My friend/former roommate/blogger, Christine of Feed My Sole came over last week to make Korean-style dumplings. While we lived together in Long Beach, we took turns sharing food from our respective cultures (Korean and Filipino). Christine was my guinea pig as I learned how to make Korean dishes like japchae (vermicelli noodle salad) and ddukbokki (spicy rice cakes). We were reliving our roommate days as we tried this dumpling recipe from a past Food and Wine magazine by Chef Anita Lo. It’s easy and delicious. Once you try these, you won’t want to go back to the frozen kind they sell at the Asian markets (and Trader Joes). It does involve a little technique in mastering the dumpling stuffing stage, but with a little practice, you’ll learn to be a pro, just like Christine (this was her first time).
The first time I made this recipe, I only put about 1 tablespoon of filling which was too little for me. I like mine more plump so I filled them with 1 1/2-2 TB of filling. First time around, I made 70 dumplings, second time it yielded 62 dumplings.
Notes: you can purchase gyoza/dumpling wrappers at an Asian grocery store. I bought 2 packets, each containing about 45 wrappers. For the pork, I bought 95% lean ground pork (don’t buy this at the Korean market). Also, use good quality kimchi (I prefer Ocinet) that is ripe or just a few days past ripe (a bit sour is ok).
pork and kimchi dumplings (adapted from F&W)
(makes about 65-70)
1 lb. of lean ground pork
3 cups, kimchi, chopped and drained (give it a good squeeze)
4 scallions, thinly sliced (use both green and white parts)
4 tsp cornstarch
1 TB sugar
1 TB soy sauce
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
70 gyoza wrappers
1 cup water
1. Except for the last 2 ingredients, place and mix everything into a large mixing bowl.
2. Once you have your filling (should look like this), get out some old newspaper to cover your work station. I like using the dining table. Set up a baking sheet cover w/parchment or wax paper, a medium bowl filled w/water, your gyoza wrappers, a spoon, and a plate.
3. Spread out 4 wrappers on a plate and place 1 1/2 TB (1 heaping TB is fine) of filling in the middle of each one. Dip your finger into the water bowl and moisten the perimeter a wrapper. Hold 2 ends of the filled wrapper like a taco and press the edges to firmly seal. I like to add pleats (about 5) to mine. Transfer to the baking sheet. Repeat the process until you’ve used all your filling.
4. (Optional, but recommended) Test out your filling by pan frying your first few dumplings. On medium heat, place 1 TB of vegetable oil and fry the dumplings, about 3 minutes on each side or until lightly brown and crispy. Add more soy sauce, scallions, and kimchi as needed.
5. To prepare your dipping sauce, pour 1 1/2 TB of soy sauce, 1 tsp of rice wine vinegar (or regular is fine) and sprinkle some toasted seeds and sliced scallions. Freeze the remaining ones on a baking sheet (so they don’t stick together) and place in a gallon Ziploc bag in the freezer. Pan fry, steam, or boil them to enjoy.