These have a juicy, umami filling, and are cooked using the "water frying" method for crispy bottoms without needing to boil a pot of water!
- 1 tsp white peppercorns
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons chopped ginger (~1-inch piece)
- 250g napa cabbage (~3.5 cups chopped)
- ½ tsp table salt
- 1lb (450g) ground pork (preferably not lean)
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 ½ Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 ½ tsp dashi powder (optional; if not using add 1 tsp more soy sauce)
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp tapioca starch or cornstarch
- ½ cup chopped garlic chives or 3 finely chopped green onions
- 1 package dumpling wrappers (40-50 pieces)
(This amount below is per person as you want everyone to have their own bowl do they can double dip. Scale up proportionally according to the number of people.)
- 2 tsp rice vinegar
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- Optional: A pinch of sugar (Thai people like to add this to lessen the sharpness of the vinegar)
- Optional: A little drizzle of rayu (Japanese chili garlic oil, highly recommend!) or another chili oil of your choice
- Separate the white and green part of napa cabbage leaves. Finely dice the white "stems" and finely chop the leaves, keeping them separate.
- In a mortar and pestle pound peppercorns until fine. Add garlic and ginger and pound into a fine paste.
- In a wok or a large skillet over medium heat add a tablespoon of oil and the garlic paste. Saute until aromatic; about 2 mins.
- Add napa cabbage STEMS ONLY and turn the heat up to medium high. Add ¼ tsp of the salt and cook until soft and translucent; about 4-5 minutes.
- Add the cabbage leaves and cook for another 2-3 minutes until wilted and there’s no pooling liquid. Remove from heat and spread it all out on a plate to cool quickly.
- While the cabbage cools, combine pork, the remaining 1/4 tsp salt, soy sauce, dashi powder, sesame oil, tapioca starch, and sugar, and knead with your hands (I'd wear a latex glove) for at least 5 mins. After kneading it should look smooth and pasty.
- Add the cooled cabbage and garlic chives and mix gently using a "fold and squish" action just until the vegetables are evenly distributed.
- Cook a little bit of filling in the microwave to taste so you can adjust the seasoning if needed. (If you follow the measurements exactly, you won't need to adjust, but it's good habit to ALWAYS taste anything that can't be fixed after cooking, because you might have forgotten something!)
- Wrap the dumplings: Using a dessert spoon, scoop up a spoonful of filling (about 1 ½ Tbsp) per piece. Watch the video for how to wrap.
- If you're not cooking them right away, freeze them immediately. Do not wrap and let them sit unfrozen for any longer than a couple of hours. (See FAQ above for more details and how to properly freeze dumplings.)
- Mix together the dipping sauce before you start cooking so it'll be ready.
Cook the dumplings:
- In a nonstick skillet (or a well-seasoned cast-iron pa), add a little oil to thinly but thoroughly coat the bottom. Turn the heat on to medium high, and without waiting for the pan to get hot, go ahead and arrange the dumplings on the pan in a circular pattern. You can pack them pretty close together and fill the pan completely, but not so much that they are squished.
- Fry the dumplings for about 3-5 minutes or until the bottoms are well browned.
- Turn the heat down to medium and add about ¼ cup of water (it will splatter) and then close the pan with a tight fitting lid. Steam for about 3 minutes (5 mins if cooking from frozen) until cooked through. I like to use an "instant read" thermometer to check doneness, and I'm going for an internal temp of 160°F minimum.
- Once done, you can either use tongs to arrange them on a plate, OR if you're fancy, you can put a plate upside down on top of them pan and flip the whole pan onto the plate and serve the dumplings crispy side up. Just be quick and confident when you flip!