You guys… I have a confession. I’m totally addicted to dumplings. Yes, I am a dumpling addict. I love them every way steamed, boiled or fried. They are perfect bite size pouches of bursting flavor. I love them so much one time on a trip to Melbourne Australia Chris was working so I decided to check out a famous dumpling shop – alone. I was so overwhelmed with joy I ordered enough dumplings to feed a family of 3, went back to the hotel and ate all of them. No shame in my dumpling game.
Now that we’ve established I love eating dumplings let me confess something else – I was terrified of cooking them at home. They always seemed off limits to me – fearing I’d fall short and end up with a raw, under cooked, gummy mess. Then (as with most of my more bold culinary attempts) I became hyper aware that Ireland was not going to provide me with the tasty takeout dumpling I so desperately craved. So I took matters into my own hands. After consulting a few different recipes (here and here) I realized they’re much easier to make than anticipated. Most of the ingredients can be found at your local supermarket and the scariest part – folding and shaping the dumplings – was easier than I imagined.
As you can see I am no master dumpling folder, but if I can do it you can! I chose to make the ‘boat’ shape. This is done using a few easy steps:
- On a square dumpling wrapper add 1.5-2 tsp filling to the center of the dumpling. Too much and the dumpling won’t seal causing the tasty filling to come out and you to be sad.
- Wet the edges of the wrapper and fold into a triangle. Make sure to take your time squeezing as much air out as you can. If you leave too much air in the dumpling it will explode! No fun.
- Wet one of the long flaps and bring the dry side over the damp side creating a little ‘boat’ shape.
See?! Just 3 easy steps to folding dumplings like a pro! Chris and I had a strange amount of fun folding and shaping them. Surprisingly, Chris was a complete natural and put me to shame so towards the end I stepped aside and let him do the rest.
So I’ve talk a lot about the dumplings but haven’t mentioned anything about the chili vinegar sauce. The chili vinegar sauce I created is a simplified version of a traditional Chinese sauce. In the traditional sauce Chinking Vinegar is used. This vinegar is hard to find if you don’t have an Asian market close by so I scrapped it and used rice vinegar mixed with balsamic vinegar to recreate the sweet and tangy flavor. I did however use Chinese style chili oil since nothing I found come even close to the flavor. I found this at my local Tesco so there’s a good chance your local supermarket will have it too; if not Amazon is a great resource. Now, let me be frank (again). You really can’t skip the oil – it makes the sauce annnnnd it’s so, so, so tasty. So much so in fact Chris now puts it on everything from pizza to eggs to veggie soup. So please buy it ?
After seeing how good this turned out I’ll definitely be making more dumplings in the future! It also boosted my confidence (just a little) when it comes to recreating my favorite takeout foods at home. Next I’m thinking about tackling some of my Thai or Korean favorites! Let me know which you’d prefer to see.
Before we get into the recipe I want to impart some tips for success that I learned in this process:
Once you make your filling it’s smart to take a small bit (1-2 tsp) and microwave it for 20-30 secs – then taste it. This is the only way you’ll know if your filling is perfectly seasoned before stuffing the little guys!
The other tip is that this recipe makes 40-45 dumplings – if you aren’t feeding a large party then freeze the rest! Dumplings freeze extremely well and since it’s just Chris and I we froze over half to have when a dumpling craving hits!
So without any further blabbing lets learn how to make these.
Prep time: 35 mins Cook time: 8 mins Serving sizes: 4-6 as small app. or 8-10 for meal
INGREDIENTS for dumplings
- 1 package pre made dumpling wrappers (recipe makes about 40 dumplings)
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1/4 cup chopped chives
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 inch ginger peeled and minced
- .5 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp corn starch
- .25 tsp baking soda
- salt and pepper to taste
INGREDIENTS for dipping sauce
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- .5 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp chili oil
1. Combine all ingredients for dumplings in a bowl. Using your hands mix and knead until mixture is well combined and soft about 1 min. Taking 1.5 – 2 tsp of mixture place in center of wrapper and fold and shape dumpling as outlined above. Repeat until the mixture in gone.
2. Fill a large pot about half way with water and add steamer on top. Heat until water is boiling. Once boiling adjust heat to maintain a steady strong simmer, about medium heat. Place 8-12 dumplings into the steamer at a time and steam for 8 mins covered. Repeat until you’ve cooked as many dumplings as you’d like. *If freezing, freeze left overs raw not cooked*
3. While dumplings are steaming combine all ingredients for the sauce. Whisk and pour into a small bowls for dipping and sharing. Enjoy while dumplings are still hot!