So if you know me well, or are getting to know me by this blog, you’ll know (or find) that I love Asian food. Absolutely love it. I could eat Pan-Asian, Japanese, Korean, or Thai food everyday and (probably) not get sick of it. It’s something about the combination of sweet and spicy, yet tangy flavors that mesh so well and really inspire me.
Today, I wanted to take some time to create my own recipe for pork dumplings. In a Japanese culture class I took during my undergraduate career, we actually made some pork dumplings with our professor, but she brought the filling in ahead of time. I double-checked my pantry for the essentials: Soy, sesame seed oil, and rice wine vinegar (I swear, I’m always stocked with those ingredients), and I set sail for the Strip District with Kylie. For those who don’t know, the Strip District is Pittsburgh’s mecca for all ethnic ingredients and hosts two great Asian grocers. I did some research beforehand on steaming the dumplings versus boiling them. Since I do not have a bamboo steamer, and because I did not want to fry these little guys, boiling was my option. (More on this later.) As I was out, I gathered some other necessities for this dish and came up with this recipe, which I think you will love:
- 1 lb ground pork
- 4 1/2 cups chopped napa cabbage
- 2 tbsp chopped scallions
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp shaved ginger
- 2 tsp garlic, finely minced
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 package (25-30 count) of gyoza or dumpling wrappers
- Small bowl of cold water
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground pork and napa cabbage. Add ginger, garlic, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, sugar, and salt. Start boiling a medium-sized pot with water.
- Add egg and scallions and mix thoroughly, making sure all ingredients are blended.
- On a clean, dry, cutting board or flat surface, place the gyoza wrapper, one at a time.
- Using no more than a tablespoon (somewhere in between a teaspoon and a tablespoon works best) place the filling mixture in the very middle of the gyoza wrapper.
- Wet your finger in the water bowl and trace the outer-most section of the gyoza wrapper. The water will act as a seal so that none of the inside gets out, so then gently fold the dumpling and make creases, ensuring that they are tightly sealed.
- Carefully drop dumplings into the boiling pot of water for 5-7 minutes, or until they start floating.
- Optional: You can also do what is referred to as a ‘hybrid’ method of cooking the dumplings, in which you let them boil for 5 minutes and then place them in a lightly oiled frying pan to brown the sides for another 5 minutes.
Ingredients for the dipping sauce:
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp plum sauce (found in most stores)
- 2 tbsp honey
- Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl and serve with the dumplings.
- Enjoy! 🙂