This classic recipe is a winner every time and an MVP in my dumpling arsenal. Pork fatback plays an important role in keeping these dumplings moist and juicy. Garlic chives give the filling a robust flavor and aroma. How you cook these is up to you; they are delicious boiled, steamed, pan-fried and deep-fried. With this party favorite, there’s no need to order Chinese takeout once you learn how easy these are to make at home. — Lee Anne Wong, Dumplings All Day
- 1½ Pound ground pork
- 1½ Cup minced garlic or Chinese chives
- ¼ Cup ground fatback (if you can’t find it, then make sure you are using fatty ground pork)
- ¼ Cup low-sodium soy sauce
- ¼ Cup Shaoxing rice wine
- 2 Tablespoons finely grated or minced ginger
- 2 Teaspoons sugar
- 1 Teaspoon salt
- ½ Teaspoon ground white pepper
- 60 round dumpling wrappers
- Oil, if frying (optional)
- Chopped scallion, for garnish
- Soy-ginger dipping sauce, for serving
In a large mixing bowl, combine the pork, garlic, fatback, soy sauce, wine, ginger, sugar, salt, and white pepper. Mix the ingredients until the filling is well combined and homogenous.
Fill each dumpling with 1 tablespoon of the filling. Lightly wet the edges of the wrapper and form the dumpling using the classic pleat technique. Keep the dumplings covered on a lightly floured tray or plate.
Choose Your Cooking Method:
BOILED: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add half the dumplings to the pot. When the water boils again, add ½ cup of cold water. When the water boils again, add another ½ cup of cold water. When the water boils again (the dumplings should be floating), strain out the dumplings and repeat with the remaining dumplings. Garnish with the chopped scallion and serve hot with the dipping sauce.
STEAMED: Arrange the dumplings 1 inch apart in a dim sum basket lined with greased parchment paper. Place the covered dim sum steamer over a boiling water bath until the filling and dumpling skins are cooked through, about 6 minutes. Repeat with the remaining dumplings. Garnish with the chopped scallion and serve hot with the dipping sauce.
PAN-FRIED: In a liquid measuring cup, mix 2 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of flour well until the flour dissolves into the water and the mixture is cloudy. Heat a small nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to the pan and place the dumplings in the pan, lined up next to each other, and cook until the bottoms of the dumplings turn golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add ½ cup of the flour and water mixture to the pan; it will react with the hot pan and steam and splatter a bit; be ready with a lid to fit the pan. As soon as you add the flour and water mixture, cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid. Cook the dumplings, covered, until almost all of the water has evaporated and a thin golden crust begins to form in the bottom of the pan, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the lid and cook until all the water has evaporated. Carefully remove the dumplings from the pan and repeat with the remaining dumplings. Garnish with the chopped scallion and serve hot with the dipping sauce.
DEEP-FRIED: Preheat a large pot of oil to 350 degrees F. Carefully drop the dumplings one by one into the hot oil, frying in small batches and being sure not to overcrowd the oil. Cook the dumplings for 2 minutes, until the filling is cooked and the exterior is golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining dumplings until all are cooked, making sure the oil temperature returns to 350 degrees F before frying the next batch. Garnish with the chopped scallion and serve hot with the dipping sauce.