When you want dumplings but cannot seem to find any due to closed Chinese restaurants and quarantine orders, you research how to make them yourself. Or at least you do if you are anything like me 😁. Dumplings are one of my most favorite Chinese dishes but really good ones can be hard to find, even here in New York City. The dumpling dough can be too thick and gummy. Other times there is so little filling in them you’re left feeling cheated.
There is a popular restaurant on the Lower East Side that I usually go to. However, they have been closed for about a month now due to the pandemic. So when I wanted dumplings two weeks ago I decided to find out how to do it myself. Unfortunately, we do not know when restaurants will be fully operational again. Also, it is an opportunity to learn something new.
I read a number of blogs, recipes, and watched a couple of YouTube videos. This helped me create a recipe of my own which incorporates traditional Chinese ingredients and not so traditional ones. I decided on a combination of pork and shrimp dumplings but free to customize! You can use only shrimp or only pork.
The recipe I came up with for pork and shrimp dumplings is easy to put together. Although, you will most likely have to visit a Chinese or Asian grocery to get a few of the ingredients. I was unable to find some of them in a standard American supermarket. Basically, every Chinese blog I read said prepackaged dumplings wrappers were as good and rolling the dough yourself. Since I don’t own a Chinese rolling pin, I figured why not? The wrappers come in a circle or square shape. I opted for circular type and they only cost around $2.25 for a package of 40 wrappers! Score!
Other traditional Chinese ingredients that you will need for the dumplings and dipping sauce are Shaoxing cooking wine, Chinkiang or black vinegar, and really good chili oil. You can also make your own chili oil, which I did by using this recipe.
Now that we have gone over the details, let’s get to the full recipe so you can start making dumplings of your own 🥟🥟!
Pork and shrimp dumplings
- Food processor
- 1 lb Ground pork Preferbaly 80% lean/20% fat
- 1/2 lb Shrimp Peeled and deveined
- 2 tbsp Soy sauce or Liquid aminos
- 2 tbsp Shaoxing cooking wine
- 2 tbsp Sesame seed oil
- 1 tbsp Scallions Chopped
- 2 cloves Galic Minced
- 1 tbsp Ginger Minced
- 2 tbsp Chives Finely chopped
- 1 tbsp Cilantro Finely chopped
- 2 tbsp Shiitake mushrooms Finely chopped
- 1/4 tsp White pepper
- 1 pkg Dumpling wrappers 35-40 wrappers
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set to the side.
- Finely chop the garlic, ginger, scallions, shiitake mushrooms, and cilantro.
- Place ground pork and shrimp in a food processor and allow to process until the shrimp are minced and blended with the pork. This should take no more than 1 minute.
- Remove the pork and shrimp from the food processor to a large mixing bowl. Add the chopped items and all remaining ingredients. Mix with a fork until everything is mixed in and evenly blended.
- Unwrap the dumpling wrappers. Place a small amount of water (approx 3 tbsp) in a small bowl next to the wrappers.
- Take about a tablespoon of pork and shrimp mix and place it in the center of a dumpling wrapper. Wet the edges of the wrapper with the water using your finger. Seal the wrapper by simply pressing it closed. Make sure none of the filling comes to the edges or spills out.
- Place the sealed dumpling on the parchment lined baking sheet. Continue until the entire pork and shrimp filling has been used. Leave a bit of space between each dumpling so they do not stick to each other.
Freezing and storing
- If not cooking immediately place the sheet of dumplings in the freezer for about 30 minutes or until they no longer feel sticky or tacky. Remove from the tray and place in freezer bags to store until ready to cook.
Boiling or Steaming
- To boil the dumplings add them individually to a pot of boiling water with enough room so that the dumplings do not stick to each other. Give a quick stir so they don't stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Boil with the lid on until they float to the top and the skin turns translucent. Approximately 6-7 minutes from frozen.
- To steam the dumplings using a steamer insert it should take approximately 10-12 minutes for them to turn translucent.
- Enjoy the dumplings plain or with a dipping sauce!
There is a lot worry, sadness, fear, and anxiety surrounding current events. Concern about physical health, personal finances, the economy etc. and it is completely understandable. But I have found cooking and baking to be very helpful in putting my focus elsewhere. I love cooking anyway but during this time I have found it to be especially healing in many ways.
I hope you try this recipe or your own take on dumplings. Also, check out my Spring Pea Soup recipe because it is that time of year 🌸. Stay safe and be well.
Happy cooking, happy eating 😊!