Making dumplings at home is incredibly easy; the hardest part about the whole process is pleating them (which is easy!). These dumplings have a short list of ingredients, but are nevertheless incredibly flavorful, perfect for dunking in a range of different sauces.
- 1 pound pork shoulder or pork belly, trimmed of connective tissue, but with fat intact, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/4 pound slab bacon, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, frozen
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons chicken stock, pork stock, or cold water
- 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 16 scallions, white and green parts, finely sliced
- Round dumpling wrappers (either store-bought, or homemade)
Toss cubes of pork and salt in a medium bowl. Spread the pork pieces on a rimmed baking sheet, leaving space between the pieces than place in the freezer for 15 minutes until just starting to freeze, but still pliable.
In bowl of food processor, combine salted pork, bacon, egg, stock, soy sauce, and sugar. Process until a rough puree is formed and pieces of pork are no larger than 1/8th of an inch, about 20 seconds. Add leeks to food processor and pulse until evenly incorporated, about 6 one-second pulses.
Working with a few skins at a time, place approximately 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of each wrapper. Use your finger to spread a small amount of water around the edge of each wrapper. Seal wrappers by folding in half and pleating one side 5 or 6 times, pinching the edges together as you go. Place finished dumplings on a parchment-lined baking sheet, separating them to avoid sticking, and covering the whole thing with a clean, damp washcloth.
Line a bamboo steamer with wilted cabbage or lettuce leaves, or create a parchment liner. Place dumplings in steamer, leaving a small gap between each one a place over a wok of simmering water. Steam for 7 to 9 minutes until skins are translucent and filling is cooked through. Serve immediately with soy sauce, chili paste, Chinkiang vinegar, black vinegar, or plain rice vinegar.
Wok, bamboo steamer