Delicious Beijing Dumplings
Makes about 40 dumplings
1 small head Chinese (Napa) cabbage, weighing about 1 ½ pounds
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound lean ground pork, such as pork butt
1/3 pound Chinese garlic chives, ends trimmed *
For the seasonings, mixed together :
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice wine or sake
1 1/2 tablespoons peeled and minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon cornstarch
To cook and serve:
35-40 round dumpling or gyoza skins*
3 quarts water
Dipping Sauce, mixed together:
½ cup soy sauce
¼ cup water
- Cut off the stem of the cabbage and separate the leaves. Rinse and drain. Stack the leaves one on top of the other in piles and cut into thin slices, turn and chop finely. In a large mixing bowl, mix the cabbage and salt and let sit for 30 minutes. (This will draw water out of the cabbage.) With your hands, squeeze out as much water as possible.
- Cut off the stem ends of the garlic chives and chop finely. In a large mixing bowl, mix the cabbage with the ground pork, minced chives, and Seasonings. Mix thoroughly with your hands or a wooden spoon. The mixture should be stiff and rather sticky. If it seems loose, add another teaspoon of cornstarch.
- Place a teaspoon of filling in the center of each dumpling skin and fold the skin over to make a half-moon shape. Spread a little water along the edge of the skin. Use the thumb and index finger of one hand to form small pleats along the outside edge of the skin. The inside edge of the dumpling should curve in a semicircular fashion to conform to the shape of the pleated edge. (You may also use a small press.) Place the sealed dumplings on a baking sheet that has been lightly dusted with cornstarch.
- In a large pot, bring the water to a boil. Add half the dumplings, stirring to prevent them from sticking together and once the water boils again, cook for 5 minutes. Remove with a handled strainer, drain, and cook the remaining dumplings. Serve the boiled dumplings with the dipping sauces.
*Garlic chives may be purchased at any Asian market. If unavailable, substitute 1 cup minced scallions plus 1 tablespoon minced garlic. Dumpling or gyoza skins also may be purchased at any Asian market and at some supermarkets.
© Copyright Nina Simonds 2008