Obsessed is an understatement when it comes to describing my love of dumplings right now. From the moment I got pregnant I couldn’t get enough of these delightful little morsels. In the last four months I have had more Chinese takeaways and more Yum Cha that I care to disclose, because, well, its an embarrassingly high number of times. At least this time round my cravings are slightly healthier than the deep fried chicken and fries from KFC I craved in my last pregnancy. Oh dear Kate! Its a pretty easy question if anyone asks my what my pregnancy cravings are right now, and yes it is a common question when people find out you’re pregnant! I wonder if dumpling cravings mean I’m having a boy or girl? Anyone know? Only two weeks until I find out what I’m having, yes, I’m definitely finding out I really don’t have the will power to wait nine months to find out!
It seems fitting that I give you all a dumpling recipe today, not only because I am obsessed, but also because its Chinese New Year this week. Gong Xi Fa Cai! I’m not Chinese so I don’t really do anything to celebrate the New Year apart from going to the local lantern festival in Auckland which I love. I also thought it would be fun to read the horoscopes for this year too. This will be the year of the sheep, so my little bubba soon to be born in August will be a little sheep. This turns out to be a pretty good thing as I’ve read that my little one will be wise, kind-hearted, polite and compassionate. George (my soon to be 2 year old toddler) is a snake. Hmmm I’m not sure what kind of combo a snake and a sheep will make!
I must be honest, these really aren’t authentic Chinese or Asian dumplings. But they taste really good, so who cares if they’re authentic right? They are easy to make, really delicious and are Asian inspired. My husband and I love them as a quick and easy lunch or after work snack. Even little George – a.k.a. the world’s fussiest eater – actually likes them! Unless you’re giving these to your toddler then don’t even think about serving these without the dipping sauce. This dipping sauce is the bomb! It is a perfect combination of sour vinegar and salty soy sauce with my all time favourite, sesame oil. I won’t say that I may have considered drinking this dipping sauce, but don’t sweat, I haven’t, I just considered it (although I think that’s bad enough in itself)! Feel free to steam these dumplings if you want something slightly healthier, but I do recommend you use a little oil and cook these as pot stickers. Its not that much oil at all and the result is worth it. The contrast between the soft steamed dumpling top and crispy fried bottom is delicious and addictive.
Before I go, another big apology for my posts being so few and far between. We’ve been undergoing some renovations including re-plastering our ceilings so the kitchen has been out of action for awhile. I didn’t think you wanted photos of food covered with plaster dust, all of my food would have looked a little like beignets from New Orleans! My friend is convinced all these renovations are because my nesting hormones are on overdrive. She might be right but these were definitely long overdue. So again, sorry for the sparsity of posts, I didn’t forget about you.
Enjoy the dumplings and Happy Chinese New Year! Gong Xi Fa Cai!
Asian Inspired Pork Pot Stickers
- 1/2 red onion
- 1 1/2 cups green cabbage
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp ginger grated
- 200 g ground pork mince
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes optional
- 2 Tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 60 round dumpling pastry wrappers see Note 1
- 8 Tbsp neutral vegetable oil I used rice bran oil
- 2 cups water
- 3 Tbsp dark soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp water
- 1 Tbsp rice vinegar see Note 2
- 1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
To make the dumplings:
Place onion, cabbage and garlic in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Alternatively, finely chop by hand but it is much easier to use the food processor if you have one.
In a large bowl, mix together the finely chopped onion, cabbage and garlic mix with the ginger, pork, salt and pepper. It will look as if you have too much cabbage and onion, but keep mixing and the mixture will come together. It is sometimes easier to use your hands. Once combined, add soy sauce and sesame oil and mix well to combine.
Working in batches, place about 15 pastry wrappers on a clean bench top. Place one teaspoon of the mixture in the centre of each wrapper. Brush the edges with water. Fold the edges of the wrapper in to the centre and press together to seal. You should look like a half moon shape with a flat bottom (see photos).
It is easiest to cook the dumplings in batches of 15. In a large non-stick fry pan or wok with a lid, over medium-high heat, place 2 Tbsp oil, 1/2 cup water and 15 dumplings placed upright (i.e. flat bottom down and sealed edge pointing up). Cover with lid. Cook for 5 minutes until dumpling pastry is almost translucent. Remove lid and cook for another 4-5 minutes until all the liquid is evaporated and the bottoms are golden and crispy. Remove from heat. Dumplings do stick to the bottom of the pan (hence their name) so using a fish slice, gently prise the dumplings off the bottom of the pan.
Serve with the dipping sauce.
Note 1: Dumpling pastry wrappers are available at my local supermarket in the chilled section. If yours doesn’t stock them you should be able to find them at any gourmet or Asian supermarket. Alternatively, you can use square wonton wrappers and fold into a triangle shape, if these are available to you.
Note 2: You can substitute with white wine vinegar if you don’t have any rice wine vinegar.
Note 3: The dumplings do not refrigerate well overnight as they will go soggy. Therefore, I recommend you make these on the day you wish to serve them. Alternatively, they freeze very well. To freeze, place dumplings in a single layer and not touching on a baking sheet lined with baking (parchment paper). Place in the freezer for a few hours then remove and transfer into a zip lock bag.