Pork dumplings (boiled, steamed or potstickers) recipe

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Dumplings or potstickers are one of the most well known and favorite Chinese dishes. The filling (usually made with pork, chicken, shrimp and vegetables) is wrapped in a round-shaped dough and then boiled, steamed or fried. Dumplings can be served with stir fried cabbage and a dipping sauce made with soy sauce, sesame oil and other ingredients. They are great as an appetizer.
Preparation time: 60 minutes, Cooking time: 15 minutes, Serves: 4 - 6 


For the pork filling
1 lb ground pork
2 cups roughly chopped cabbage
6 shitake mushrooms (re-hydrated if dried)
3 or 4 green onions, roughly chopped
1/2 cup bamboo shoots
2 inches ginger root, grated (about 1/4 cup)
3 Tbsp light soy sauce
2 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp corn starch
Salt and black pepper to taste

For the dough
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup warm water
Extra flour for kneading the dough

For the dipping sauce
1/2 cup light soy sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce or rice vinegar
1 Tbsp sesame oil (or to taste)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp minced ginger
1 Tbsp chili sauce (or to taste)
1/2 tsp sugar


Prepere the flling
Add all the filling ingredients except the ground pork in a food processor and pulse until you get a smooth mixture (do not over-process - the ingredients should be finely but not completely minced). Add the pork and pulse a bit more to mix it into the rest of the ingredients. Empty the filling in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.

In case you do not have a food processor, finely chop the ingredients, add them into a bowl and mix using your hands. Cover and refrigerate.

Make the dumpling dough
In a large bowl add the flour and start adding water and stirring until the water is absorbed. Mix the flour and add more water as necessary, until the flour does not stick to the sides of the bowl. The dough at this point should be slightly sticky. Empty the dough onto a well floured surface and knead using your hands for 3 to 4 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place into a bowl, cover with a damp kitchen cloth and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes.

After the dough has rested remove from the bowl and cut into long stripes. Shape each stripe into a cylinder and cut each cylinder into 3/4 inch slices. Shape each piece of dough into a ball and put back into the bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel.

Make the dumplings
Take a dough ball and press with your palm to flatten. Use a rolling pin to shape it into a circle, 2 1/2 to 3 inches in diameter. Place a tablespoon of the filling in the center of the dough, fold the dough in half and pleat the edges along one side. Set on a floured baking tray and continue with the rest of the ingredients.

To cook the dumplings
The dumplings can be steamed, boiled or pan fried (potstickers).

To steam the dumplings place them onto a greased piece of aluminum foil inside a steamer and steam for 6 to 7 minutes.

To boil them, add them in a large pot of boiling water and cook until they rise to the surface.

To pan fry them, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a frying pan over high heat. When the ol is hot, add the dumplings, flat side down, and cook for 1 or 2 minutes, until the bottom side turns golden brown. Pour 1/2 a cup of water into the frying pan, cover, lower the heat and cook for about 5 to 6 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Uncover and cook for 1 or 2 minutes more.

To serve the dumplings
Serve the dumplings hot, with stir fried cabbage, spring onions and the dipping sauce (the cabbage and spring onions can be stir fried in vegetable oil with soy sauce and rice wine vinegar).

This recipe will make about 70 to 80 dumplings.

Notes and tips

For a pork and shrimp filling use the following ingredients. The rest of the ingredients and cooking method remain the same.

Pork and shrimp filling
1/2 lb ground pork
1/2 lb raw shrimp, peeled and de-veined
3 or 4 green onions, roughly chopped
1 cup water chestnuts
2 inches ginger root, grated (about 1/4 cup)
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp corn starch
Salt and black pepper to taste

Freezing dumplings
Dumplings will freeze well for up to 2 months. To freeze dumplings, arrange them on a baking sheet, leaving enogh space around  them so that they do not touch. Freeze them for 30 to 40 minutes, until they are firm. Remove and place them in frezer bags. Cook them following the procedure above, giving them 4 to 5 minutes of extra cooking time.

Potstickers are dumplings that are pan fried. They are called potstickers because they stick to the pot when fried.
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