Chinese Pork DumplingsJump to Recipe
Next to rice, dumplings are the staple of Chinese cuisine. It’s no wonder that everyone is in search of the best and most authentic Chinese pork dumplings recipe. Well look no further, here it is!
Origin of the Chinese Pork Dumplings Recipe
Although they are a must in Chinese cuisine, dumplings are no stranger to other cultures around the world. Discover one dumpling at a time, but for now, learn about the origins of the Chinese dumpling.
Every iconic cultural food has a backstory though. Dumplings are said to have originated from China in 225 AD. The story starts with a famous doctor named Zhang Zhongjing who served steaming hot dumplings as a cure for frostbitten ears. The more well-known types of dumplings are the jiaozi, baozi and mantou. The story about Zhang is often referred to as the origin story for jiaozi dumplings. In fact, jiaozi-style dumplings were often referred to as “tender ears”.
The doctor stewed lamb with some warming herbal medicines in a pot, then chopped everything up and used them to fill small dough wrappers. After, he boiled these dumplings and fed them to his patients along with the broth to warm them from the inside out. He continued this until Chinese New Year, which is one of the reasons dumplings are considered a traditional food for the New Year.
What are Dumplings?
In China, when we talk about dumplings, we’re usually referring to boiled or steamed dumplings.
As mentioned before, there are different types of dumplings in Chinese cuisine. There are even varieties within each type, such as different kinds of fillings or wrappers and even preparation methods.
Jiaozi dumplings are the most popular and well-known of the family of dumplings. Next in line are wonton, then baozi. All dumplings share the same characteristics though. When it boils down to it, they are dough filled wrappers, generally made with meat and vegetables. Read more about the differences in the article here.
Popular meat fillings include ground meat (usually ground pork), shrimp and even fish. The vegetable component can consist of garlic chives, spring onion and cabbage. Filling mixtures will vary depending on personal tastes, region and season.
As one of the most traditional dishes in Chinese cuisine, making homemade dumplings is almost a rite of passage. Now let’s get started on this authentic Chinese pork dumplings recipe!
If you have a hard time figuring out how to fold the dumpling wrapper, check out Mikey Chen’s take on pork dumplings.
Chinese Pork Dumplings Recipe
- ¼ tsp salt
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ cups cold water
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp Chinese rice wine
- ¼ rsp ground white pepper
- ½ lb ground pork
- 3 tbsp sesame oil
- ½ stalk scallion
- 1 ½ cups Napa cabbage shredded
- 2 slices ginger
- 1 clove garlic
Dipping Sauce (Optional)
- 1 tbsp vegetable for pan-frying
- 1 tsp chilli powder or chilli flakes optional
- 2 tbsp cooking oil of your choice
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 tbsp Chinese rice vinegar
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- Start by making the dough for the dumpling wrappers. Sift the flour into a large bowl and then stir the salt in. Slowly add the cold water and stir. Add as much as is necessary to form a smooth dough.
- After the water has been incorporated, knead the dough into a smooth ball. Then cover it and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
- While the dough is resting, start making the filling. Combine the meat, soy sauce, salt, rice wine and white pepper.
- Wash and dry the napa cabbage. Then finely shred it with a food processor or with a knife. Squeeze out as much water as possible.
- Peel the ginger, scallion, garlic and finely mince all of them. Save any ginger juice that comes out.
- Add the shredded cabbage, garlic, scallion, ginger, ginger juice and sesame oil into the meat mixture. Mix well.
- Once the 30 minutes have passed, dust a clean flat surface or cutting board with flour and knead the dough again. Continue kneading until the dough forms a smooth ball.
- Once the dough is ready, divide the entire ball into about 60 pieces. Roll each piece out into a circle with a diameter of about 3 inches.
- Scoop approximately 1 level tablespoon of the filling into the middle of each wrapper. Then fill a small bowl with water and wet the edges of each wrapper using your fingers.
- To keep it simple, fold one half of the wrapper over the filling to create a half-moon shape and pinch the edges tightly to seal. To get the iconic dumpling look, check out this page that explains different ways to fold dumplings.
Boiling the Dumplings
- Now it’s time to cook the dumplings. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling add half the amount of dumplings to the pot and then stir gently to prevent them from sticking together. Bring the water back to a boil and add ½ cup of cold water. Cover and repeat once.
- When the dumplings come to a boil for the third time, they are ready. Drain and remove.
Pan-Frying the Dumplings
- Brush 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a pan, place the dumplings in. Pleated side up.
- Heat over medium fire until one side becomes brown. Pour in ½ cup of water and cover the pan with a lid immediately. Continue cooking until all of the water is evaporated.
- Remove the lid and reduce the heat to low. The dumplings are ready once the bottom becomes crispy and brown.
Dipping Sauce (optional)
- Add the chilli powder or chilli flakes into a heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the 2 tablespoons of oil and then pour it into the bowl of chilli powder. Give it a quick stir and then let it cool. Skip this step id you do not want to add spice.
- Mince the garlic finely and add it to a separate small bowl.
- Then combine the garlic with the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and your desired amount of the chilli oil you made earlier. Mix well.
- Try this sauce with your dumplings, boiled or pan-fried. Dumplings are best served hot and fresh. Enjoy!