Think of this as a good starter recipe when you’re learning how to make dumplings, and especially how to fold them.
Because there are no hard or sharp ingredients (like carrots or cabbage), they’re easy to fold without ripping the wrapper. This is probably the most common dumpling filling, both in China and in the US, and it is equally good for any cooking method.
Makes: 12 dumplings
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 4 ounces ground pork
- 1 cup minced fresh Chinese chives (also called nira green or garlic chives)
- 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
- 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
- 12 dumpling wrappers, circular or square
- Dumpling Dipping Sauce (page 146), for serving
- In a large bowl, mix the cornstarch with 2 teaspoons cool tap water until smooth. Add the pork, chives, wine, and light and dark soy sauces and mix until uniform in texture.
- Set a small bowl of water on your work surface. Place the dumpling wrappers on a cutting board and use a small spoon to add about 2 teaspoons of the filling to the centre of each wrapper.
- This is the simplest way to fold: Dip a finger into the water and moisten the edges of the bottom half of the wrapper, then fold the top over the bottom, enclosing the filling while pushing out any trapped air. Press on the edges to seal. You can moisten and pleat the sealed edges, if desired. Repeat with the remaining wrappers.
- Proceed to steam, boil, pan-fry, or deep-fry the dumplings following the instructions on pages 144 through 146. Serve with dipping sauce on the side.
Tip: Store-bought wrappers come in a few varieties, including Hong Kong-style ones made yellow by the addition of an alkaline solution (or food colouring) to the dough, green ones made using spinach, and very large squares and rectangles for egg rolls. But the basic ones you need are the palm-size circles (usually labelled “dumpling wrapper”) and squares (usually “wonton wrapper”).
When making dumplings, the number you end up with will depend on how much filling you include in each one. It’s always a good idea to have extra wrappers on hand, too, as sometimes they get stuck together or torn.
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