Home Comforts: Dumpling Recipe

I wanted to use this journal to share a series of comforting and nostalgic recipes. Dishes that may have been tweaked or added to along the way but are rooted in tradition and prepared with love.

First up is my family dumpling recipe. I’ve been making some variation of this recipe for as long as I can remember. I have happy memories of clumsily learning to wrap these dumplings as an 8 year old with my mother and grandmother. This dish is perfect for a dinner party or even a late night snack. 

  

 

This is a versatile recipe and the fillings can be substituted out for other items. Shiitake mushrooms work best but if you can’t get hold of them then any other mushroom could be used, pak choy, savoy cabbage or even kale can be used in place of Chinese cabbage. You can also easily make these into meat dumplings by substituting the mushrooms and carrots for minced pork and prawns. If you’re making the non veggie option then there is no need to cook the filling first, just finely chop the cabbage and squeeze out the excess moisture before combining all of the filling ingredients. 

Preference between homemade or shop bought dumpling wrappers is a constant topic of debate in my family. We’ve used shop bought wrappers this time for ease but will be sharing our homemade recipe soon. 

 

 

Ingredients

500g Mushrooms, finely chopped
150g Carrots, grated
1 Chinese cabbage, finely chopped
5 Spring Onions, chopped
1 Thumb sized piece of ginger, minced (extra for dipping sauce)
3 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
3 tbsp Light Soy Sauce
4 tbsp Vegetable Oil
2 tbsp Sesame Oil
1 tbsp Salt
1/2 tsp White Pepper
2 large packs of dumpling wrapper
This recipe makes around 80 dumplings. 

Method
In a wok over medium-high heat, add 3 tablespoons oil and add the ginger. Cook for 30 seconds, then add the chopped mushrooms and stir-fry for another 3-5 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender and any liquid released by the mushrooms has cooked off.

Add the cabbage and carrots and stir-fry for another 2 minutes, until tender and all the liquid released has been cooked off. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and allow to cool.

To the bowl, add the spring onion, white pepper, remaining vegetable oil, sesame oil, Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, and sugar. Season with salt to taste, cover the bowl and place in the fridge for around 30 minutes to marinate.

Get yourself a small bowl of water then place roughly a heaped teaspoon of filling into the middle of the dumpling wrapper and use your index finger to dampen the edges.

There are several ways to do this next wrapping step, but the easiest way for first timers is to pinch the wrapper in half at a point in the middle and then fold the wrapper over twice on one side so that it almost looks a little bit like a fan. 

 

 

Don’t worry if your first attempt isn’t perfect, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to practice. The most important thing is that the sides of the dumpling are sealed properly to prevent them bursting. It’s best to lightly flour your work surface to prevent your wrapped dumplings sticking and also to cover them with a clean kitchen towel to stop them drying out if you’re not going to cook them straight away.

To cook the dumplings, heat a non-stick pan over medium high heat and add a couple tablespoons of oil. Add the dumplings in a circular formation around the pan and allow them to fry for a couple minutes. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan and cook them in batches.

Then pour a thin layer of water into the bottom of the pan. Cover and reduce to a medium low heat. Steam until the water has evaporated.

Once the dumplings are steamed and the water has evaporated, remove the lid, raise the heat to medium high and allow them to cook until the bottoms are golden brown and crisp.

Serve with Chinese black vinegar and ginger or sriracha and enjoy!

You can also freeze the raw dumplings ready to be cooked at a later date. It’s best to lay them out on a floured tray and freeze them individually before placing them in a freezer bag or container. Enjoy!