by Chris Compton –
I love dumplings. These are deeply savoury, and best served with a simple sauce of soy, rice vinegar and scallion. This recipe can be easily doubled and a portion can be frozen for later use. The preserved mustard greens can be bought at most Asian grocery stores. You can also buy the wrappers from the store but I prefer homemade. It makes approx 32 dumplings.
1 cup water 2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp sesame oil pinch of salt
Add salt to flour. Boil water, take off heat, add sesame oil and allow to sit for a minute. Add mixture to flour and use chopsticks to mix.
Once combined, dump onto a counter and knead for about five minutes. Once properly kneaded the dough should be smooth and bouncy. Cover with plastic film and allow to sit on the counter from 15 minutes and up to 3 hours. Dough can also be refrigerated overnight, if so allow it to come to room temperature before rolling.
454g ground pork 1½ cups mushroom, finely diced
½ cup onion, finely diced 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp grated ginger 1½ tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce 1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp MSG* (optional) ½ tsp sesame oil
vegetable oil (for cooking) salt and pepper to taste
1 cup preserved mustard greens, finely chopped
*MSG is optional, but I think it improves the recipe. If you have a sensitivity, omit and use more salt.
Begin by frying mushrooms in vegetable oil until deeply brown, then transfer to a large bowl. Fry onions until translucent, then add garlic and ginger. Once the onion mix is fried, add the mustard greens and the rest of the ingredients except the pork. Transfer to the bowl and allow to cool. Add pork and mix thoroughly. To test the mixture, fry a small amount until cooked through and taste, if needed add more salt and pepper.
To assemble dumplings begin by cutting the dough into four equal parts. Roll the chunks of dough into logs and cut into eight pieces each, then shape into balls. Keep dough covered. Roll into four-inch disks about a ¾-inch thick. Roll all the dough into the wrappers and keep them covered with a dry tea towel.
When the dough is rolled, fill a small bowl with a ½ cup cold water, add 1 teaspoon cornstarch and mix thoroughly; use this mixture to seal the edges. Take a wrapper in your non-dominant hand and add about 1 tablespoon of the filling to the centre. Using the cornstarch mixture, draw around the edge of the dumpling. Fold in either a half moon shape or make 4 to 5 pleats; the most important part is ensuring the dumpling is properly sealed. Store on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and lightly dusted with flour. If you plan to refrigerate before cooking, keep the dumplings covered with either a towel or plastic wrap. If you plan to freeze them, freeze on a tray and transfer to a bag once frozen.
To cook, heat a pan that has a comfortably fitting lid on high heat. Add oil and place the dumplings in the pan. Check the dumplings for colour on the bottom; when they are light brown hold the lid in one hand while adding enough water to go about halfway up the dumplings. PLEASE be careful as the water will immediately begin steaming and spluttering. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes or until it stops steaming. Remove from the heat when all water has dried up. Using a thin spatula, lift dumplings from the pan.