Sweet & Spicy Pork Dumplings

Final

Prep time: 45 minutes- 1 hour
Cook time: 10 minutes

I LOVE Asian food. It’s a widely known fact, and I celebrate it. I’ve always wanted to make dumplings. For such a small little pocket of food, they are packed with flavor and general deliciousness. I’ll eat dumplings of any kind, but today’s recipe is filled with pork and vegetables. Get creative if you’re comfortable with it. I altered my recipe from a vegetarian version, so feel free to alter the meat or vegetables. The key ingredients, which impart the best flavor, are the fresh minced ginger and the liquid ingredients.  I would recommend using them no matter what other fillings you use.

Initially I considered using wonton wrappers, like the rest of the blogging world. Not today, my friends! The reasons? (1) They are SO EASY to make from scratch; (2) This is not a semi-homemade blog, it’s a homemade blog; and (3) they are really hard to find in the grocery store. I am sure the recipe will be delicious with wonton wrappers, if you do choose to use them and are successful in finding them at the grocery store. I am formatting this recipe such this if you skip the homemade dumpling part, you can go to the bottom for the filling recipe and assembly.

Dumpling Recipe

The dumpling recipe is fantastic. I am posting it here, with my own directions, based on my own experience. Please do note that I followed the recipe from The Little TeochewIts hard to mess up this dough. If it needs a little water, add some water. If it needs more kneading, go for it! Ingredients

4 ½ C all-purpose flour
1 ¼ C slightly warm water
1 tsp vegetable oil
½ tsp salt

 The dumpling dough feels like a bread dough, but rolls out easily like sugar cookie dough.

The dumpling dough feels like a bread dough, but rolls out easily like sugar cookie dough.

Directions

  1. Mix the vegetable oil and salt into the slightly warm water, until salt dissolves.
  2. Measure flour into a large bowl; pour the water SLOWLY, as you stir with the handle of a wooden spoon (which means you should be holding the spoon part!).
  3. Stir until its too tough, and you need to mix with your hands. Stop mixing and pouring once the batter sticks together, but still looks dry.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap for approximately 10-15 minutes (You should take this time to make the filling).
  5. After 10-15 minutes, take the dough out of the bowl and start kneading. To knead, fold one part of the bread over the other, and push with one hand over the other, using the butt of your bottom hand. Do this until the dough looks like pizza dough, shiny and rubbery. This will probably take you a good ten minutes.
  6. Pull off small pieces and roll into little balls. Each small piece will be a dumpling. I recommend making approximately 20 balls. In the pictures here, you will see that I made 11. While still delicious, I felt they were much too big and doughy.
  7. Take each ball and roll out until its the thickness of a tortilla, but not quite as thin as a crepe. The outsides should be thinner than the insides, because you will be pinching to close. Layer each rolled out dumpling wrapper on a top of each other on a piece of parchment. So long as you don’t push them together, they should peel off easily.

Filling and Assembly of Dumplings

Filling
 As you’ll notice, this recipe calls for a small portion of many ingredients. It takes a little extra time, but its worth it. Dumplings have a unique, delicious, flavor because of the diversity of ingredients. Don’t discount this recipe if you don’t have all of these ingredients in your fridge. Just try to think of a substitute that has a similar flavor or texture. I am confident that your innovative dumpling recipe will turn out very tasty!

Ingredients

 ½ lb hot Italian sausage, removed from casing (or pork of your choice)
½ C grated carrots,
(or just toss in the food processor for a few seconds)
½  C chopped greens of your choice
(I would choose something crisp, like cabbage, spinach, etc.)
2 T finely chopped red pepper
2 T finely chopped scallions
2 tsp finely minced fresh ginger (KEY!) 1 T soy sauce1 T hoisin sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper


Directions

  1. Pan-fry the Italian sausage. Once it is cooked, line a dinner plate with paper towel. Pour sausage onto lined dinner plate and top with another piece of paper towel. Basically, you are using the paper towel to mop up the grease and liquids.
  2. Mix the rest of the ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Add in the Italian sausage once the paper towels have mopped up all of the grease.
  3. Take your dumpling wrappings out and place 1 heaping teaspoon of filling into your hand. Squeeze out the liquid, and then place in the center of each dumpling wrapping. Pinch the ends of each dumpling together so that it forms a crescent shape. Pinch close to the filling, so that there is no air between the filling and where you’ve pinched.
  4. To make them look like the ones in the store, you can pleat each dumpling. MISTRIAL ALERT: I did not attempt to find instructions on how to pleat, and had a really hard time as a result. To avoid a mistrial yourself, check out this tutorial: (http://1tess.wordpress.com/2008/06/02/gyoza-pleating-the-dumplings/) It has a really good description of how to pleat.
  5. To cook, pour some olive il in a large frying pan (approximately 1 T). Heat it up and then place dumplings inside, once the bottoms are browned and crispy, pour about ½ C water into the pan. Then cover with lid and let the dumplings steam for 5 minutes or so. Depending on how big you made your dumplings, this may take longer.

Dumplings can be enjoyed with many different sauces. On a quick night, I will eat mine with soy sauce. Chili oil also makes a delicious dipping sauce. Just add some garlic, soy sauce, and ginger, and voila, you have a fancy dumpling dish! Hungry for more great recipes? Explore more on Lawyer in the Kitchen!

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One comment

  1. […] Chicken and Stir Fried Broccoli, Thai Ginger Chicken, Teriyaki Chicken with Stir Fried Cabbage, or Sweet and Spicy Pork Dumplings). They also make for a great healthy, afternoon […]

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