Dad did most of the cooking at home but I remember Mum sitting us down every other weekend to make dumplings. We’d spend hours making hundreds to freeze, so Mum would always have to cook some off for my sisters and I to keep us going. They’re still one of my go-to comfort foods and the tradition has carried on – now I sit down to make them with my kids to stock up our freezer, sometimes with a bit of help from Mum!
– Lisa King
Pork and Chive Dumplings
For the dipping sauce:
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp red rice vinegar (I use Pun Chun brand)
- Spicy chilli sauce to taste (I use Laoganma brand)
For the dumplings:
- 500g pork mince
- 1 1/2 cups finely chopped garlic chives
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp white pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
- 2 tsp cornflour, divided
- 4 tbsp cold water
- 30 round wonton wrappers (I use Choice Brand Dumpling Pastry)
Prepare the dipping sauce:
Mix all ingredients together in a nonreactive bowl and set aside until needed.
Prepare the dumplings:
These directions assume that your right hand is your dominant hand. Reverse the directions if you are left-handed.
Mix pork, chives, sesame oil, salt, pepper, ginger, and 1 teaspoon of cornflour together in a large bowl to create the dumpling filling.
Stir remaining 1 teaspoon of cornflour and water together in a small bowl. This will be used to seal the wrappers. As the cornflour settles to the bottom of the bowl, stir again to mix.
Place one wrapper in the palm of your left hand. Use the index finger of your right hand to brush the cornflour water around the edges of the wrapper.
Still holding the wrapper, place about a teaspoon of filling in the centre of the wrapper and fold it in half to create a half circle without sealing the edges together. Be careful not to over-fill the dumpling, or it will burst during cooking.
Use your right hand to pinch the edges of the wrapper together just in the middle of the round edge of the half circle. You are going to pleat only the top layer of the wrapper.
To create the pleats on the right-hand side, continue holding the dumpling in your left hand. The half circle should be an upside down ‘U’ (like a rainbow). Use the fingertips of your right hand to take hold of the top layer of the wrapper just next to the sealed centre, fold a little pleat towards the centre, and press into place to seal. Fold a second pleat to the right of the first one. Repeat for the third pleat. Then pinch the very end together making sure it is completely sealed.
Move the dumpling into your right hand, and use your left hand to fold the pleats on the left side towards the centre, and pinch the very end together.
It takes some practice to get this right. If you find it too fussy, you can do what my kids do which is to fold the dumpling into a half circle then crimp the edges closed with a fork, like a half ravioli.
Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling.
To cook, bring a large pot of water to the boil. Drop the dumplings into the water and bring back to the boil. Add a cup of cold water and bring to the boil again. The dumplings will float to the top when they are cooked, but you can cut one open to check that the filling is cooked through. Use a strainer to transfer cooked dumplings to a serving plate.
Serve hot, with dipping sauce on the side.
Filled and sealed dumplings can be frozen in a single layer on a tray. Once frozen transfer to a plastic bag and freeze for up to 2 months. Cook frozen dumplings in boiling water as described above. Any leftover filling can also be frozen to be used another time.
I use pre-made dumpling wrappers and prefer the Choice Brand Dumpling Pastry that you can find in the chilled section of Asian supermarkets