. 

 

  • 'Happy New Year' in Cantonese: Sun neen fai lok       新年快樂 (use this instead of gung hay fat choy, which means 'Wishing you good fortune')

  • 'Bon Appetit!' in Cantonese: There are a few versions but we grew up saying Sik fahn 食飯 (literally translates to 'Eat rice')