Dumplings are popular in China. Varieties of dumplings can be found all over the country – they are eaten in the streets or at home, in fancy restaurants or in tiny food stalls. Dumplings are usually wrapped with thin dough wrappers and filled with minced meat and vegetables. They can be boiled, steamed or pan-seared (Chinese don’t normally deep fry dumplings, in case you’re wondering!). If the dumplings are pan-seared, they are called potstickers too. Delicious ingredients such as pork, beef, lamb, chicken, shrimp and even fried eggs can be used for the filling. In addition to these ingredients, popular Chinese vegetables such as cabbage, chives and herbs are used. And of course you have the liberty to make vegetarian dumplings by combining different types of vegetables, such as mushroom and tofu fillings.
Recipe: The national dish of China - Dumplings
- 500 g dumpling wrappers
- 400 g ground pork
- 450 g cabbage
- ½ spring onion
- 1 tbsp ginger
- 90 ml water
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp wine
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp corn flour
- 165 ml water
- 5 drops sesame oil
- ½ spring onion
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- ½ tsp ginger
- Chop the spring onion and set aside half of it. Then make the ginger and spring onion water. Mix minced ginger and half of the chopped spring onion with 90 ml of water.
- Finely chop the cabbage, and add 1 teaspoon of salt. Leave it to rest for 10 minutes.
- Combine the minced pork meat with the cooking wine, ground pepper, soy sauce, sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Add the ginger and spring onion water to the pork one tablespoon at a time. In the meantime, stir the meat clockwise until the water is fully absorbed.
- Combine the meat with the cabbage and mix them well.
- Now wrap the dumplings! Wet the edge of the wrapper with water. Put 1 tablespoon of filling in the middle. Pinch the wrapper together to seal.
- Evenly cover a skillet with 1 tablespoon of oil on high heat. Place in the dumplings (make sure they are not overlapping), and cook for about 1 minute until the bottom of the dumplings has turned golden brown.
- Add the steaming liquid; corn flour mixed with water. Cover the skillet with a lid, and turn to medium heat.
- When the water in the skillet has almost evaporated, open the lid. Continue cooking on a medium heat until the bottom of the dumplings dry up and form a beautiful lace. Add 5 drops of sesame oil and the rest of the chopped spring onions. Cover the skillet with a plate that is about the size of the skillet. Lift the skillet with one hand, and hold the plate with another. Flip over the skillet. Now we have the beautifully laced dumplings transferred onto a plate!
- It is best to eat the dumplings while they are still hot.
- A mix of soy sauce and vinegar goes well with the dumplings. Feel free to add some minced ginger, garlic or chili oil to the sauce to adjust to your taste.
About the Country Chef
Min Verquist is a native Chinese who grew up in China enjoying the many distinctive cuisines of China: the sweet, savoury flavours of Shanghai & Zhejiang; the bold, spicy flavours of Sichuan and Wuhan; the light, fresh flavours of Hong Kong & Guangzhou; and the hearty, rusty flavours of Northern China. Min now lives in Boston, USA, with her family and fox terrier. She loves eating, cooking and enjoys life with family and friends. She is the founder of www.5spicecafe.com, a hub of authentic Chinese recipes and more, which is dedicated to the spices of food and of life: sweet, sour, savoury, spicy, bitter.
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