Dumpling night — an evening my friends and I decided to plan earlier this semester — will forever go down as one of the most memorable and enjoyable nights I’ve had here at the University. Though dumpling making can be long and tedious, it is a process that is meant to be shared with loved ones, and this fall I am hoping to have many more dumpling nights shared with my friends and family.
Throughout the week prior, I eagerly anticipated my apartment’s dumpling night — it was our first, and most definitely not our last. The day before, we had gone grocery shopping for the ingredients at C’ville Oriental, a local Asian grocery store that is only around a 13-minute drive from Grounds!
Before starting, however, my friends and I thought it would be a good idea to give one of our moms a quick FaceTime call to walk us through the process, as most of them have done their fair share of dumpling making. The following recipe comes from one of my friend’s mothers, who walked six college students step-by-step through the process of homemade Chinese dumpling making.
Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 30 minutes
Yields: around 80 dumplings
- 3 bundles of chives
- 2.5 pounds of ground pork
- 4 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 2 packs of dumpling wrappings (around 40 wrappings per pack)
- 1 ginger root
- 1 bundle of green onions
- First you make the filling. Start by getting a big bowl that is large enough to fit all of your ingredients minus the wrapping.
- Chop your chives and green onion into small pieces.
- Peel and then chop your ginger root into slices. Then, place these ginger pieces into a cup of water. Smash the ginger in this cup with a fork or other pronged utensil you have on hand. Do this until you feel as though you’ve gotten most of the ginger juice out of the physical root.
- Place your ground pork and chopped veggies into the bowl.
- Take your ginger and water and strain it into the bowl so that you’re left with the smashed ginger pieces. You can toss those into the trash.
- Next, add your oyster sauce and your soy sauce.
- Now, time to get hands on! Mixing with your hands is the best way to thoroughly mix filling. If you have plastic gloves on hand put those on, but, if not, no worries! You can just mix with your hands as long as you give them a good wash before starting.
- Mix until all ingredients are evenly spread throughout.
- Next, I recommend cooking tiny pieces of filling in a pan and taste testing, adding more ingredients as needed. I found that my filling wasn’t as salty as I wanted it to be at first, so I had added little dashes of soy sauce until it was the perfect flavor.
- Once you have the filling to perfection, you are ready to assemble the dumplings. First, prepare a bowl of warm water which you’ll use to seal the wrappings.
- Get one thin dumpling wrapping from your pack and dip your fingers into the water bowl. Line the edges of the wrapping with warm water and place a small spoonful of filling in the center.
- First, fold over the wrapping and connect in the middle. Next, make three little folds on one side of the middle in the same direction and then do the same thing on the other still in the same direction.
- Make sure all parts of the dumpling are sealed and then place that dumpling aside to be cooked.
- After repeating this for all of your wrappings, now it’s time to start cooking.
- My friends and I boiled and pan fried our dumplings to get two different textures. If you want to boil your dumpling, heat up a pot of water until boiling.
- Then, gently place your dumplings into the water making sure they are submerged. Leave them to boil for approximately four to five minutes.
- If you are pan frying, turn your heat to medium and put a little cooking oil on your pan. Place your dumplings into the pan and fry for approximately two to three minutes, or until the bottom becomes light brown. Make sure all sides are thoroughly cooked.
- Now, you are ready to enjoy your dumplings.
Although the prep for making homemade dumplings is quite lengthy, it is one of the most fun and wholesome activities to do with friends and family, and one where you can enjoy the tasty fruits of your labor after.