Dumplings with Chili Crunch Oil

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to travel to China. I went with my school for a 5 week study, traveling throughout different cities learning about the cultural, food and the language. A few year after that, in college I had the opportunity to go back and live there for a time with a host family. I attended the local University where I studied and was fully immersed in the language and culture. You might notice that I love cooking asian dishes and a lot of my food has an asian influence and flavors. This is because I fell in love with everything about China – the food, people, history. Anyways, street food is huge there and it is delicious. Once of my favorites though is dumplings. I cannot get enough – but not all dumplings are equal. Here in the US, a lot of dumplings have minimal filling with lots of dough and aren’t super flavorful – you really have to know where to go. I can still remember the taste of these dumplings I used to eat at a small restaurant near the University I attended in QingDao. They came steaming hot on a large plate with a delightful sauce to dunk them in. It was one of my favorite places to go and I could down those dumplings like no ones business! These dumplings remind me of that. Full of flavor with a very thin wonton wrapper that I could eat all day.

For the Dumplings:

  • 3/4 Lb Ground Pork
  • 5 Green Onions, Diced
  • 1 1/2 Cup Cabbage, Chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Minced Garlic
  • 3 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Minced Ginger
  • Wonton Wrappers (You can find these at a local Asian Grocery Store, get the square ones for these.

For the Sauce:

  • 3 Tbsp Chili Onion Crunch Sauce (from Trader Joe’s)
  • 2 Tbsp Fire House Oil (can also substitute 1 Tbsp Sriracha and 1 Tbsp Oil)
  • 3 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Miso Paste
  • Makes: 34-38 Dumplings
  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 Minutes
  • Total Time: 40 Minutes

To Make:

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the ground pork, green onions, cabbage, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp minced garlic, 3 tbsp rice vinegar, and 1 tbsp ginger and combined well.
  2. Take about 1-2 tbsp of the ground pork mixture and form in to a ball (you can skip this step and put the ground pork directly in to the wonton wrappers, but I recommend this step if you are a dumpling newbie!). Continue this step until all the ground pork has been formed in to balls.
  3. Grab a small bowl of warm water – you will need this to seal the dumplings. Now that we have everything in place, we can assemble the dumplings.
  4. Take a wonton wrapper and place 1 ground pork ball in the center. Dip your finger in the water and rub it across one side of the wonton wrapper – you may need to repeatedly dunk your finger in the water to have enough to trace one side of the wonton wrapper.
  5. Take the corner you wet and and fold it over the ground pork to stick it to the opposite corner – this should form a triangle. Gently seal the wonton wrapper.
  6. On the long, straight end of the dumpling, take the two ends and wrap them around to seal them together – this will form a little pocket.
  7. Repeat steps 4-6 until all the dumplings have been made.
  8. Using a bamboo steamer, add a layer of wax paper to prevent the dumplings from sticking and steam them for 10-15 minutes. *if you do not have a bamboo steam, no worries. Heat a large pan over low heat and add in 1 tbsp of water and 1/3-1/2 cup of water (depending on how large your pan is, but you want to cover the dumplings about 1/4 of the way). Add in the dumplings and cover. Cook for 10-15 minutes until the dumplings are cooked through.
  9. Heat a large pan over medium heat and add in the chili crunch oil, fire oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce and miso and stir together – add in the cooked dumplings and cook for 3-5 minutes until the oil is heated and the dumplings are coated.
  10. Remove from the heat and transfer to a plate, topping with the sauce in the pan. Serve with soy sauce for extra dunking!

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