Food & Entertaining - Recipes

Made-from-scratch pork dumplings

By
Michael Chen
Photography
Tara Donne

Now you don't have to go out in search of your favourite pork dumplings. You can make them yourself with this made-from-scratch recipe.

pork-dumplings.jpg
Ingredients

For the dumplings
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 7 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and minced
  • 1/2 cup minced napa cabbage
  • 3 scallions, minced
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons peeled, minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the garlic-chili oil
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon Korean red-pepper flakes
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
For the dipping sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese black vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
For the garnish
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Coarsely chopped roasted peanuts

You can buy dumpling wrappers ready-made, but Michael Chen's recipe will make you wonder why anyone bothers. Simply combine flour and water into a smooth dough and roll it under your palms into a rope. To make each wrapper, pinch off a lump of dough and roll it into a circle. It's so easy, and the cooked wrapper tastes fresher and more tender than a commercial wrapper, which can sometimes be a little tough. For the best results, pull off about half an inch of dough for each wrapper and roll it into a 4-inch circle.

Be sure not to add too much chicken broth to the filling. It should be moist but still quite firm. If it's too damp, the dumpling won't close up tight, and when you drop it in the boiling water, the seal won't hold.

The garlic-chili oil for drizzling over the finished plates calls for both regular red-pepper flakes, which provide heat, and Korean red-pepper flakes, which are much milder and provide a more rounded, fruity flavor. If you can't find the Korean pepper at an Asian market, it's fine to leave it out, but don't double the regular pepper flakes to make up the difference. It will be far too hot for comfort.
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