If there’s one savory dish I can make with confidence, it’s dumplings. Pork dumplings to be specific. The details vary. Sometimes I mix the pork with chives, ginger, and water chestnuts. Sometimes they’re folded in the nurse-cap style, other times in the traditional half-moon crimp. Yesterday we had tons of cilantro left in the fridge so I chopped it all up, mixed with pork, fresh ginger, lots of garlic, a splash of shoyu and sesame oil.
White wrapper = from the Korean supermarket (M2M)
Yellow wrapper = from the Japanese supermarket (Sunrise Mart)
I usually get the Japanese one, but when we ran out in the middle of dumpling making process I sent Pierre to the nearest market (thank you!). Which happened to be Korean one. When folding the dumplings, the Korean ones proved stretchier – I could pull more without the wrapper breaking. But after cooking, the taste of the Japanese wrappers were decidedly superior. The Korean ones were too thick and bland, doughy tasting. Lesson learned, stick to the Japanese wrappers!
My grandma and mom cook dumplings using the steam-fry method. And so that’s what I do, stick to tradition. Grease your pan with a bit of olive oil and place the dumplings into the pan. Pour enough warm water to reach about 1/3 the height of the dumplings. Put on the cover and cook at medium-high till it boils. Then turn down to medium till most of the water is gone. Remove cover and continue cooking until all the water is gone.
But we compromise. I slide all the dumplings off the pan and onto a round plate. Then I get a matching plate and put that on top. Flip it upside down, remove the top plate, and then slide the dumplings back into the pan. Cook for a few more minutes until the tops get just a little crisp, and then you’re all pau! Black vinegar or ponzu sauce for dipping. If you have extra ginger, chop it up and mix into the dipping sauce. Super satisfying.