Honestly, we eat dumplings weekly. AND we don't get sick of it. It's tempting to buy dumplings, or buy them frozen (god forbid), but the best is making your own, freezing them, then eating them for weeks on end.
I've always been asked "What's your favourite place for dumplings?" and I always answer with "Mum's". It's true, there's nothing that compares with what you've grown up with. The ones I've eaten out, tend to not have much flavour in the meat, but it makes up with the sauce. I prefer the filling to be JUST as TASTY as it's sauce.
Chilli + Dumplings = 2 peas in a pod. I can never have dumplings without chilli, it's blasphemy otherwise.
Here's a dumpling recipe we make quite often with chives. I love chives too much and it adds SO MUCH MORE to a dumpling. The only thing is if you have it the next day, you are bound to get a lot of offended noses (as it releases a smell that resembles garbage to novice noses).
200g low protein flour (pastry flour, we use dover)
150g warm water
1 tsp salt
500g Fatty Pork Mince
5 rehydrated Shiitake Mushrooms, minced
1 cup napa cabbage, sliced and diced finely
1 cup Chinese Chives, diced
1 tbsp Shaoxing wine (or cooking wine)
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp Toasted Sesame oil
4 tablespoons shiitake mushroom broth
1 tsp sugar
½ tspn white pepper
1 tspn salt
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 cup Chicken broth
2 tbsp Chiu Chow Chilli oil
1 tsp Chinkiang Vinegar
1 tbsp Soy Sauce
1 tsp salt
2 tsp Sugar
1 knob Grated ginger
2 cloves Grated garlic
More chilli oil
BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING: If you use dehydrated mushrooms, first wash the mushrooms in cold water, then soak in hot water in a pot with a lid on. Ideally for at least a few hours or overnight.
1. In a large bowl, add flour and salt together and mix well. Slowly add water and start kneading until your dough starts forming together, which will take around 5 minutes. Knead for a further 5 minutes until smooth then cover in cling film and leave to rest for at least 1 hour.
2. Salt your napa cabbage beforehand to extract any extra water the cabbage retains.
3. Place pork mince in a large bowl, then add vegetables to it. Mix thoroughly and well, then add the seasonings. Start squeezing your pork mince together for a further 5 minutes. Cover and leave to rest for 30 minutes in your fridge. TIP: To test if your filling has enough flavour, cook a small amount first to see if it has enough before adding more seasoning.
4. While the filling is resting, you can make the dumpling wrappers.
Prepare your work surface and sprinkle flour to avoid dumplings from sticking. Place any unused dough under a damp tea towel to prevent from drying.
Shape into a ball and cut in fours. Roll into a long cylinder, roughly 2 cm in diameter. Cut into equal pieces (should be around 12 or more depending how long your roll is).
Take your freshly cut dough and pinch in a ball shape. Place on your worktable and use a rolling pin to roll out once into a nice circular shape. Flip 90 degrees and roll out until you get a circular shape. Keep rotating your wrapper, while rolling your dowel inwards on the edges.
USING A PASTA MACHINE:
Roll out dough, starting from your widest setting through to a thickness of 6. Use a cookie cutter (8cm wide) or use a mug to cut the wrapper out.
Once you have your circular shape, start rolling the edges of the wrapper towards the center. The idea is that you’d want your edges thinner and the base slightly thicker, so the edges stick and the base is thick enough to support your filling.
If you used a cookie cutter, any leftover dough can be collected together and made into more wrappers.
5. Start filling the wrappers with the pork filling. A tablespoon of filling will fit on your wrappers - decrease amount if you feel it is bursting at the seams. Fold your dumplings in half, and press the edges to seal. If you are feeling a bit fancy, then take the edges of your dumpling, bring together and seal.
6. Heat up a wok or large saucepan and wait for it to boil. Drop the dumplings and boil for a few minutes until the dumplings rise up or translucent. This should take about 5 -8 minutes. Set aside.
7. CHILLI BROTH: Boil chicken broth first. In a bowl, add the chilli oil, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, sesame and mix. Then add your chicken broth. Taste to adjust to your liking - if you want it more sour, add more vinegar. If you want it more spicy, add more chilli.
Garnish with spring onions and coriander - LET'S EAT!