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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Repeat steps 4-6 until all the dumplings have been made.
- 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.
- 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.
- Remove from the heat and transfer to a plate, topping with the sauce in the pan. Serve with soy sauce for extra dunking!