Pork and Chive Dumplings with Dried Shrimp (韭菜饺子)

Pork and Chive Dumplings with Dried Shrimp (韭菜饺子)

These classic pleated Chinese dumplings are delicious either steamed or fried. When steamed, they’re called zhēngjiǎo  (蒸餃), and when fried, they’re called guōtiē (鍋貼, literally “pot stickers”). Look for the wrappers- labelled as pot sticker, dumpling, or gyoza wrappers- you can find them in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores, or stop by an Asian market. You can omit the dried shrimp if you can’t find it, but the dumplings will not have as much depth of flavor. The garlic chives used in this recipe are also called Chinese chives in some markets. They are a bit different in flavor and appearance from regular chives- look for long, thick chives that look flat as opposed to round. If you just can’t seem to get the hang of making these dumplings by hand, most Asian markets also sell little plastic dumpling presses that make the job much easier.

For filling:

  • 2 teaspoons dried shrimp
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine, such as Shaoxing, or dry Sherry
  • 6 oz. Napa cabbage (1/4 medium head), roughly chopped
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1 bunch golden or green garlic chives, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 scallions (green parts only), thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch (heaping tablespoon)

For frying:

  • 4 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • About 40 dumpling wrappers

Special equipment: 2 large baking sheets; large saucepan or large nonstick skillet with tight-fitting lid; metal or bamboo steamer (if steaming dumplings)

For filling:

Combine all ingredients and stir until well-blended. Set aside to fill dumplings.

Fill and pleat dumplings:

Line a large baking sheet with paper towels and dust lightly with flour. Hold 1 wrapper in palm of hand. Using fingertip dipped in water, gently wet around edge of wrapper. Place 1 heaping tablespoon filling in center of wrapper, then fold wrapper in half without sealing edges, cupping half-moon (open side-up) between thumb and fingers and gently tamping down filling with other hand to keep edge of wrapper free of filling.

Using thumb and forefinger of left hand, begin pinching edges of wrapper together while pushing 1 edge into tiny pleats with thumb of right hand. Continue pleating and pinching across entire semicircle until wrapper is sealed (unpleated side will automatically curve). Set dumpling, sealed edge up, on baking sheet and repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.

To steam dumplings:

In large saucepan with tight-fitting lid, bring 1 1/2 inches water to boil. Lightly oil metal steamer (if using bamboo, line with cabbage leaves to prevent sticking) and set in pan. Arrange dumplings, sealed edges up, on steamer, cover, and steam until filling is firm and wrappers are slightly translucent.

To pan-fry dumplings:

In large lidded nonstick sauté pan over moderately high heat, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil until hot but not smoking. Add 13 to 14 dumplings, pleated sides up and sides not touching, and immediately pour in enough cold water to come halfway up sides of dumplings (use care; oil may splatter). Cover and cook until liquid is evaporated and bottoms of dumplings are crisp and golden. (Use spatula to loosen and lift edges to check bottoms; replace lid and continue cooking if necessary, checking after 1 to 2 minutes.) Transfer dumplings, crisp sides up, to platter and keep warm. Repeat with remaining 2 batches of dumplings.

Serve dumplings warm with dipping sauce.

Makes about 40 dumplings.

Cook’s Notes: These dumplings keep well in the freezer. Place wax paper on a baking sheet, then space dumplings evenly, and freeze. Once the dumplings are frozen, transfer to a freezer bag for easy storage. Dumplings that have been frozen this way will cook best when pan-fried.