I am not an expert dumpling maker yet, I have watched videos of others who know how to do it with much more skill and visual appeal. I am working towards getting there, but alas I am not there yet. I do have to say I love flavors and making these dumplings was a fun experiment in flavors. I made three batches of dumplings in the testing to ensure they tasted perfect, and probably around a dozen dipping sauces.
Since I am no expert in dumpling making, I used a resource for actually forming dumplings was this video from the Omnivore’s Cookbook, and by the way I am in awe of the skill at dumpling making, I have a lot of room to grow.
Many of these ingredients are hard to find, I would suggest looking in your local asian market, that is where I bought mine. I would also say if you feel nervous, it is okay the more you do it the easier it will be and people really want to be helpful so do not worry about not knowing everything.
I realize as I have started to cook Asian food, I have a distinct idea of what constitutes a dumpling, which is different at least in my mind than a potsticker. When I want dumplings, I want a little bit of a thicker dough and I want them to be steamed, I do not want a thin wrapper, if I did I would use wonton wrappers. If you feel like making dumpling dough is too challenging feel free to use wonton wrappers, but I was going for the dumpling of my dreams. As I did some research, I realized that this distinction is purely in my head and not really substantiated elsewhere, but that is what I was going for when I attempted to make dumplings.
To begin you will need to mince 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger and 2 teaspoons of garlic. Then add that to a bowl and mix together with 1 lb of ground pork, 2 teaspoons fermented black beans or black bean sauce, 2 teaspoon chili bean paste, 1 tablespoon mirin, 2 tablespoons of reduced sodium soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of ground Sichuan pepper. If not available at your local grocery store, try your local Asian grocery store. The ingredients are well worth the trip.
Next set that aside in the fridge while you prepare the dumping dough. To do that start by weighing out 20 ounces of all purpose flour (1 lb and 4 oz). Next bring water to a boil and add 1 1/2 cups of water to your bowl stirring with a spoon to combine. When the water is mixed in a bit use your hands to combine the dough. Then knead the dough for 4-5 minutes until it is stretchy, it will probably be a bit sticky so you can coat the kneading area with flour as needed, but try to use a little as you can. Next place the dough in a gallon ziplock bag or some other airtight container and allow it to rest for at least 15 minutes up to a few hours. The bag or container will steam up and the dough will soften. I prefer to use a ziplock bag because you can get more air out of the bag and twist it close to the dough to cut off extra air. This dough will dry out so you want to keep it as airtight as possible.
Once your dough is rested, take a piece of your dough and roll it into a snake shape.
Then slice of coin sized pieces and dip the freshly cut edges in flour.
Then use a rolling pin to flatten them into a flat circle. You could alternatively roll out the whole dough and then cut out circles if you want them to be perfect, but you will need to work quickly. This dough does dry out quickly so while you are working on some of your dough keep the rest tightly wrapped, I typically use a large gallon bag and I twist it to prevent the air getting closer to the dough.
Once your dough is in a circle add 1 tablespoon of the pork mixture and form them into dumplings and set them aside underneath a cloth. I put them all on a large sheet pan covered with a kitchen towel. I tried this a number of ways, you can just fold them into semicircles and pinch the outside together or if you want to have them be more visually appealing you take one side of the dough and pinch and twist it and then squeeze it onto the other side to get a more traditional dumpling shape.
Above is my best looking dumpling, but it took a bit of practice and I am still not perfect. Continue this process until you have all the dumplings formed.
Then bring some water to a boil and steam them over the water for 15 minutes or until fully cooked. The best thing about steaming dumplings is you can make them larger and it is not as big of a disaster if they break or are not folded tightly because they have a substantial amount of filling.
While you are waiting for that to happen you can make a sweet dipping sauce. I mix together 1/4 cup of reduced sodium soy sauce, 1/4 cup of sugar, 1/8 cup of rice vinegar and 1/2 a teaspoon of granulated garlic.
When done garnish with a chopped scallion and enjoy!
-1 lb ground pork
-2 teaspoons black bean sauce or fermented black beans
-2 teaspoons chili bean paste
-1 tablespoon mirin
-2 tablespoons and 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce (divided)
-1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
-2 tablespoons and 1/4 cup sugar (divided)
-1/2 teaspoon ground Sichuan pepper
-2 teaspoons of minced garlic
-1 tablespoon minced ginger
-1 lb 4 oz all purpose flour
-1 1/2 cups boiling water
-1/8 cup of rice vinegar
-1/2 teaspoon granulated or powdered garlic
-1 chopped scallion or green onion for garnish
- Mix together in a medium bowl pork, black bean sauce, chili bean paste, mirin, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, sesame oil, 2 tablespoons of sugar, Sichuan pepper, fresh garlic and ginger. Set aside in the fridge.
- Prepare the dough by mixing the boiling water with the flour using a spoon to combine. Once combined and cool enough to handle mix together to form a dough and knead for at least 5 minutes until stretchy and consistent in texture. Then allow to rest for at least 15 minutes to a few hours in a plastic bag twisted to prevent air getting in.
- While dough is resting, mix together granulated ginger with remaining soy sauce, sugar and rice vinegar for the dipping sauce.
- Cut off a piece of dumpling dough and roll into a 1 inch diameter log. Chop into 1 inch coins. Dip both cut sides into flour. Flatten into a circle. Use a rolling pin to form a thin circle. Add 1 tablespoon of pork mixture. Wrap the dumpling, making sure to pinch the sides together. While wrapping pinch the dough on one side to form a dumpling shape. Cover completed dumplings with a towel and continue the process until all the pork mixture has been used.
- In a pot, bring water to a boil. Add a steamer and place dumplings in the steamer. Do not over crowd the steamer, the dumplings should not be touching each other or they may stick. Cook for 15 minutes covered or until the dumplings are cooked through.
- Garnish with scallions.
The dough will dry out quickly so keep dough not being immediately used wrapped in a ziplock bag, towel or plastic wrap.
If you do not have a plastic bag, you can use plastic wrap or an airtight container.