"Dumplings are the definitive Chinese peasant food but no matter where your cultural heritage lies, there's no denying these little parcels are the ultimate comfort food. The sensation of chomping into one of these plump parcels and its juices squirting down your chin is unbeatable. And before you start thinking it's all too hard, remember many hands make light work – this is a great recipe for a communal effort." Poh Ling Yeow, Poh & Co.
- 1 cup (150 g) plain flour
- 110 ml freshly boiled water
Spicy dipping sauce
- ¼ cup (60 ml) light soy sauce
- 2 tbsp Chinkiang vinegar
- ⅛ tsp sugar
- 2-3 tsp Chinese chilli oil
- 1 tbsp finely shredded ginger
- 2 tsp finely chopped garlic
- ½ tsp salt
- 200 g Chinese cabbage (wombok), finely shredded
- 280 g pork mince
- 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
- ⅓ cup spring onions or Chinese chives, chopped
- ⅓ tsp ground white pepper
- ¼ cup (60 ml) chicken stock or water
- 1½ tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp shaoxing rice wine
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time 10 minutes
To make the dumpling skins, place the flour in a medium mixing bowl. Make a well at the centre and pour in the boiling water. Using chopsticks or a fork, stir until you get a crumbly mixture. Once the dough is cool enough to handle, tip the mixture onto a clean bench top and knead for about 5 minutes or until you have a smooth, firm-ish ball of dough, adding more water or flour along the way if necessary. Cover with cling wrap and rest for 10 minutes.
To make the spicy dipping sauce, mix all the ingredients together and set aside.
To make the filling, mix the salt with the cabbage and allow to sit for 15 minutes to draw out the excess water. Rinse the cabbage before squeezing well to remove as much liquid as possible. In a medium mixing bowl, combine cabbage with the remaining filling ingredients and mix until combined.
To make the dumplings, sprinkle the dough with some plain flour and roll into 2-3 cylinders, 3 cm in diameter. Cut into 2 cm-thick discs and flatten with the palm of your hand then cover them with an overturned bowl to keep them moist.
With a dumpling rolling pin, roll inwards only (to maintain an even circle) from the outer edge of each disc to the centre. Roll the skins until they are 1 mm thick. Stuff a teaspoon of the filling into the centre of each wrapper, fold and seal. Pleat only 1 side of the dumpling - this will pull the dumpling into a traditional crescent shape. If this sounds too difficult, pinching to seal the seam well is the basic goal.
To cook the dumplings, bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Lower as many dumplings as you wish into the water and wait for them to float. Cook for a further 10 seconds before scooping the dumplings out with a slotted spoon and transferring them to a well-oiled tray or plate. For a crispy finish, pan-fry the boiled dumplings with some oil in a large non-stick frypan over medium heat until the bottoms are golden brown. Serve immediately, crispy bottoms facing upwards, with the spicy dipping sauce.
Photograph by Randy Larcombe Photography.
Reproduced with permission from the book Same Same But Different by Poh Ling Yeow, published by ABC Books/HarperCollins Publishers Australia, 2014.