Classic(ish) Dumplings

“Fuck brunch, eat dim sum.”

My favourite celeb chef, and owner of Momofuku, David Chang, shared these fighting words on the ‘gram last summer. And honestly? I’d have to agree. In a pre-covid world, nothing compared to sitting in a tightly cramped restaurant filled with brusque waiters pushing steaming carts laden with har gao, siu mai, lo bak go, and my fave, shrimp cheung fun. And, ya know, hella dumplings.

Easily my most requested recipe, these bad boys are super easy to make and so delicious that you may never order them in again after trying them this way. I personally like my dumplings on the punchier and more flavorful side, which is why I add so many sauces into the filling itself.

I’ve done my best to approximate the amount of seasoning you need, but admittedly, I eyeball a lot of the ingredients added.

I’ve linked the recipe to my 2-ingredient dumpling dough, but by all means, use store-bought wrappers for a (much) easier experience.

Grocery list:

For the Dumplings:

  • Chinese cabbage (AKA napa cabbage)

    Chinese cabbage is different than your standard cabbage, which is round and firm. Napa cabbage is oblong in shape with soft, tender leaves. Regular cabbage is too hard for this recipe.
  • Approximately 1.5 lbs of ground pork
  • 15 large raw shrimp
  • 2-3 scallions stems
  • 1 small shallot
  • 2 tsp Garlic
  • 2 tsp Ginger
  • 2 tbsp Soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp Oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp Mirin (you can use sugar as a substitute)
  • Optional: ½ tsp of Maggi seasoning or a thick pinch of MSG (just do it)
  • Dumpling wrappers – unless you’re making your own (2 Ingredient Dumpling Wrappers)

    TIP: If you’re making homemade wrappers, start by preparing the dough first and then letting it rest as your prepare your filling.

For Dipping Sauce:

  • 4 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Rice Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 1.5 tbsp of something sweet – I personally like adding a liquid sweetener, like maple syrup or honey, but you can also add sugar.
  • 1 tbsp each of garlic and ginger (microplaned, preferably, but you can also cut finely)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 scallion stem
  • Optional: As much chili oil as your heart can handle

Cooking methods:

Sauce Method:

  1. Combine all ingredients together in a medium sized bowl, mix, and enjoy. I promise this is the best dumpling dipping sauce you’ll ever have.

Dumpling Method:

  1. Start by preparing your cabbage. Wash the leaves and then cut the cabbage into thin strips, placing them into a large bowl. Sprinkle approx. 2 tablespoons of sea salt all over your cabbage, and use your hands to distribute evenly. Don’t worry – this won’t make your cabbage salty! This step is done to draw out excess moisture from the leaves. Leave for about 20 minutes, or until your cabbage looks wilted and wrinkled.
  2. Rough chop your shrimp into 1/2 cm slices (about 6-7 cuts) and add into a large bowl.
  3. Thinly chop 2 scallions and add to bowl with shrimp.
  4. Microplane or thinly dice ginger and garlic, adding to the same bowl, along with your ground pork and finely diced shallots.
  5. Once your cabbage is fully wilted, add it to the rest of your ingredients, along with soy sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce, mirin, MSG, and a few cracks of pepper.

  6. Mix your ingredients by hand, squishing and turning the mixture thoroughly in a clockwise rotation around your bowl. You want a similar consistency to raw sausage meat – you’ll know you’re done when little bits of meat start sticking to the sides of the bowl. This is done to make sure your filling sticks together and stays intact inside the wrapper.
  7. Set up your dumpling workstation – you’ll need paper towel, a small dipping bowl filled with water, your wrappers, and a teaspoon.
  8. Use your teaspoon to scoop out a heaping spoonful of pork and shrimp filling and place in the center of your wrapper.  Use the tip of your finger to lightly saturate the edges of your entire dumpling wrapper. If you’re using homemade wrappers, I find that they’re hydrated enough to not need extra water to glue the dumpling together – but use at your discretion.
  9. Fold your dumpling as you see fit. You don’t need to make fancy pleats if you don’t want to, and can simply fold the wrapper in half, pushing together firmly enough to make sure the filling is secure. If you want to make the pleats, my favourite way is pretty simple – press the middle of the top of the wrapper to get it started, and using your thumb and forefinger, push the dough in and under the top of the wrapper on both sides. You can see my imitating the fold in the image below.

  10. Once all your dumplings are wrapped, it’s time to cook. You can either steam these for about 8 minutes if you have a steamer, or pan-fry them (which is my favourite way to eat them.) The trick to perfectly pan-fried dumplings is the double fry method: You’ll put a large pan on medium heat, adding a neutral cooking oil to just coat it (about 1-2 tbsp depending on the size of your pan.) Add your dumplings flat side down onto the pan and fry until the bottoms are just golden brown. Then, add a very small amount water to the pan – just enough to cover the bottoms of all the dumplings. Cover your pan for about 6 minutes or until the water is mostly evaporated. Leave the dumplings on about a minute longer until golden and crisp.

Related Recipes

Leave a comment

Comment Policy

Comments are welcomed and encouraged on this site, but there are some instances where comments will be edited or deleted. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

Don't see your comment? It can sometimes take up to 2 minutes for our systems to fetch new comments. But don't worry! If you got a green box saying "THANKS FOR COMMENTING!", we have your comment.