Introduction: Chinese Dumplings Two Ways With Sichuan Dipping Sauce

We're going to show you how to make Chinese Dumplings two ways. The first is boiled dumplings which ,in this case, are served with Sichuan Dipping Sauce. The second is pan seared style which are usually served plain or with a little light soy dressing.

My girlfriend is Chinese and since we've been dating I have learned many Chinese recipes from her. This is one of the more fun ones to make, especially with a group of friends and family. 

Step 1: Dough Ingredients

This one is easy...

  1. 5 lbs Flour
  2. 3 Cups water

Step 2: Filling Ingredients

  1. Garlic - 1 Bulb
  2. Scallions - 3 Stalks
  3. Napa Cabbage - 1 Head
  4. Water Chestnuts - 1 8oz Can
  5. Bamboo Shoots - 1 8 oz Can
  6. Shiitake Mushrooms - 1 Tub
  7. Ginger - 1 Thumb Sized Lump
  8. Ground Turkey (Pork or Chicken also work well) - 2 lbs 
  9. 1 Egg

Notes on fillings:
If you prefer your dumplings to be vegetarian you can leave out the ground meat and eggs and that filling works very well as it is or you can also get creative and add some other vegetables into the mix. 

Step 3: Prepare the Dough

  • Add all the flour to a large mixing bowl.
  • Make a well in the middle and slowly start adding the water, mixing constantly.
  • Continue to add water until all the flour is combined in one solid lump.
  • It should be a fairly dry dough.
  • Once all the flour is combined cover with a wet kitchen towel and set aside for 30 mins.

Step 4: Make the Fillings

  • Finely chop all the vegetables using a food processor or good knife (I'm using a cleaver because I want to pretend to be authentic even though I'm actually Irish).
  • Add a pinch of salt to help draw out the moisture from the vegetables.
  • If you're using a knife, once the vegetables get small enough it's good to press down on them with the side of the knife to help turn them into more of a paste.
  • Once the vegetables are finely chopped and approaching a paste like consistency you need to squeeze out as much moisture as you can. As you can see from the picture below there is quite a lot that will come out.
  • After you have squeezed and dried out all the chopped vegetables place them in a mixing bowl.
  • Peel and grate the ginger and add to the chopped vegetables.
  • Add the ground meat and egg and combine thoroughly. 

Step 5: Form the Wrappers

  • Once your filling is done and the dough has been sitting for 30 mins take the dough out of the mixing bowl and knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for a few minutes.
  • Tear off a piece of dough (about twice the size of a closed fist) and roll into a "baguette" shape so that' it's about 1 inch in diameter.
  • Cut the dough into 1/2 inch thick discs.
  • With the palm of your hand flatten the discs into saucer shapes.
  • Then taking the edge of a disc in one hand place the other edge on a floured surface and lightly roll with a rolling pin constantly turning the disc in your hand so that it rolls out into a nice thin circular shape.

Step 6: Fill and Form the Dumplings

  • Once you've made the wrappers you need to start filling them.
  • Take a small amount of filling (1 heaped tsp) and place it in the center of a dumpling wrapper.
  • At this point there are many ways of folding a dumpling
  • The easiest is just to fold it in half and pinch the edges together like a ravioli.
  • If you want to get a bit fancier, before you pinch the sides together, you can crimp one of the sides at various points along the edge using your thumb and index finger and then pinch it together.

Step 7: Way 1: Boiled Dumplings

We promised you dumplings two ways and here is the first:
  • Fill a large pot half way with water and bring to the boil.
  • Add the dumplings to water and boil them until all the dumplings are floating and then give it another 5 minutes to make sure everything is cooked through (roughly 15-20 mins)
  • Make sure you don't over fill the pot with dumplings, you want to add enough so that you get a good solid layer of dumplings floating on the top of the pot but no more than that.
  • Once they're cooked remove the dumplings form the water and allow to drain.
  • Serve with in a bowl covered with the Sichuan Dipping Sauce (See Step 8)

Step 8: Sichuan Dipping Sauce

This sauce is really easy to make and is absolutely delicious with dumplings:

  1. Soy Sauce - 1/2 cup
  2. Sugar - 2 tbsp
  3. Minced Garlic - 1 tbsp
  4. Chili Oil - 2 tsp (See recipe here
  • Add sugar and soy sauce in a small pan and bring it a simmer.
  • Reduce till sauce thickens so that it coats the back of a spoon.
  • Add the garlic and chili oil and mix together.
  • Pour over dumplings.

Step 9: Way 2: Pan Fried

  • Add about 1 tbsp of oil to a frying pan and heat on medium high.
  • Place the dumplings in the pan and fry until the bottom is golden brown.
  • Add enough water to fill the pan about 1/4 inch then cover and cook on low heat for 15 minutes.
  • Serve plain, with light soy sauce or rice vinegar.
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