Chinese Dumplings

Circle B Kitchen

Recipe from My Kitchen Year by Ruth Reichl

1 bunch scallions
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger 
pound fatty ground pork 
2 dried shiitake mushrooms (reconstituted in warm water and chopped fine)
1 tablespoon rice wine or dry sherry 
2 teaspoons sesame oil 
1 package wonton wrappers
1 tablespoon soy sauce 
2 teaspoons sugar 
pepper 
1 egg white
1 tablespoon cornstarch
½ cup water 

Makes 40 to 50 dumplings

Chop the scallions (both white and green parts) and mix them with the ground pork. Add in the ginger and the shitake mushrooms. 

 In another bowl mix the soy sauce with the rice wine (or dry sherry) and the sesame oil. Add the sugar, a good grind of black pepper, and the white of the egg. Stir this gently into the pork mixture until it’s completely incorporated, and allow it to rest for at least half an hour (or overnight in the refrigerator). 

When you’re ready to assemble your dumplings, mix the cornstarch into the water in a small bowl.

Put a heaping teaspoon of filling onto the wonton wrapper, using your finger, moisten the edges with the cornstarch mixture, fold the wrapper over into a crescent (if using round wontons) and seal the edges, being sure to press out as much air as possible.  If using square wonton wrappers, moisten the edges and then fold in half into a triangle and then bring to ends of the triangle together, press to seal and place on a baking sheet as it’s finished, making sure it’s not touching another dumpling. Cover with plastic wrap as you work. 

Freeze the dumplings, in a single layer, on their baking sheet. When they’re frozen, put them into plastic bags (they’ll keep in the freezer for 6 weeks). 

To cook, bring a big pot of water to a boil.   Throw as many dumplings as you’d like into the pot, bring the water back to the boil, and cook for 7 minutes. (If you’re cooking unfrozen dumplings, it will take about 5 minutes.) They’ll rise to the top when they’re ready.  Alternately, I like to steam them by placing a piece of parchment paper over my metal steamer basket.  I poke some holes in the parchment and place as many dumplings as I can without touching on the parchment.  Bring 1-2 cups of water to a boil in a large pot and then place the steamer with the dumplings in and cover tightly.  Steam for 7 minutes if frozen and 5-6 if fresh.

Serve with a dipping sauce you’ve made by combining good soy sauce with a bit of grated ginger and a splash of vinegar, or...

My Dipping Sauce:
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon chili sauce
3 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
2 teaspoons sesame oil 

Whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, honey, garlic, ginger, sesame seeds, sesame oil in a bowl.