Dumplings by UNE Life Functions and Catering

Deliciously Simple Dumplings

Blog and recipe from the lovely Scott Leven, Chef extraordinaire and Food and Beverage Manager at UNE Life, Functions & Catering

This is, without a doubt, one of my favourite things to eat. I love them and could eat a thousand!

And, I have to say, I’m lucky to have been taught by some very talented people over the years… I have fond memories of my friends and I sitting around a table, folding and pleating the delicious bundles.

Now, I’m not fantastic at wrapping them, but it really doesn’t matter that much. Even an ugly dumpling (isn’t there a story about that 🤔) still tastes amazing! However, “the fold” is rather satisfying when you finally get the hang of it. There are plenty of videos on YouTube demonstrating this pro technique – I particularly like this one.

When it comes to fillings, traditional recipes will use pork mince, cabbage, and garlic chives. Today, I strayed a little and used pork mince, shitake mushrooms and silverbeet, because I love experimenting in the kitchen and I have to say they turned out really nicely!

I am seriously in love with dumplings. The crispy golden base… and the steamed top… I also love the way they’re cooked – just popped in a pan with a bit of water – easy as!

Did I mention that dumplings are one of my all-time favourite foods? Perfectly salty, silky smooth, deliciously moist, just one more… This is a recipe best shared with friends – give it a go!

DID YOU KNOW …

  • According to legend, Chinese stuffed dumplings were invented during the Han Dynasty by a man named Zhang Zhongjian
  • Shiitake mushrooms are low in calories. They also offer good amounts of fiber, as well as B vitamins and some minerals.
  • Dumplings are also known as potstickers or gyoza originated in China (where they are called jiaozi), but have become a very popular dish in Japan.

INGREDIENTS:

Makes around: 40 delicious dumplings 🥰

  • 1 1/2 cups silverbeet and baby spinach, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp salt, separated
  • 1 lb / 500g ground pork (mince) (fattier the better)
  • 1 cup shallots, finely chopped (Note 1)
  • Shitake mushrooms 2 punnets
  • 1 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • Gow gee wrapper (find in the refrigerator section alongside noodles at your local supermarket)

METHOD:

Filling the dumplings:

  1. Chop the spinach, dice the shitake and slice the shallots. Fry off in a pan, removing the moisture. Set aside to cool.
  2. Mince the ginger and garlic.
  3. Add all ingredients together in a bowl. Use your hands to mix the filling.
  4. Add the sesame oil and soy sauce.
  5. season to taste. To get this just right, fry off a small amount in a pan, taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  6. Sprinkle a baking tray with 1 tsp of cornflour.
  7. Place 1 gyoza wrapper on the palm of your hand. Dip your finger in water and run it around the edge of half the wrapper (this is the glue).
  8. Place 1 slightly heaped tbsp of filling on the wrapper (not too much or it will be hard to wrap). Fold the wrapper over and use your right hand assisted by your left thumb to create 4 pleats. Press to seal and place on the tray. Repeat with remaining wrappers.
    IF this is too hard – you can just fold it in half without pleats – I promise, it’ll still taste delicious.

I recommend taking the time to watch a video or two and having a go at the traditional technique. It can take a bit of getting used to, but the satisfaction will ultimately be yours.

Cooking:

  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large frypan (that has a lid) over medium to high heat.
  2. Fill the frypan with gyoza, slightly overlapping each other. Cook until the underside is lightly golden, then pour 1 cup of water around the gyoza and place the lid on.
  3. Cook until the water has completely evaporated (so the golden underside is not wet and soggy) and the wrapper is slightly translucent on top – about 3 to 4 minutes (add more water if necessary).
  4. Slide the dumplings out of the frypan and flip onto a plate upside down, golden side up.
  5. Serve with your choice of sauce (a bit of soy and vinegar, or sriracha perhaps).

Here’s a few snaps from my kitchen to yours:

Dumplings by UNE Life Functions and Catering

Dumplings by UNE Life Functions and Catering

Dumplings by UNE Life Functions and Catering

Dumplings by UNE Life Functions and Catering

Dumplings by UNE Life Functions and Catering

Dumplings by UNE Life Functions and Catering

And if you want to see a little video of the fold – head over to our Instagram!

SAVE THEM OR PREPREPARE:

I mentioned dumplings are great to share – sometimes its fun to make them with your guests, but if you’re like me and like to be organised here are a few tips.

  1. FREEZING: Place the delicious dumplings in an airtight container, place raw gyoza in a single layer, and top with cling wrap (for extra airtightness or multiple layers). Cook from frozen using the same method, just add an extra splash of water and cook for about 2 minutes longer. The extra water keeps the underside from burning.
  2. REFRIGERATION: use the same steps as freezing, but don’t cook for the extra time or add extra water, just be careful not to leave them too long, or the filling will eat through the pastry and you’ll have holey dumplings.

DELICIOUS!

We want to see what your dumplings looks like, tag us @lifefunctionscatering and we will share them in our stories!

PS: If you’re in Armidale, don’t forget to drop into The Shop, we’ve just launched a little range of delectable pickles, relishes, and jams!