Homemade dumplings are one of my favorite appetizers to serve at parties. When I’m short on time, I’ll stop at the local Asian market and pick up pre-made frozen dumplings, which are fine. But when I have a bit more time, there’s nothing quite like fresh, steamed, homemade dumplings.
These may use some ingredients that are unfamiliar to the average home cook, but they’re all available in the international aisle at most grocery stores. Once you begin tasting and experimenting with ingredients like sweet chili sauce, toasted sesame oil and sambal, there’s no going back. These flavorful condiments have the power to transform meat, vegetables and rice into a healthy, Asian-inspired meal.
The best thing about these dumplings is that they can be assembled several days prior to cooking them. You can steam them just before guests arrive and then serve them either warm or at room temperature.
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yields: 20+ dumplings
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons scallions, thinly sliced
- 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sambal oelek
- Small dumpling wrappers, such as Nasoya Round Wraps
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Sweet chili sauce for dipping, such as Mae Ploy
- Heat the ground pork in a skillet over low heat. Allow the fat to render from the pork, stirring periodically, and then turn up the heat to medium. If the meat begins sticking to the pan at any point, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil. Once the meat is mostly cooked through, approximately 5 minutes, add the garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, for another 2 minutes, or until the garlic is fragrant. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool.
- In a medium bowl, combine the pork, scallions, soy sauce, sesame oil and sambal.
- Fill a small bowl with water. Pick up a dumpling wrapper and wet the top edge of it with some water. Place a teaspoon of the pork filling into the wrapper, fold it in half and press the edges together. Place the dumpling on a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining filling.
- Heat approximately 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a skillet on medium heat. Taking care not to overcrowd the pan, add several dumplings (7 or 8 for an average size skillet) flat-side down. Cook for 30 to 60 seconds, until the bottoms are nice and brown, gently swirling the pan around to prevent sticking. Immediately add 1/4 cup of water, cover the pan with a tight fitting lid and turn the heat down to low. Be careful as the oil might spatter. Cook for another 1 to 2 minutes, until the wrapper is nicely steamed and most of the water is gone from the pan. Set the cooked dumplings aside and repeat until all the dumplings are cooked.
- Serve with sweet chili sauce.
Photo credit: Jennifer Farley