Pork Pot Sticker Dumplings

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The third starter on my Year of the Dragon Chinese Banquet was Pork Pot Sticker Dumplings. I found a recipe for the dumplings by Ken Hom on the BBC Food website. If you have read my Sunday Inspiration post about Chinese New Year you’ll know that the reason I picked dumplings as a dish was because they symbolise family togetherness. They also represent wealth and prosperity because of their crescent shapes, which look like the ancient Chinese money.

Ken Hom’s recipe gives instructions on how to make the dough, but I bought wonton wrappers from a Chinese supermarket. He also gives instructions for a very easy dipping sauce using 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon white rice vinegar and 2 teaspoons of chilli oil, but I used a store bought sweet chilli dipping sauce.

The recipe makes enough for 18 dumplings, but my wonton wrappers must have been a lot smaller than the one’s he made so I got a lot more out of the mixture.

To make Pork Pot Sticker Dumplings you will need…

  • wonton wrappers
  • 110g minced pork
  • 75g Chinese leaves or spinach, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • ½ tbsp Shaoxing rice wine (or dry sherry if you can’t find this)
  • ½ tbsp dark soy sauce
  • ½ tsp light soy sauce
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½ tbsp finely chopped spring onions
  • 1 tsp seasame oil
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp cold chicken stock or water
  • 1 tbsp ground nut oil (for cooking in)
  • 75ml water

To make the stuffing, put the minced pork into a bowl. Add the finely chopped Chinese leaves (or spinach if you can’t find those) and the chopped ginger. Then add the Shaoxing rice wine (or dry sherry if you can’t find it), dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, salt, black pepper, sesame oil, sugar and chicken stock (or water) and mix together well.

Ideally, I should have used round wrappers as it was tricky to shape the dumplings, but I persevered and made 12 of them. I then decided that the wrappers were too small and I made little money bags with the rest of the mixture.

To make the dumplings, put a spoonful of mixture into the centre of the wrapper, wet the edges and fold over and pinch the sides together to form pleats. The bottom should be flat and the top rounded.

To make the money bags I put a spoonful of the pork stuffing into the centre of the wrapper and wet the edges with water. I then gathered the edges around the stuffing and gave it a little twist to secure them.

To cook the dumplings you part fry, part steam them, which I thought was weird – but they gave them a unique taste and texture, and they went down surprisingly well with all my guests! I was worried that people wouldn’t enjoy these.

Heat a large, non-stick lidded frying pan and add the oil. Place the dumplings flat-side down and cook for a couple of minutes until lightly browned. Then pour over the water and simmer gently for about 12 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. I actually added a little more water as I was scared that they would catch and burn on the bottom and I didn’t want that!

To cook the money bags, I’m sure you could fry-steam them in the same way, but I gave them an egg wash and popped them in the oven at 180C – 200C for 15 minutes until the pork was cooked and the pastry was golden.

Next time I make these I will try and make my own dumpling dough and report back!

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