My step-by-step guide to making perfect Chinese dumplings

Summer is finally coming. Time for long lazy days in the park and dinner outside. Maybe it’s also time to get a few friends and neighbors? I am looking forward to a much more social summer this year and seeing friends and family that I haven’t been able to spend time with for the past few years.

Planning a larger interview can be a bit daunting and feeding everyone can be a challenge though. As much as I love cooking for people, I don’t want to spend all my time alone in the kitchen while everyone else is outside enjoying the weather and each other’s company. Therefore, I will plan food that I can prepare well in advance and then cook it in minutes.

These pork and shrimp dumplings are perfect for this. They take a while to prepare but can be made a day in advance and then only take minutes to cook. I love making it. Filling and folding the dumplings takes a while, but I find it quite meditative and satisfying. The filling is delicious, a classic combination of pork and shrimp with ginger and green onions. Your family and friends will love them.

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This recipe makes about 35 to 40 dumplings. Three to four people per person for an appetizer or snack, so reduce the recipe size to fit the number of people you want to feed. If I make it for the four of us at home, I generally make half the amount in this recipe, and we eat a lot.

I advise you to buy dumpling wrappers instead of making them. It will save you a lot of time and mess. They are available in the frozen section of any good Asian supermarket, and are usually labeled wonton or dumpling wrappers. Just defrost them in the fridge the day before you plan the dumplings. Use raw prawns that have been peeled and dried, which are widely available in local supermarkets.

For a dip, try finding some Qinqiang vinegar. This black Chinese vinegar has a wonderful flavour. Again, you’ll find this in most Asian supermarkets nowadays. If you can’t get enough of any, regular rice wine vinegar is a good alternative.

Pork and Shrimp Potsticker Pancakes

These delicious, bite-sized dumplings are perfect for entertaining the crowd

Preparation time

30 minutes

total time

1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 400 grams minced pork

  • 200gm raw shrimp

  • 30 grams of ginger

  • 3 green onions

  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper

  • 1 tablespoon rice wine or dry sherry

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

  • 35-40 wrapped wonton or dumpling

  • For diving:

  • 90 ml of black rice vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated ginger

  • 1 finely chopped red pepper

  • 1 tablespoon liquid honey

  • To serve:

  • Some toasted sesame seeds, finely chopped red pepper and a little chopped green onion.

method

  1. Slice the shrimp roughly the same size as the onions. Chop the green onion and cut it into thin slices. Peel and grate the ginger. Combine pork, minced prawns, spring onion, ginger, white pepper, soy sauce, rice wine, and sesame oil in a large bowl and mix together well.

  2. Now it’s time to assemble your dumplings. Keep a bowl of cold water on the side that you will use to moisten the dumplings and then seal the dumplings. Take a dumpling wrap and put a teaspoon of pork and shrimp filling in the middle.

  3. Use a finger to wipe the water around the edges of the dumpling wrap. Now fold the wrapper in half to create a half moon shape, push all the air out of the dumpling and then close it by pressing the wet edges together tightly. Make sure the edges are sealed tight. If you want to keep it super simple, that’s it, you’ve made your first dumplings. If you want to make it more attractive, you can bend the edges of the dumplings.

  4. Starting at one end of the closed edge, fold the tight portion by pressing it between two fingers. Keep working until you reach the other end, and you have a dumpling with a ruffled edge on top. Repeat until you have made all your dumplings. Lay them out on a plate, greasy side down leaving a small space between each one to prevent them from sticking. If you are going to store it overnight before you cook it, cover it with some wrapping paper and put it in the fridge until you need it.

  5. To make the dipping sauce, mix all the ingredients together and set aside while the dumplings are cooking.

  6. Heat a heavy non-stick skillet over high heat. Add some toasted sesame oil and place the dumplings next to the fat in the pan. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the bottoms of the dumplings are golden. Add a few tablespoons of water to the pan and cover it with a lid. Steam the dumplings for another two to three minutes, then remove the lid and cook until all the water has evaporated. Cook the dumplings in batches, making sure not to crowd the pan.

  7. Serve with some toasted sesame seeds, chopped green onions, and finely chopped red peppers scattered on top and a plate of dipping sauce on the side.

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