Interviews: Cheryl’s pork and cabbage dumplings

DSC_1721So Cheryl specified “wonton noodle soup” for her meal. This recipe doesn’t have noodles in it, and I don’t know if my dumplings are wonton dumplings…? I think I used wonton wrappers – so that’s ok right? Also Cheryl suggested pork mince and prawns in the filling… but because I couldn’t figure out all the sustainability issues with the prawns, I substituted cabbage. But otherwise this is totally the meal Cheryl requested. Totes.

Ingredients and method

This recipe makes LOTS of dumplings – over 60. I froze a lot of mine. If you are going to the trouble of making dumplings you may as well make a lot and freeze them. I’d also recommend roping in friends/ family to help make the dumplings

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For the broth – if you are going to make your own stock you will need to start this a bit of ahead of time. This stock takes about 2 hours to make:

– chicken carcass

– 1 red onion quartered

– 5 garlic cloves peeled

– 2.5cm wedge of ginger

– 1 carrot chopped

– salt to taste

– 3 tablespoons soy sauce

– 3 litres of water

Put all the ingredients in a large pot. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer. Skim any fat or gunky stuff off the surface every now and again. The stock will take about 2 hours to make. Taste it at this time to adjust the seasoning if necessary. When it’s ready strain the soup through a sieve.

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When you are ready to use the broth for the dumpling soup you can add a handful of presoaked porcini/ shitake mushrooms and a couple of handfuls of bok choy.

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To make the dumplings (adapted from the Kitchn’s Kenny Lao’s Rickshaw Dumplings – see here):

– wonton/ dumpling wrappers – suggest getting two packs (you can make your own, but I was lazy. I found these wrappers at my local Asian grocer)

– half a head of cabbage

– 1 tbsp salt

– 500g pork mince

– 1 bunch spring onions chopped (keep some aside for garnish)

– 1/4 cup soy sauce

– 2 tspn minced ginger

– 2 tbsp sesame oil

– 2 tsp freshly ground pepper

– 2 eggs beaten

1. Cut the cabbage crosswise into thin strips. Toss in a large bowl with the salt and set aside for 5 minutes. Take handfuls of and wring out the moisture (I didn’t have much). Dump out any remaining water in the bowl. Combine the cabbage with the pork, spring onions, soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil, pepper and eggs. Mix well with a large spoon or, preferably, your clean hands.

2. Set yourself up in a spacious work area with the dumpling wrappers, a little bowl of water and a large cutting board or cookie sheet. Grab a helper or two. Lay out a dozen or so dumpling wrappers. Place about 1 tablespoon filling in the center of each wrapper. Dip your fingertip in the water and trace the outside edge of the wrapper with water. Fold the wrapper over to make a half circle and make a press at the top of the curve. Press around the outside of the dumpling to make a half circle and press firmly all the way around (ok I know this isn’t a little dumpling pouch – but it’s easy!)

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DSC_17243. Bring your stock to the boil. I added some presoaked porcini and shitake mushrooms at this point – but this is optional. When the stock is boiling drop in as many dumplings as you want (not all 70 though – about 5/6 per person is usually a good number) and leave to cook for about 5 minutes (they cook pretty quickly. After this time, I’d recommend cutting one dumpling open to make sure the mince inside is done. If you are using bok choy add it at this point just to let it wilt. And you are done. Dish up the soup into bowls and garnish with spring onions.