This time I want to share with you a simple recipe for homemade dumplings that a good friend of mine recommended to me. Ever since we made these dumplings for the first time, we always use this recipe because it’s so easy and simple, you can get everything you need all year round and you can also amend it with ingredients of your choice.
I like to wash, peel, cut and prepare everything first so that afterwards you can spend your time on making the dough and forming and filling the dumplings. Now lets get started with the filling of your dumplings:
The number one ingredient for your filling is Chinese cabbage. One whole cabbage will be enough for a filling resulting in dumplings for about six people. Let’s keep in mind that this recipe will give you enough dumplings to satisfy six hungry people. Separate all the leaves and wash them thoroughly. Then cut the cabbage in very thin and very small pieces so that it will mix well with the rest of the ingredients for the filling. Keep a few big leaves of the cabbage to put your dumplings on in case you want to steam them. This will keep them from sticking to whatever you steam them in. Next, you will need three spring onions. These also need to be washed and cut in small pieces.
Now for the meat filling you need 500 grams of minced pork. The pork is essential because of it’s high amount of fat which will give you most of the taste. Unfortunately I somehow forgot to take a picture of the meat but I guess most of you will know what minced pork looks like 😀 For the vegetarian filling we used carrots, leek, peas and of course spring onions and cabbage. You can basically use any vegetable that can be chopped into small pieces and that is not very juicy (if the filling is too juicy it will ruin your dough during cooking the dumplings).
Last but not least you need chopped ginger and garlic for you filling. Make sure to chop everything into very small pieces, biting on a big piece of ginger or garlic isn’t too pleasant.
Again, I’m sorry I didn’t manage to take pictures of the finished fillings but at this point we were already so hungry we couldn’t wait to start filling the pieces of dough and so I simply forgot. Speaking of dough, you can buy frozen, ready to use dumpling dough pieces at an asian supermarket. Make sure to take them out of the freezer one two two hours before you need them because you won’t be able to separate them otherwise. Or you can make your own dumpling dough. This is more work of course but on a sunday afternoon with your friends this could be fun 🙂 For the dough, all you need is regular wheat flour and warm water. Mix two cups of flour with a bit of warm water and knead until you receive a firm dough. I’m not an expert but I would say the dough is good if it’s as firm as a cold kids play dough 😀 Now form a dough sausage and cut of small pieces. All you have to do now is form round thin pieces with a rolling pin. You can use a regular rolling pin, or if you want to impress your friend with your excellent dumpling dough skills, you can use a Chinese rolling pin. These don’t have handles so it’s basically just a wooden stick and they are slightly thicker in the middle than on the edges. This is to make the dough pieces thicker in the middle to hold the filling and thinner on the edges because these will be folded.
Folding the dumplings is not too hard although I discovered some people have a hard time doing it 😀 I would say don’t make a science out of the folding process, just make sure you wet the edges of your dough so that they will stick and close your dumplings properly to keep the filling within.
Now to cook your dumplings, you can fry them in a pan with vegetable oil which will make them crispy on the outside. Your fried dumplings are ready when they are mostly gold-brown coloured and partly dark brown coloured. Or you can steam your dumplings which is the low-fat option. If you have a steamer that’s perfect, put the cabbage leaves that you kept aside at the beginning inside and your dumplings on top and steam for 7-10 minutes. If you don’t have a steamer, there are inlays for pots that keep your dumplings three centimetres above the ground of the pot so that they won’t touch the water you put in there.
Here also put the dumplings on top of the inlay to prevent them from sticking to it. I always fry half of the dumplings and boil the other half so you can have the taste of both 🙂 Now to complete your dinner, don’t forget the sauces:
Soy sauce, sesame oil and hot chilli sauce are the perfect base to mix some nice sauces. My favourite is the combination of soy sauce, white vinegar, sesame oil and chopped garlic. You can also mix only soy sauce and vinegar or leave the soy sauce just plain. If you’re a fan of burning hot sauce you can dip your dumplings into the plain chilli sauce. If you only like a little bit of spice you can mix the chilly sauce into your soy sauce and even water it down with a bit of water to make it less spicy.
Now you should have a beautiful plate full of yummy dumplings that will definitely satisfy you and your friends. Also don’t miss out on the fun making these and enjoy a glass of wine during the process, I’m pretty sure this will be a night you will remember 😀