Ying's ideas of easy Chinese home-cooking

Dumplings with Pickled Mustard Cabbage and Pork Filling

酸菜猪肉饺

I bought some pickled mustard cabbage for making Spicy Fish and there were some leftover, so I thought I might be good to make dumpling filling with it. Chinese cabbage and mustard cabbage are two different vegetables that Chinese like to make pickle with. They both have strong stalk and leaf, one with green leaf and the other with light green or light yellow leaf.

Pickled Chinese cabbage is very popular in North China, so dumpling with pickled Chinese cabbage and pork is a type of very classic dumpling. But in Canton, we used pickled mustard cabbage more often. So I thought it should be the same tasty to put it into dumpling fillings.

I wanted to make Guotie (fried dumpling), which has thicker wrap, so I made the wrap myself this time. I am not good at making the wrap to be honest. Cantonese eat rice much more often than noodles or dumplings. Though they don’t look very professional but I assure you the method is correct and the dumplings are delicious.

Ingredients –
For the wrap –
All-purpose flour, 2.5 – 3 cups;
Water, room temperature, 1 cup;
The proportion of flour and water is about 2.5 flour vs 1 water, depending on the type of flour. If you don’t want to make the wrap, don’t bother, just buy those packed ones from Asian grocery store.

For the filling –
Pork mince, 400g, usually I would prefer it 4 fat vs 6 lean;
Pickled mustard cabbage, 150g;
Ginger, 20g;
Onion, 100g;
Powdered white pepper, 1tsp;
Salt, 1tsp;
Sugar, 1tbsp;
Starch flour, 1tbsp;
Oil, 1tbsp;

For the dipping sauce;
Spring onion, light soy sauce, black vinegar, sugar, toasted sesame seed, garlic, chili oil (optional).

How to do –
1. Pickled mustard cabbage may be a bit too salty and sour, so I would soak it in water for about 15 minutes;

2. Let’s make the dough first. In a big mixing bowl, add in 2.5 cups of flour and 1 cup of water, mix with a mixing spoon. Knead the flakes into a dough, adjust with more flour or water if it’s too wet or too dry. Then cover with cotton towel or cling film, set aside for half an hour;

3. Ginger, onion and pickle finely chopped and put in a big mixing bowl, together with pork mince and all seasoning ingredients;

4. With a pair of chopsticks or mixing spoon, stir the pork mixture in one direction in 50 times. When you find it’s hard to move, than it’s firm enough. In this way, the pork would absorb the liquid from the vegetable and become firm and juicy after cooking;

5. After half an hour resting, knead the dough again and let it rest for another half an hour. Then the dough is good to go!

6. Press a hole in the middle of the dough than pull gently till it becomes a ring, than cut it into small chunks. It really depends how big or how thick you like your dumplings, so try different size;

7. Press the chunk with your palm then roll it into a round sheet, better with thinner edge and thicker middle. Practice makes perfect!

8. Now let’s make the dumplings. Because the wraps are freshly made, it’s easy to seal. If you find it hard to seal with the packed wraps, spread a little water to help;

9. In deep pot, add in plenty of water and bring to boil. Put in the dumplings and lid on. Bring to boil again and add in more water, lid on and bring to boil. Do it one more time. This can assure the dumplings are fully cooked;

10. Classic dumpling dip is made with mashed garlic and black vinegar. But you could do mix-and-match with light soy sauce, sugar, chili oil, or spring onion.

Keep the unfinished dumplings in freezer. Put them in a food box and dust flour at the bottom of the box and in between each dumplings.

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