From Italian ravioli or gnocchi, to Polish perogi’s and Indian samosa’s, “dumplings” are eaten by many, many cultures around the world in just as many ways. From sweet to savoury, fried, baked or steamed, we just can’t seem to run out of ideas of what to pack into a little ball of dough, but China is arguably Dumpling Heaven – and have millennia old traditions surrounding this simple yet filling filled food. The below recipe is a simple, standard dumpling recipe typical of mainland China, where these would be referred to as jiaozi in Mandarin Chinese, while in Hong Kong, this same recipe would be referred to as dim sum (in Cantonese), and are often eaten as either a whole meal or more commonly as a snack accompanying tea.
Travelling in China, it’s almost impossible not to eat dumplings. From Shanghai’s top restaurants, to an old man in Xian steaming them in a doorway on a bustling street, they’re literally everywhere! While eating them is certainly fun, part of the reason Dumplings have a ‘comfort food’ appeal in China is due to the traditions surrounding how to make them, as making dumplings is half the fun. Around holidays, large family gatherings, celebrations and so on, dumplings would bring a whole family together in the kitchen to chip in and help make the dozens or hundreds of dumplings. The recipe below is for 50 dumplings, but you can obviously adjust the recipe as need be – depends on how big your family is!
Tip: There are literally hundreds of ways of how to ‘fold’ or shape a dumpling, you can lookup a few different ways to change up the look and appearance of your recipes, below is the easiest, most common way of finding them.
Recipe makes 50 dumplings
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped Chinese chives
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon chilli-garlic sauce
- 1 pound ground pork
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped Chinese chives
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 50 dumpling wrappers (dough circles)
- 1 cup vegetable oil for frying
- 1 quart water, or more as needed
- Combine 1/2 cup soy sauce, rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon chives, sesame seeds, and chile sauce in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Mix pork, garlic, egg, 2 tablespoons chives, soy sauce, sesame oil, and ginger in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Place a dumpling wrapper on a lightly floured work surface and spoon about 1 tablespoon of the filling in the middle. Wet the edge with a little water and crimp together forming small pleats to seal the dumpling. Repeat with remaining dumpling wrappers and filling.
- Heat 1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place 8 to 10 dumplings in the pan and cook until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Pour in 1 cup of water, cover and cook until the dumplings are tender and the pork is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Repeat for remaining dumplings. Serve with soy sauce mixture for dipping.