One of my favorite activities is inviting friends and family over to make Chinese soup dumplings. These are hearty, flavorful, and boast a traditional recipe that has been passed down in the family for generations. Preparing dumplings is not simply a chore but a family activity. My entire family would pitch in, chat about school, work, and relationships while wrapping dumplings. Especially during Chinese New Year, making these is a valued family activity.
While my family insists that they make the exterior shell from scratch, in recent years, with the lack of spare time and business from school and work, I’ve adapted this recipe with a twist. Many grocery stores (including Wal-mart) and Chinese supermarkets now sell dumpling wrappings.
I’ve found store-bought wonton, dumpling wrappings, and spring roll shells save me so much time and energy when preparing these delicious meals. In terms of prep time, I can now focus on mixing the right ingredients for the filling and folding the dumplings rather than worrying about how my batter will turn out. Moreover, preparing the wrappers generally takes another solid hour including the kneading, the cutting and flattening of the wrappers.
The fillings I enjoy the most are very traditional chive and pork fillings. The chives are fragrant and add a unique flavor to dumplings. The pairing is a favorite in many Chinese regional cuisines. I add a third ingredient commonly known as shredded tofu. They are easily found in many Asian supermarkets. You may have seen them used in stir-frys and even in your hot-and-sour soup.
- Store-bought dumpling exterior shell
- 5 lbs ground pork (lean)
- 1 egg
- 7 cups Chinese Chives
- 3 tablespoon sesame oil
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional: 200 grams Shredded tofu strips
Dumpling folding requirements:
- Baking sheet for holding the uncooked dumplings
- Small glass of water (dip your finger in and run it along the side of the dumpling while folding to help seal them)
- In a large bowl add egg, chives, sesame oil, soy sauce, ground pork and shredded tofu strips (optional)
- Prepare the dumplings by folding them into half moon shapes and seal off with the sides. Wet the border of the dumpling to help the dumplings seal better
- Sprinkle thin layer of flour onto baking sheet
- Place the dumplings onto baking sheet and ensuring they do not stick to one another
- Boil water in a large pot
- When water boils, drop the dumplings carefully into the water and stir with chopsticks to prevent sticking to the bottom
- Cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes on medium-high heat.
- Cook for 5-10 minutes until the dumplings float to the top
- Serve with dumpling sauce (see below)
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp chili oil (optional)
- ½ cup of chopped cilantro (optional)
Mix all ingredients in a larger bowl. Serve. Easy.