Soy and Ginger Dumplings
When eating at Dunedin’s Japanese restaurants, dumplings are a favourite choice of mine. The art of balancing them between chopsticks while dunking them in the provided dipping sauce is comparable to the art of making them yourself – seemingly daunting, but remarkably easy after you’ve done it once. I used dark soy sauce, which is slightly syrupy and sweeter, so reduce the quantity to three tablespoons if you use regular soy sauce. The plum sauce compliments the dumplings with its tartness, and the water chestnuts add a delightful crunch. Enjoy with chopsticks or eat without cutlery, finger-food styles.
- 2 tbs rice bran or canola oil
- 1 thumb-sized piece ginger, finely grated
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled and finely diced
- 350g pork mince
- 2 tbs sweet chilli sauce
- 4 tbs soy sauce
- 1 tbs hoisin sauce
- 1 can water chestnuts, drained and chopped (optional)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 packet wonton wrappers
- 1/2 cup water
- Mung bean sprouts, to serve
- Plum sauce, for dipping
Method01 | Defrost the wonton wrappers in advance. If you are using the entire 100-sheet packet, this will take several hours. However, I find it easiest to separate the required number of sheets and place on a plate for half an hour to come to room temperature. For this recipe, you will need approximately 30 square wonton wrappers.
02 | Heat half of the oil over a medium heat in a large non-stick frypan. Add the ginger and garlic and fry for one minute, stirring frequently.
03 | Put the fried ginger and garlic in a large bowl with the pork mince, sweet chilli sauce, soy sauce, hoisin sauce and water chestnuts. There is no better way to combine the mixture than by using your hands, so roll your sleeves up and get right in there. Mix until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.
04 | To prepare each dumpling, place a teaspoonful of the mixture in the centre of an individual dumpling sheet. Brush two perpendicular sides of the wrapper with a little beaten egg. Fold in half to form a triangle, pressing any air out, then press the edges together. Fold the longer edges over if you wish, otherwise leave as a triangle.
05 | Heat the remaining oil over a medium heat in a large non-stick frypan. Fry the dumplings until brown on one side. Turn the dumplings over, cook for one minute, then pour 1/2 cup of water into the pan and steam the dumplings until the water has evaporated. Cook in two batches if you are unable to fit all the dumplings in the pan in a single layer.
06 | Serve with mung bean sprouts and plum sauce.
Makes about 30 dumplings for under $10.
Photo by James Stringer