I am obsessed with making dumplings these days. The filling is endlessly customizable, they're therapeutic to fold, and they store well in the freezer. And I know it goes unsaid, but they are so so so delicious! This version of dumplings is filled with two classics: savory, juicy pork and spicy, sour kimchi. A perfect combo, if you ask me. If you're not a kimchi fan, try this recipe instead! This recipe will make about 80 dumplings in an hour and fifteen. 45 minutes if you have a dumpling-folding partner!
For me, making dumplings has turned into a self-care session. Every part of it is calming: kneading the pork with cornstarch, methodically chopping aromatics, and carefully pleating the dumpling wrappers. It's a small escape from the embarrassment of US politics and the harrowing reality that we're slowly ruining our planet with single use plastic and fossil fuels... Anyway. I like them because they're fun, ok?! And I hope you like them, too.
1 lb ground pork
2 teaspoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons water
2 cups kimchi (2 weeks old or older is best)
2 tablespoons ginger, grated
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1/2 cup scallions, green and white, finely chopped
1 teaspoon Thai bird chilies, finely minced (optional for extra spice)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons white pepper (or sub 1 teaspoon black pepper)
2 packages (about 40 each) gyoza skins
For the dipping sauce:
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons black vinegar
1 teaspoon chili oil (less if you aren't a spicy bitch like me)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Optional: Lao Gan Ma spicy chili crisp is AMAZING with this, too!
Make the filling and the dipping sauce:
In a large mixing bowl, add the pork, water, and cornstarch. Stir and massage for 6-7 minutes with a spoon or by hand to tenderize the meat. The consistency should turn a little paste-like.
Add the kimchi, ginger, garlic, scallions, soy sauce, sesame oil, mirin, and chilies to the pork and combine to mix.
Make the dipping sauce by whisking together all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
Wrapping the dumplings:
It gets easier with each time, I promise!
Set up your wrapping station. You'll need a small bowl of water, a wax paper-lined tray, and a spoon.
Place a wrapper the palm of your non-dominant hand (SHOUT OUT LEFTIES!) and spoon about a tablespoon of filling into the center of the wrapper. Do not overfill! It's best to start out with small amounts and work your way up once you have the muscle memory.
Using your finger, wet the edges of the wrapper.
Fold the wrapper in half, pinching tightly at the top center.
Using your index finger and thumb clasp, pleat each side of the dumpling two times. You only have to pleat one side. (See photos!) This will ensure the dumpling is curved and will be able to stand on its own. If two pleats are too difficult, try this method! If the sides aren't sticking together, wet the tips of your fingers and pinch again to seal.
You can fry them immediately or freeze them in a single layer for later.
Pan fry the dumplings:
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil on medium-high heat in a large pan.
Place gyoza in the pan, seam-side up. Fry on medium-high heat for about 2 minutes, or until you see the bottom edges start to brown and crisp.
Lower the heat to a small flame, and add about 3 tablespoons water to the pan. Be careful! The water will splatter. Quickly cover the pan, leaving a small vent for steam to escape. Allow the gyoza to steam for about 6 minutes.
Serve immediately with the dipping sauce and enjoy!
You can also steam them for 10 minutes or boil them in your favorite soup!
Bury me in dumplings, honestly.