It was Christmas Eve and I didn’t want a heavy dinner. I knew my boyfriend and I were going to be eating a lot the following day.
Plus, the whole #birthdayeatingmonth thing (blogged here) was starting to take its toll on my waistline.
Pan-fried dumplings (nearly) always taste better than steamed dumplings. The contrast of a crispy base against delicate skin and juicy, flavourful filling is fun AND delicious. Tiny, bite-sized food is usually the best.
I could’ve happily sat there and eaten the whole thing.
Serves: 2-3 people
- 500g pork mince
- 100g mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons plain flour (cornflour is preferred, I just don’t have any)
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
- A good shake of ground white pepper
- Dumpling pastry (these are different from wonton pastry skins which are yellow and contain egg; see notes)
- Flavourless oil – I use rice bran oil
- 1/2 cup water
- Sriracha chilli sauce and light soy sauce, to serve
- Mix ingredients for filling in a bowl – feel free to adjust amount of flour, it’s just to help bind meat and make it less soggy.
- Be prepared to get messy. Sit down, you’ll be at this a while. Have a separate plate for the folded dumplings ready. Set up a small bowl of water to wet pastry with. Take out half the dumpling pastries and leave the rest in the fridge. It’s best to work with them when they’re cold.
- Add approx. 1 teaspoon of filling to each round of pastry, leaving about a 1cm border of pastry. Use your finger to dab water onto border.
- Fold the dumpling – my technique involves folding in half and then pinching/pleating the edges together, pressing down flat each time. Put down on your plate, admire your handiwork and then continue. Take out more pastry from the fridge as required.
- When all dumplings are folded, heat up oil in a frypan over high heat. Add dumplings in a single layer – add as many as possible without dumplings touching each other. Allow to fry for 2-3 minutes.
- Turn down heat to medium and add 1/2 cup water to frypan and cover with a lid. If you don’t have a lid like me, you can make a cartouche – basically a circle of baking paper as a lid (see notes).
- Cook for at least 10 minutes (the water should have evaporated at this stage). It’s important to not disturb dumplings while they cook. Believe in them, those delicious morsels of yum.
- Test one dumpling to see if the filling is cooked and because you should be hungry by now. If not, add another 1/3 cup water and cook for a further 5 minutes or until water has evaporated.
- Serve hot with Sriracha chilli and light soy sauce. Enjoy!
The brand of dumpling pastry I used is this:
How to make a cartouche:
I like to think dumplings are pretty healthy so this was a pretty guilt-free dinner.
You can definitely make these ahead and freeze uncooked dumplings for lazy nights.
Feel free to adjust and add whatever filling you like i.e. prawn meat, water chestnuts, chives, duck, peanuts, chilli flakes etc. Just think of whatever you’ve eaten previously at a Chinese restaurant!