These homemade pork and cabbage dumplings are perfect to serve as a snack or for lunch with other dim sum dishes. Pan-fry these in some oil or steam for a healthier version.
It’s dumpling time again! There’s just something about dumplings that make me so excited (and hungry). Especially pan-fried dumplings (pot-stickers). It’s probably the crunchy part that makes me go wild. I’m a sucker for crunchy. How about you? I mean, don’t get me wrong: Steamed dumplings are definitely good too and they make me feel a bit healthier when I eat them instead of pan-fried hehe… But biting into a soft filling and hitting that golden brown crunchy bottom.. Oh man, that’s drugs on a plate, right there. Somebody better call the police. Honestly, everyone has to try pan-fried dumplings at least once in their life. It’s super easy and just about any dumpling can be pan-fried.
The dumplings I’m sharing today are filled with pork and cabbage, which is probably my all-time favorite combo for dumplings. They’re perfect for pan-frying (did you know I described the steps for the ultimate crunchy dumpling in this post for you guys?) and taste amazing. As usual, dumplings are super easy to make. Especially, because I like to use frozen wrappers. Yup, frozen. Don’t waste time on making homemade wrappers if you don’t really have the time. It doesn’t make a lot of difference in my opinion and saves you so much time and effort. Who doesn’t want that? And once you’ve tried these homemade dumplings (or should I say semi-homemade?), you’ll never eat store-bought dumplings ever again. Trust me. Store-bought dumplings pale in comparison to homemade ones, because the store-bought dumplings are often stuffed with fat/other non-meat parts, which make them less tasty. In addition, they’re often way over priced.
Whenever I make pork dumplings, I make sure to use 100% ground pork. I’m not sure if this is the case in other countries, but in The Netherlands ground pork is often mixed with ground beef to make it less fatty. As healthy as this may be, this combination tastes terrible in dumplings. Trust me, I’ve tried it (just for health sake) and the dumplings taste really bad unless you drown them in sauce. In which case, you’d be eating sauce with dumplings instead of dumplings with sauce and that’s really not what we’re going for…. ^^”
As for the cabbage, I love using Chinese cabbage. It’s the perfect combo. When using cabbage in dumplings, it’s important to know that cabbage contains quite some water. If you were to add them as-is to the filling, your dumplings will turn into a soggy mess. Not good. By mixing shredded cabbage with a generous amount of salt, most of the water is drawn out by a process called osmosis (science geek right here). Wash the cabbage thoroughly after processing it with salt. Then, place it in a towel and squeeze out as much of the water as possible. Your cabbage is ready to be used as dumpling filling.
Making the filling is easy as pie. All you need to do is throw everything in a bowl and mix it up by hand, with a spoon, in a food processor.. Whatever you want. It all works. As long as it’s well mixed. Once you’ve got the filling, take 1-2 teaspoons of filling, add it to a wrapper and close the wrapper. I’ve described how to pleat dumplings in this post if you’re interested.
At this point you can freeze the dumplings or prepare them in a pan. Whatever you do, do it immediately after wrapping as the moisture of the filling will make the wrappers soggy. To freeze the dumplings, place them at least 1 cm apart on a cookietray/plate. Place the whole plate in the freezer for at least 1 hour. Then, you can transfer the dumplings to a ziploc bag. This way you’ll have individually frozen dumplings (just like the store-bought ones! 😀 ).
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ Chinese cabbage (200-250 g), finely shredded
- 300 g ground pork
- 4-5 scallions, finely chopped
- 1 cm ginger, grated
- 1½ Tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp Shaoxing wine
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 pckg frozen gyoza wrappers, thawed*
- In a bowl, mix the shredded cabbage with the salt. Let is rest for 15-20 minutes.
- Rinse the cabbage thoroughly with cold water. Place the cabbage in the middle of a towel, bring all corners together and twist the towel to squeeze out as much water as possible.
- In a bowl, mix the processed cabbage, ground pork, scallions, ginger, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine and sesame oil.
- Take a dumpling wrapper and add 1-2 teaspoons of filling. Dab a little bit of cold water on the edges and seal the wrappers as desired.
- Steam or pan-fry the dumplings immediately. If you wish, you can also freeze the dumplings.**
- *Let the wrappers thaw under a damp towel to prevent them becoming dry. Leave the damp towel on the wrappers the entire process.
- **Freeze the dumplings immediately after wrapping to prevent the wrappers from becoming soggy. Freeze the dumplings individually on a plate before putting them in a zip-loc bag.(see post above)