Sunday, April 20, 2008

Pork Dumplings with Cheater's Asian Veggies

Adam mentions a couple weeks ago that we haven't had the pork dumplings I made once or twice a long time ago. Shoot, he was right- those were tasty and I had forgotten all about them!

So onto the weekly menu they went. I planned them for a midweek meal on a night I knew I'd have some time to put them together- they aren't the fastest meal to assemble after all.

Sadly, my memory of these was better than reality. The hubs thought they were tasty enough, but I thought they were just kind of bleh. The fact that they look like brains doesn't help either! We made a huge batch of these thing- around 4 or 5 dozen- and I froze half. I'm planning to pan fry the frozen ones and make a dipping sauce in hopes it will kick up the flavor.

There were two good parts of this dinner though... the first was a pretty side dish that I whipped up. Nothing fancy, but it looked really nice and I thought it was quite good. (Adam thought it was just ok.) The other highlight was that we both made the dumplings together, which not only made the preparation go twice as fast, we enjoyed spending the time together in the kitchen. With our small space and my dictator like style in the kitchen, we rarely get to make food together. Aw, cheesy happy moment!

Asian Pork Dumplings
Modified from

  • 1 Lbs. Ground Pork
  • 1 Package Wonton Wrappers, around 50-60 count
  • 2 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. Sesame Oil
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Clove Garlic, minced
  • 2 Green Onion Stalks, chopped
  • 1 tsp. Grated Fresh Ginger
  • 1 1/2 C. Red Cabbage, finely chopped

  1. In a large bowl, blend all of the ingredients except the wonton wrappers to make the dumpling filling.
  2. Heat a large pot of water on the stovetop to boiling. This will be the water you boil the dumplings in. I flavored my water with fresh ginger, soy sauce, a few chopped pieces of green onion, and a little sesame oil. Next time I'd use less or no ginger and I will boil for half the time, moving dumplings to a saute pan to finish off the cooking.
  3. Place one wonton wrapper on a cutting board or other clean surface. Lightly wet the edges on one side.
  4. Take a small spoonful of the filling mixture and place it in the middle of the wrapper. You'll learn quickly two facts: 1. Too much filling doesn't work and oozes out the sides, making a huge mess. 2. If your cabbage isn't chopped enough, large knife-like pieces will slice through your wrapper, wrecking everything.
  5. Fold the wonton wrapper over onto itself, making a triangle shape with the filling in the middle.
  6. Press down on the moist sides, trying to push out as much air from the middle as possible.
  7. Pick up the dumpling and take the two opposite triangle points and fold them on top of each other and press down to connect. This leaves the top point remaining and the filling well sealed up inside.
  8. Repeat for as many wontons as you can fill, or until you run out of wrappers like we did. As you finish the dumplings, put them aside. If you place them on a cookie sheet with plastic wrap, you can put the whole sheet into the freezer to freeze dumplings. Once hard, move unused dumplings to a ziplock bag for long term storage.
  9. With the water boiling, gently place as many dumplings as you want in the hot liquid. Be careful not to splash hot water on yourself!
  10. Cook the dumplings for about 5-10 minutes. They will inflate like puffer fish if there is air inside! The pork does not take long to cook. Again, next time I will mostly cook through and then drain and finish in a pan.
  11. Serve either with a little broth or dry with a soy sauce based dipping sauce.

Cheater's Asian Veggie Side Dish
  • Frozen Stir Fry Veggies (as much as desired)
  • Sliced Red Cabbage
  • Fresh Mushrooms
  • Soy Sauce
  • Sesame Oil
  • Sesame Seeds

  1. Heat the frozen veggies in the microwave like any vegetable from the freezer.
  2. Plate hot veggies in the center of a dish.
  3. Add some cabbage and fresh mushrooms.
  4. Lightly drizzle with soy sauce and sesame oil. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
  5. Eat while hot!

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