I had made dumplings before, with a many-step recipe that took most of the afternoon and evening to prepare. Don’t get me wrong, while the results were delicious and definitely rivaled or surpassed my go-to freezer standard, I wasn’t anxious to undertake dumpling assembly any time soon.
So when I found a recipe in, you guessed it, my beloved The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, I thought I’d give it a try. Since it’s, uh, vegetarian, the recipe calls for mushrooms and cabbage as the main filling ingredients., however, I subbed out the mushrooms for ground pork. I am a recovering carnivore, after all!
Cut one pound of cabbage into thin strips. Lightly salt the cabbage and let it sit for an hour to let the water be drawn out. Wring out the cabbage, rinsing off the salt if needed. Combine the cabbage with a pound of pork, one chopped small onion, some garlic, ginger, and rice wine vinegar.
Portion out small balls of filling into the wrappers. You can see our dumpling wrapping technique was somewhat lacking. It took a while to get a feel for the right portion of filling and the right method for dumpling folding. Practice makes, if not perfect, at least semi-functional. Fresher wrappers or smaller filling portions may have helped us out.
The original recipe recommends steaming for a “more flavorful dumpling” and I have to agree. Not to mention, I have no idea how to fry potstickers and not have them stick to the extent that I end up serving mangled dumplings with the wrapper separate from the filling. If you know the secret, get in touch and teach me your ways!
Steam for around 7 minutes.
The finished product! Great with rice or noodles.
One of my favorite things about dumplings is how well they freeze. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper, space out dumplings, and freeze. Once they’re frozen solid, I like to store them in 6-8 dumpling portions in sandwich bags for easy dinnertime access.
Chinese Dumplings with Shredded Cabbage and Pork, adapted from The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone (Makes around 36 dumplings)
1 pound napa cabbage
1 pound ground pork
1 red pearl onion, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
Wonton wrappers (I used Nasoya Wonton Wraps, found in the grocery store’s natural/organic food section)
Slice cabbage leaves into thin ribbons. Put 4 cups into a colander, sprinkle with salt, and let sit for an hour. Squeeze out any excess moisture that has collected.
Combine cabbage, pork, onion, garlic, ginger, and vinegar. Fill wrapper with mixture, and paint edges with water, pressing well to seal.
To steam the dumplings, oil a steamer basket, fill with single layer of dumplings, and steam for 7 minutes. From frozen, steam approximately 20 minutes.