Chinese Meat Dumplings
5 cups cored and finely minced Chinese (Napa) cabbage
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound lean ground pork
2 cups finely minced fresh Chinese garlic chives (if unavailable, substitute 1 cup minced leeks – mostly the whites – plus 1 tablespoon minced garlic)
For the Seasonings, mixed together:
2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 1/2 tablespoons rice wine
1 1/2 tablespoons peeled and minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon cornstarch, or more as needed
To Form, Cook, and Serve the Dumplings:
50 dumpling or gyoza skins
Cornstarch as needed
3 quarts water
1. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage and salt and let sit for 30 minutes. (This will draw water out of the cabbage).
2. Squeeze as much water as possible out of the cabbage and combine the cabbage with the ground pork, minced chives, and seasonings in large bowl. Stir vigorously. If the mixture seems loose, add another teaspoon of cornstarch.
3. Place a teaspoon of filling in the center of each dumpling skin and fold the skin over to make a half-moon shape. Spread a little water along the edge of the skin and use the thumb and index finger of one hand to form small pleats along the outside edge of the skin; the inside edge of the dumpling should curve in a semicircular fashion to conform to the shape of the pleated edge. Place the sealed dumplings on a baking sheet lightly dusted with cornstarch.
4. In a large pot, heat the water until boiling. Add half the dumplings, stirring to prevent them from sticking together, and, once the water boils again, cook for 5 minutes. Remove with a handled strainer and drain, and then cook the remaining dumplings. Serve the dumplings with the dipping sauce.
3/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons peeled and finely shredded fresh ginger
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar or Worcestershire sauce
1. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl.
2. Transfer to a serving dish and use at room temperature. Refrigerated, the sauce will keep in a tightly covered container for up to a week.
Copyright Nina Simonds 2004