Friday, June 29, 2007

Pork Dumplings

Johanna, The Passionate Cook herself, is the host of this edition of Waiter, There's something in my...and decided on dumplings as the theme.

There were certain rules to this event - the dumplings needed to be wrapped in dough and either boiled, steamed, baked but not fried.

So for my pastry I decided to cut a corner and use the ever useful, wonton wrapper. These small squares of fresh pastry certainly make life easy.

wonton wrappers© by haalo

I've opted to steam my dumplings and have given them a Chinese feel with a blend of pork, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, spring onions, cabbage and water chestnuts for added crunch.

steamed pork dumplings© by haalo

Pork Dumplings

120 grams pork shoulder (or pork mince)
120 grams cabbage, roughly shredded
3 spring onions, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
dash sesame oil
freshly ground white pepper
handful water chestnuts, roughly chopped
1 egg
20 wonton wrappers

To save a bit of time I made the filling using a small food processor.

Cut the pork into cubes and process until finely chopped but still retaining some texture. Remove and place into a bowl.

Add the spring onions and pulse until finely chopped - tip this in with the pork.

Add the cabbage and pulse until finely chopped. Add the pork and spring onions back to the bowl and pulse briefly to mix the ingredients. Now tip this all back into your bowl.

Add the hoisin sauce, sesame oil (be careful with the sesame oil as it's very strong you only need to add a few drops) and pepper and stir well.

Add the water chestnuts (I left these in larger pieces as I wanted them to provide the contrasting crunch) - stir again. At this stage to check that the seasoning is correct I like to cook up just a teaspoon or two of the mix - just cook a little in a frypan just until the pork is cooked through. Taste and make any adjustments as necessary.

Lightly beat an egg and add to the mixture. Stir it through and the filling is complete.

To make the dumplings:

Place the wrapper flat on a board and and lightly moisten the edge with water - place a spoonful of filling in the centre and bring the corners together - as you do that, gently squeeze the filling upwards to create an purse like shape, allow the corners to fold as they will. There should be an opening in the top. The best part of this type of shape is that no two will look the same.

dumplings© by haalo

To steam:

I used a bamboo steamer - be careful not to overcrowd the steamer as you don't want the dumplings sticking together. Steam over a pot of boiling water until cooked through. These took between 5-10 minutes.

steamed pork dumplings© by haalo

These are best served hot from the steamer.

Because I couldn't help myself I also made a few that have been fried boiled in oil. Using the same filling and wrappers I just shaped these like Tortellini.

fried pork dumplings© by haalo

Depending on whether you feel good or bad, the choice is there!


  1. When Johanna announced the June challenge, my first instinct was to make Estonian jam-filled dumplings, but these are fried (sorry, boiled:) in oil. So I understand you being cheeky and frying some of the dumplings:)

  2. mmmh... this looks delicious! i have some wonton wrappers at home actually, so might try these soon! thanks for taking part...

  3. I remember making dumplings similar to these in the kitchens at Providores. They make a prawn variety using a combination of blitzed prawn with some chunky pieces folded through for great texture, and they definitely used shreaded spring onions. I think they're called Siu Mai. Seeing the photos of your version has really brought it all back. I've still got vivid memories of pinching Sui Mai into that purse shape with the edges all abstractly folding over.

  4. Hi Pille - it would have been very hard not to make some donut like treat for this edition.

    Thanks Johanna!

    Hi Trig - that's exactly what I had in mind when I made these and it sounds like I got pretty close!

  5. That last picture got me all weak in the knees. Gorgeous!

  6. Thanks Helen - there is something quite pretty about the fried ones.


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