I have taken two dumpling making classes: one at Mei Mei Restaurant (read and watch my experience here), and one with Patty Chen’s Dumpling Room (where the restaurant no longer has a physical location due to the renovations in that whole building complex - I believe Chef Patty is doing her own dumpling classes elsewhere though, more details on her social media here). I’ve made wontons before with my mom, but I haven’t made dumplings specifically, I sure do love eating them though.
After most recently taking the dumpling class at Mei Mei’s, I was inspired to host a dumpling making party with my friends where we would each come up with our own dumpling fillings, take the time to wrap the dumplings, pan-fry them, and eat them. A delicious labor of love. The day after my dumpling making party (I also say party lightly - there were five of us), I had so many dumpling fillings leftover that I just sat on my picnic table (I have a picnic table in my apartment), put on a show, and wrapped my morning away with dumplings.
As utilized during the dumpling class at Mei Mei’s, I used round dumpling wrappers found at HMART - these wrappers can be found at any Asian market easily, and for very cheap, too. For my shaved cabbage and carrots, I cheated and grabbed a bag of pre-washed slaw mix in the produce section because I didn’t want all of the extra carrots and cabbage to go to waste (which… I actually ended up with half a bag of the slaw mix leftover, so I turned it into a quick salad).
I could eat dumplings all day, every day - they’re savory, gluttonous, and delicious. One of these days, I’ll get my wrapping technique down. In the meanwhile, I’ll just keep on practicing to make sure I am not over-filling so my folds will eventually be consistent and perfect.
Pan-Fried Pork Dumplings
Time: 50 minutes | Yield: 4-6 Servings
1 lb ground pork
1 bunch of scallions thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 chopped onion
1/2 cup cabbage
1/2 cup carrot
1 egg (to bind ingredients)
salt & pepper to taste
3 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup water
3 tbsp soy sauce
Dash sesame oil
Remove dumpling wrappers from fridge and let sit at room temperature to soften wrap
In large bowl, mix filling ingredients and combine until sticky and smooth - I like to mix with my hands to get a full mixture in place
On a clean surface, scoop about 1 tbsp filling into wrapper. Dip finger in water around entire edge of wrapper to moisten the wrapper. Fold up and pinch the seal the wrap together
Repeat until filling is utilized. Add damp paper towel over assembled dumplings to prevent wrapper from drying
On large non-stick skillet (I used a ten-inch skillet), add olive oil (or oil of choice) over medium heat until hot. I like to test if the oil is ready by doing a small splash of water and hearing the crackle of the oil (but be careful because the oil might splash at you).
Work in batches and add dumplings to pan in a single layer - do not crowd the dumplings. Let them cook over medium heat until browned on bottom (about 4-5 minutes)
Pour water over dumplings and cover pan with lid, allowing the steam to cook the dumplings through (about 5 minutes). Remove lid and transfer dumplings to a serving plate
In a small bowl, combine dipping sauce ingredients and enjoy a dumpling (or five)