Traditional Chinese Dumplings

by Li Xiao Ling
as served at 2006 CFC Dumpling Festival

Preparation time: 1 hour
Makes: 50-60 dumplings

Ingredients:

Dough/wrappers

3 C white flour (un-sifted)
1-1 1/4 C lukewarm water

Filling

1/2 lb ground pork
3 C (approx. 1/2 lb) Chinese cabbage (finely chopped)
1/2 C Chinese mushrooms (finely chopped) - optional
1/4 C green onions or chives (finely chopped)
1-2 T minced ginger root
1 tsp salt
1 T cooking oil
1 T sesame oil
1 T soy sauce

Dipping Sauce (simply mix all ingredients together to suit your taste)

4 T soy sauce
2 T Chinese or rice wine vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
2-3 garlic cloves (minced) - optional
Chili paste (to desired spiciness) - optional

Preparation:

  1. In a large bowl, use hands to mix lukewarm water into flour, pouring in water in small increments while mixing until dough is firm, yet soft. Knead dough for several minutes, and cover with a clean cloth and let it rest for at least 10 minutes. Set aside, but do NOT refrigerate.
  2. In large bowl, mix ground pork, oils, chopped mushrooms, minced ginger, salt and soy sauce.
  3. Squeeze excess water out of cabbage, and add to meat mixture. Add green onions.
  4. Add salt and mix thoroughly.
  5. After dough has rested, knead it again to make it pliable.
  6. Separate dough into quarters and roll 1/4 of dough mixture into a rope approx. 1 inch thick. Cut the rope into pieces about 1/2 inch wide. Use palm to press it into small rounds (slightly larger than a quarter).
  7. Roll each section with a rolling pin to make a nice circle about 3 inches across. The edges should be SLIGHTLY thinner than the center.
  8. Scoop approx. 1/2 T of meat/vegetable mixture into the circle of dough and fold in half around the filling. Then, carefully pinch all of the edges together, securing the pocket so that none of the filling is escaping the dumpling. The shape should resemble a half moon.
  9. Bring pot of water (with a bit of salt or bouillon) to a rolling boil. Add enough dumplings so that they have room to move around. They should not be crowded in the pot, and they should all have room to rise to the top. Stir gently to keep them from sticking to each other.
  10. After they float to the top of the pot, add approximately 1 C cold water and bring to a boil again. Repeat this process 2-3 times total. After the 3rd or 4th boil, when they rise to the top, they are finished. The total boiling time is approximately 5 minutes if the pot is covered and a bit longer if the pot is left uncovered (which prevents over-boiling).
  11. Remove cooked dumplings with a slotted spoon or strainer and serve with dipping sauce.