Sunday, June 14

June Daring Cooks Challenge is

Chinese Dumplings.

Brought to you by Jen at Use Real Butter

I made the pork and shrimp fillings - the children weren't so keen, I think I went a bit overboard with the ginger. I've made them before with the pre-bought wrappers, and just a simple beef or chicken filling and the kids fight over them. The wrappers were easy enough to make but they do take a little bit of time. I found that they were easier to roll if the dough was a bit softer. We served ours with sweet and sour sauce as that's what the children like.

Sweet and Sour Sauce

Equal quantities of (I use a large tablespoon, so for the 6 of us, I use 6 Tablespoons)

White Sugar
Tomatoe Sauce
White Vinegar

Then about a tablespoon of cornflour
Splash of soy sauce.

Cook over a medium heat, until thick and transparent.

Chinese Dumplings/Potstickers

pork filling:
1 lb (450g) ground pork
4 large napa cabbage leaves, minced
3 stalks green onions, minced
7 shitake mushrooms, minced (if dried - rehydrated and rinsed carefully)
1/2 cup (75g) bamboo shoots, minced
1/4 (55g) cup ginger root, minced
3 tbsp (40g) soy sauce
2 tbsp (28g) sesame oil
2 tbsp (16g) corn starch


shrimp filling:
1/2 lb (225g) raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, and coarsely chopped
1/2 lb (225g) ground pork
3 stalks green onions, minced
1/4 cup (55g) ginger root, minced
1 cup (142g) water chestnuts, minced
1 tsp (5g) salt
3 tbsp (40g) sesame oil
2 tbsp (16g) corn starch

dough: (double this for the amount of filling, but easier to make it in 2 batches - or just halve the filling recipe)
2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (113g) warm water
flour for worksurface

dipping sauce:
2 parts soy sauce
1 part vinegar (red wine or black)
a few drops of sesame oil
chili garlic paste (optional)
minced ginger (optional)
minced garlic (optional)
minced green onion (optional)
sugar (optional)

Combine all filling ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly (I mix by clean hand). Cover and refrigerate until ready to use (up to a day, but preferably within an hour or two).

Make the dough, Method 1: Place the flour in the work bowl of a food processor with the dough blade. Run the processor and pour the warm water in until incorporated. Pour the contents into a sturdy bowl or onto a work surface and knead until uniform and smooth. The dough should be firm and silky to the touch and not sticky.[Note: it’s better to have a moist dough and have to incorporate more flour than to have a dry and pilling dough and have to incorporate more water).

Make the dough, Method 2 (my mom’s instructions): In a large bowl mix flour with 1/4 cup of water and stir until water is absorbed. Continue adding water one teaspoon at a time and mixing thoroughly until dough pulls away from sides of bowl. We want a firm dough that is barely sticky to the touch.

[EDIT: 5/26/09] There have been two complaints posted about a dry dough and I realize that this rests in the problem of measuring flour which has a different density and hence weight for 2 cups depending on how you scoop it. That is why I also list the weight: 250g. Flour tends to settle over time, so when I scoop it out, I shake several cups' worth back into the container before taking a final scoop of soft, fluffy, flour and I get 250g for 2 cups. When you knead the dough, if it feels hard and dry, then you can add more water. [Warning: it will NOT be a soft bread dough, so don't expect it to be, but it shouldn't be a brick either.] It is perfectly fine to use more than the 1/2 cup listed in the recipe as everyone's climate and flours vary. Use your judgment - this is what being a Daring Cook is about. We are trying to cultivate a sense of intuition so that recipes are general guidelines from which you can expand your own style.

Both dough methods: Knead the dough about twenty strokes then cover with a damp towel for 15 minutes. Take the dough and form a flattened dome. Cut into strips about 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide. Shape the strips into rounded long cylinders. On a floured surface, cut the strips into 3/4 inch pieces. Press palm down on each piece to form a flat circle (you can shape the corners in with your fingers). With a rolling pin, roll out a circular wrapper from each flat disc. Take care not to roll out too thin or the dumplings will break during cooking - about 1/16th inch. Leave the centers slightly thicker than the edges. Place a tablespoon of filling in the center of each wrapper and fold the dough in half, pleating the edges along one side (see images in post for how to fold pleats). Keep all unused dough under damp cloth.

A little helper.

To boil: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add dumplings to pot. Boil the dumplings until they float.

To steam: Place dumplings on a single layer of napa cabbage leaves or on a well-greased surface in a steamer basket with lid. Steam covered for about 6 minutes.


  1. Lesley, they look delish. I have to admit that when I've made dumplings, I just use purchased wrappers. I also tend to use chicken as I'm not a big pork or seafood fan.

  2. I normally use the bought wrappers too - and whilst it was lovely to make them, time is the factor for me.

    We ususally have chicken or beef filling. The kids weren't really fans of the prawn ones.

  3. Beautiful job, Lesley, and your helper is precious! They look delicious and perfect!

  4. I fell in love with your little helper! Your dumplings look terrific.
    Have a wonderful day.

  5. Great job! They look wonderful!

  6. That little helper of yours is too precious! Love that picture. And yes, when I was a kid, I didn't like ginger either ;) Great job on the challenge.

  7. Thank you ladies, she is gorgeous if I do say so myself. She loves to help me bake.

  8. Good idea to make ones that your kids like next time. I was the only taker at my house this time. What did I expect with mushroom and quinoa filling? I know my daughter loves chicken pierogis, which is just another dumpling. So chicken with no ginger for next time!

  9. Love the idea of the little helper. Bad luck about the ginger but at least they like the milder ones. Love the pictures cheers and kudos on a successful challenge.

  10. Hehe, very cute picture! You have a very lucky little girl, I know I always enjoyed messing around in the kitchen with my mom at that age! Great job on your dumplings! :)

  11. Your helper is so cute! Just look at the concentration on her face :)

    Great job on the dumplings! They look perfectly delicious!

  12. your little helper is adorable!
    Next time try cooking a bit of your filling to see how it tastes before using it in the potstickers.

  13. Thank you everyone. She is a cutie, she's just about to turn 3 and can EVERYTHING herself - or so she says.

    Great idea Olga, will do that next time pre cook any new filling I make.

  14. Your girl was such a good helper! They look great.

  15. How lucky for you to have such adorable little helper. Great job on the dumplings, and that sweet and sour dipping sauce sounds like a great idea.

  16. Yum! Your dumplings look amazing =D. Your helper is adorable!!

  17. Oh yum! My sister-in-law makes some amazing Gyoza (Japanese version of the dumplings). I'll have to try this recipe too!

  18. haha,im chinese,ur chinese dumpling look great!!!