Pork and Cabbage Dumplings

I swear it was January just a few days ago. Oh well a new month means a new recipe. Thank Ariel for hooking us up with some dumplings. I love eating them but up until this point never knew how (or bothered) to make them. While this recipe does take a while, it is well worth the time it takes to prepare.

Pork And Cabbage Gyoza by ArielCooks

Dumplings are ubiquitous in some form in almost every culture. Let’s just say I haven’t met a dumpling I didn’t like. Making them at home is maybe more work than I would typically do for a weeknight meal, but they are usually made in such large quantities that I can put in a little extra effort up front, and end up with several meals in the freezer for later on. This is the kind of bargain I’m into. In this case, there is no way my husband and I can eat 50 dumplings in one sitting (hard as we may try). I would recommend doing this when you have some time to spare, and picking a comfortable seated position for the dumpling forming portion – you’ll be there for a while.

Recipe adapted from J. Kenji López-Alt’s “The Best Japanese Pork and Cabbage Dumpling (Gyoza)” on Serious Eats.

For the Dumplings:

  • 1 pound finely minced Napa cabbage – a food processor works well here
  • ½ teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic (about 3 medium cloves), minced or pressed through a garlic press.
  • 2 ounces minced scallions (about 3 whole scallions)
  • 1 package round dumpling wrappers (40 to 50 wrappers)
  • Vegetable or canola oil for cooking

For the Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chili oil (optional)
Directions:

Combine cabbage and 2 teaspoons salt in a large bowl and toss to combine. Transfer to a fine mesh strainer and set it over the bowl. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.

After that, place cabbage in the center of a clean dish towel and gather up the edges. Twist the towel to squeeze the cabbage, wringing out as much moisture as possible.

Combine pork, drained cabbage, remaining teaspoon salt, pepper, garlic, ginger, scallions, and sugar in a large bowl and knead and turn with clean hands until the mixture is homogenous and starting to feel tacky/sticky.

Set up a work station with a small bowl of water, a clean dish towel for wiping your fingers, a bowl with the dumpling filling, a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet for the finished dumplings, and a stack of dumpling wrappers covered in plastic wrap.

To form dumplings, hold one wrapper on top of a flat hand. Using a spoon, place a ½ tablespoon-sized amount of filling in the center of the wrapper. Use the tip of the finger on your other hand to very gently moisten the edge of the wrapper with water (do not use too much water). Wipe fingertip dry on kitchen towel.

Working from one side, carefully seal the filling inside the wrapper by folding it into a crescent shape, pleating in edge as it meets the other. Transfer finished dumplings to the parchment lined baking sheet.

The dumplings may be frozen by placing the baking sheet in the freezer. Freeze dumplings for at least 30 minutes then transfer to a zipper-lock freezer bag for long-term storage. Dumplings can be frozen for up to 2 months and cooked directly from the freezer.

Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a medium non-stick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add as many dumplings as will fit in a single layer and cook, swirling pan, until evenly golden brown on the bottom surface, about 1 1/2 minutes.

After that, increase heat to medium-high, add 1/2 cup of water and cover tightly with a lid. Let dumplings steam for 3 minutes (5 minutes if frozen), then remove lid. Continue cooking, swirling pan frequently and using a thin spatula to gently dislodge the dumplings if they’ve stuck to the bottom of the pan, until the water has fully evaporated and the dumplings have crisped again, about 2 minutes longer. Slide dumplings onto a plate, serve with the sauce.


Note from the Author:

Meals should be delicious.

They shouldn’t be complicated or expensive. Most importantly they should be practical. Creating and sharing a meal with loved ones is something I value greatly, but not at the expense of the time we share together.

While I do typically try to cook with a lot of vegetables, food should be satisfying and occasionally indulgent. At the end of the day, small or large, whatever you feel you can do consistently is the most important aspect of any positive change.

* Follow her on Instagram at, ArielThinks or check out all her recipes here.*

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