Dumplings are not just about the filling - that's only half of it. They're also about how delicious the wrapping is. I like to make dumpling skins from scratch because you get a nice chewiness and they melt in the mouth more.
- 185 ml (¾ cup) just-boiled water
- 300 g (2 cups) plain flour, sifted
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil, for frying
- 75 ml boiled water
- 300 g pork mince
- 100 g raw (green) king prawns, peeled, deveined and roughly chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 cm piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 stalk spring onion, finely chopped
- 3 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Shaoxing (Chinese rice wine)
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 small pinch ground white pepper
Chilli dipping sauce
- 6–8 long red chillies, to taste
- 1–2 garlic cloves
- ½ tsp caster sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) white vinegar
- 1 lemon (optional)
Vinegar dipping sauce
- 1 tbsp black vinegar
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) soy sauce
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: 15 minutes
For the dumpling skins, in a large bowl, mix the flour with the water to form a ball of dough. You may need to add a little more flour or water if your dough is too wet or too dry. When the ball of dough has cooled, knead for 15 minutes. The dough should look quite smooth on the outside, be springy to the touch and elastic, so when it comes to pleating, there is a bit of stretch in the dough.
Roll the dough into a long sausage, about 2–3 cm in diameter. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and leave to rest for 15 minutes.
Cut the dough into discs about 2 cm thick and cover with a damp kitchen towel. On a floured surface, use the palm of your hand to flatten each disc.
In a continuous motion and with one hand, roll a small rolling pin up and down on a work surface. With your other hand, place a disc in the path of the rolling pin such that with each roll, the edge of the disc begins to flatten. Rotate the piece of dough in a circular motion, in one direction, until the outer surface of the dough is about 2 mm thin, while the centre of the dough remains a little thicker. Aim for an overall diameter of 5–7 cm [this seems a very small diameter] (the size of the skin is completely up to you).
Repeat with the remaining dough. Cover the skins with a damp kitchen towel until you are ready to use them.
For the filling, in a large bowl, mix all the filling ingredients together. To check if the mixture is well-seasoned, smell it. You should be able to smell the aromas of the soy sauce, Shaoxing and sesame oil – adjust the seasonings to taste.
For the chilli vinegar sauce, add the chilli, garlic, sugar and salt to a mortar and pound with a pestle until thoroughly a paste forms. Stir in the vinegar. Adjust the level of chilli heat using the lemon juice.
For the black vinegar sauce, add the ingredients together in a bowl and mix well. You may wish to adjust the level of black vinegar to your taste.
Folding the dumplings, place about 1-2 tablespoons of filling in the centre of a dumpling skin (the exact amount will depend on how large the skin is). Be careful not to overfill as this will make pleating difficult.
Moisten the edge of the dumpling skin with a little water using your finger.
Fold the dumpling skin in half, firmly pressing the edge to seal.
Repeat with the remaining skins and filling.
Cooking the dumplings, in a large frying pan (with a tight-fitting lid), heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the dumplings, in batches, base-side down, and fry for 3–4 minutes or until golden brown.
Add the boiled water to the pan and cover with the lid. The pan will sizzle and spit, so it’s best to be as speedy as possible. Steam the dumplings for about 5 minutes or until cooked through. Remove the lid and allow the excess water to evaporate.
To serve, remove the dumplings from the pan and place on a platter, fried-side up. Serve with the dipping sauces.
• You can use store-bought round gow gee wrappers (also called Shanghai wrappers), available from the refrigerator section in some supermarkets, and also from Asian grocers. If using these, this recipe makes 28 potstickers.
Photography, styling and food preparation by China Squirrel.
This recipe is from The Chefs' Line - a brand new series airing weeknights at 6pm on SBS. Can the passion of a home cook beat the skills of a professional chef? Missed all the action? Catch-up online and get all the recipes #TheChefsLine.
This recipe has been edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the series.