Friday, 19 September 2014

Sticky pot pork and chives dumplings

Dumplings, dumplings, dumplings.  My obsession for these tasty little morsels never ceases to amaze me.  Although these are not a Malaysian dish, my family absolutely love love LOVE them!! And to be honest, if you don't like dumplings, you just haven't found your match made in heaven yet! 

I first learnt to make dumplings while flatting with three Taiwanese sisters back in my uni days in the windy city of Wellington in New Zealand.  I tell you what, there's nothing like dumplings to feed a group of hungry and stressed girls going through exams.

Dumplings can be one of the most versatile recipes out in the cooking world I think. I haven't yet eaten a dumpling I hated. You can be as creative as you want in terms of the accompanying ingredients you want to use (or if you're like me, it will be "scrape-the-bottom-of-the-fridge-Friday" and you'll be finding a way to use that lone carrot and limp beans in a good way!) as long as it compliments the main component, pork mince.  

In this recipe, I use pre-packaged dumpling skins. You can easily buy these from your local Asian grocer or even try your local supermarket. I know that I have seen them in Woolworths (Australia) in the aisle where the pre-made pasta and sauces (and the cookie dough mmm...) as well. Each pack has about 30 dumpling skins, give or take. I understand that not everyone is as lucky to have an Asian grocer near them though, so also stay tuned for the dumpling skin recipe from scratch!

You've got your ingredients together, skins ready to fold, and I can hear you think "HOW DO I FOLD THESE LITTLE BUNDLES OF JOY??!." Fear not, check out my step by step instructions on how to fold them here.

Once you've made up your dumplings, just like there are a variety of ways to fill them, there are a variety of ways to cook them.  You can put them in a soup base or steamed, pan-fried or deep-fried.  These are perfect to make in a big batch and hide in the freezer for those nights where you can't be bothered to do anything more than to boil water.

And the million dollar question, what do I eat the dumplings with?? My parents and I usually eat ours with a black vinegar and homemade chilli oil sauce that I concocted. Isaac eat his on its own, Lucas dips his in tomato sauce (that boy eats everything with tomato sauce or soy sauce!) and Jac likes his with sweet thai chilli sauce, although these days he is living life on the edge and having it with Sirracha chilli sauce. So how you eat it can be as versatile as to how you fill your dumplings.


500g pork mince (make sure they are not all lean meat, I usually buy collar butt cut and ask the butcher to mince it for me)
2 bunches of chives
3 tablespoons of soy sauce
2 tablespoons of oyster sauce
2 tablespoons of sesame oil
2 teaspoons of sugar
2 teaspoons of corn flour
1/4 cup of water
dumpling skin (4 x 250g packs of dumpling skins)
Extra water to dampen the skin


Clean and finely chop the chives. Mix all the seasoning, mince and chives together and leave it to marinate in fridge for at least 30 minutes. Remember, the longer you marinate, the better it will taste.

As mentioned before, you can either put these in soups, steam it, pan fry or deep fry.

Pan-fried / Sticky pot / Gyoza : Boil some water and set aside. In a non stick pan, heat about 1 teaspoon of oil, add in the dumplings. Let it fry a little, then add water, cover with lid immediately. Turn the heat to medium and let it simmer. When the water is reduced to half give the pan a little shake to unstick the dumplings from the pan. Let it cook. Make sure before the water is completely absorbed, drizzle another teaspoon of oil over the dumplings, cover the lid and give it another good shake. 

Soups : When you soup is boiling, put a few in and cook till they float to the top. Serve hot.

Steam : Ensure dumplings are thawed. Heat your steam pots over high heat. Place them in a bamboo steamer or over a plate if you do not have one. Steam for 10 minutes. 

Deep fried : After steaming, let it cool down completely. In a pot heat enough oil for deep frying. When oil is ready, put the dumplings in. Deep fried till they are golden. Remove, drain and serve immediately.

Stay tuned for the recipe for the black vinegar and chilli oil sauce. It will take these dumplings to a whole other level.  

Isaac loves having sticky pot dumplings, and if he hasn't seen them in his lunch box for a while, a special request will be made.  This is definitely a staple lunch item for my boys! And sometimes for dinner too.  And if there are left overs, for breakfast as well.  Okay, who am I kidding, dumplings are suitable for all times of the day.  

I hope these dumplings becomes one of your family's favourite dish as well.

Happy cooking!

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