Thursday, August 9, 2012

Around the World: Chinese Boiled Pork Dumplings

Last month during our Around the World trip to Brazil I decided that most, if not all of our country cooking would be done on the weekends, preferably cooked as a family.  Of course when choosing China we had to make dumplings.  Especially since my daughter loves them so much!  This was a great dish that we were able to make as a family.  My husband and I got the filling together and then we all sat at the table and filled the dumplings.  This made so many, we were eating dumplings for days!  I wish I had thought of freezing some before cooking.  This was a great weekend project for us to do together as a family but I do not recommend trying to make these on a weeknight unless you have a lot of time!  I could not find round dumpling wrappers so we had to make do with square wonton wrappers.  These were definitely not as good as the ones you get from the Chinese restaurant.  If we fried them, they would remind me a lot of Korean Mandoo (dumplings).  However, they were tasty enough and we all ate them (minus my son!). 

Chinese Boiled Pork Dumpings
recipe from Steamy Kitchen

Yield: approximately 50 dumplings

12 ounces napa cabbage leaves, roughly chopped (or regular cabbage)
1 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/2 teaspoon table salt)
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger (use microplane grater)
1/4 cup minced green onions (white and green parts)
2/3 pound ground pork
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon dry sherry
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 package frozen round dumpling wrappers (gyoza/potsticker wrappers), defrosted at room temperature for 30 minutes

for the slurry: 1 tablespoon cornstarch + 1/2 cup water

1. To make the filling, put the cabbage in a food processor and process until cabbage is finely minced. Remove the cabbage to a large bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Let cabbage sit for 10 minutes. In the meantime, return the food processor bowl to the stand and add the ginger,onions, pork, pepper, soy sauce, sherry and sesame oil. Pulse 4 times to mix the ingredients well. Set aside.

2. Use your hands to grab a handful of the cabbage and squeeze and discard the excess moisture out into the sink. You can also spoon all of the cabbage onto a cheesecloth and then squeeze all the water out. Place the dry cabbage back into the large bowl and add the pork mixture. Fold the cabbage into the pork mixture.

3. Mix together the slurry. Take one dumpling wrapper, spoon scant 1 tablespoon of the pork mixture onto the middle of the wrapper. Dip one finger into the slurry and “paint” the edges of the dumpling wrapper. Bring up the bottom side of the wrapper, fold up and press to shape into a half-moon shape, encasing all of the filling. Place on baking sheet, cover loosely with plastic wrap and repeat with rest of dumplings. Make sure that the dumplings do not touch each other on the sheet.

4 When all dumplings assembled, you can cook immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to several hours. To cook, half-fill a large pot with water and bring to boil. When boiling, and gently slide in 1/3 of the dumplings. When water returns to a boil, turn heat to a simmer and gently cook for 6-8 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon and repeat with remaining dumplings. Serve with hot chili sauce.

Family Rating:  1 1/2 thumbs up.

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