Pork and Cabbage Dumplings

A right of passage in my Chinese American life was learning how to make dumplings from my parents. There are innumerable variations in the world, but the below is my “family recipe” which no self-respecting Asian parent would keep in written format.

Pork & cabbage dumplings with simple folding

Disclaimer: This post will not be teaching or attempting to teach the art of folding dumplings. I recommend this awesome video – my family indeed uses #3, the “family” method.

Ingredients (30-40 dumplings):

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbs. light soy sauce (dark soy sauce is fine, but filling may appear brown/darker)
  • Dash of Chinese five spice seasoning, salt, pepper*
  • 1.5 cups minced cabbage
  • 1/2 cup minced mushroom (shiitake recommended)
  • Standard pack of dumpling wrappers from your local Asian grocery

Mix the ground pork and raw egg with a fork or chopsticks clockwise for a few minutes, until the protein has stuck together to form a paste. Counterclockwise works as well, but decide on one direction and do not change or reverse as it will take longer to form a paste. A stand mixer works too.

Add in the egg, soy sauce, and other seasoning. Mix well. Add in a tablespoon of water if the mixture is becoming difficult to mix. Add in mushroom and cabbage and combine. Spoon into the middle of a dumpling wrapper. Again, see video for wrapping/folding instructions.

*I can’t say exactly how much salt, pepper, and five spice powder because I eyeball it; everyone’s tastes are different. When in doubt, put less seasoning in the filling and use more dipping sauce later.

For potstickers (above), lightly oil a skillet and place dumplings onto the heated pan. Pan fry for about 2-3 min until bottoms are lightly browned. Add 50ml of water and cover immediately with a lid. Turn the heat on high. Once the water has completely evaporated, turn heat down to medium and cook until the bottoms are golden brown.

For boiled dumplings, boil pot of water and add dumplings, allowing to boil for 4-5 minutes, until they are all floating. Give it a stir in the beginning to prevent sticking and avoid overcrowding the pot.

There is an additional option to steam, but this takes longer and I’ve usually don’t steamed dumplings before even though I have a bamboo steamer. I’ll add a photo here once I get to it.

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