Steamed Chinese Dumplings

Steamed Dumplings…a food from my childhood.  Not just any type of food though – the kind I would get super excited about whenever they were in my future.  It was an event – not just a meal.  We had a long counter where all the dumpling wrappers would be laid out – we would scoop some filling into the center of each, then take some water – and with our fingers dab water on the edge of half the circle.  We would seal them up – then store them on a cookie sheet.  We would make tons of them – and then they would go into the steamer, batch after batch, and we would eat as much as we possibly could.

I could have lived on dumplings as a kid.  I remember when I moved away from home to a new city – I was on a quest to find dumpling wrappers – at that time you couldn’t get them in the regular grocery store – so I took a field trip down to the Chinese section of town, and found a grocery store that sold only Asian products.  I searched and searched until I found them – and then bought tons of the frozen wrappers to keep in my freezer.  My friends were so impressed that I knew how to make these delicious morsels.

I can’t believe it has been so long, but I finally decided to make them for my kids.  Fortunately I didn’t have to travel far to find the wrappers – they were in the refrigerated section at Whole Foods.  This time the wrappers were square instead of circular, but they tasted just as good.  I prefer the thin wrappers, and that’s what they had.  My kids LOVED them – we ate the entire batch – and cooked them 3 different ways – we steamed them, boiled them, and fried them.  I liked the steamed the best – the girls liked the fried.  Any way you serve them though, they are delicious – and so much fun to make!

Ingredients

Dumplings

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1/2 can water chestnuts
  • 1 tablespoon ginger
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tablespoon rice wine
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons minced scallions
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2-4 tablespoons cilantro
  • 1 package dumpling wrappers

Dipping Sauce

  • soy sauce
  • rice vinegar
  • scallions
  • ginger

Preparation

Place the garlic in the food processor while it is running.  Add the rest of the ingredients and process until well blended.  Place about 1/2 tablespoon of filling onto the center of each dumpling wrapper.  Dip your finger into a small bowl of water, and trace half of the outer edge of the wrapper.  Fold the wrapper over and seal.

Place the sealed dumplings on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  At this point you can either place them into a freezer until frozen then store them in a plastic bag until you are ready to cook – or you can cook them immediately.

For steamed dumplings, line the steamer with cabbage leaves or parchment paper, and place a single layer of dumplings once the water is boiling.  Steam fresh dumplings for approximately 12 minutes – frozen dumplings will take about 20 minutes.

Serve the dumplings with a dipping sauce made of one part soy sauce, one part rice vinegar, and one part water.  Add some sliced scallions and minced ginger into the sauce.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Steamed Chinese Dumplings

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