Living in Singapore for three years gave me the opportunity to try a variety of dumplings – from har gaw (shrimp dumplings) to siew mai (steamed pork dumplings). I loved them all, whether they were steamed or fried. The best dumplings I’ve tried were a bit in between though – they were pan fried, similar to Japanese gyoza. Jon said they were similar to the Korean dumplings he used to eat in Taiwan. The best part about the pan fried dumplings is that they have that crunchy outer layer and a soft, moist meat filling. Now, who can resist that?
While it’s easy to find pan fried dumplings in just about any hawker centre in Singapore, they aren’t as readily accessible in New Zealand.
After a visit to the local Asian supermarket to grab some Korean Ice Cream, I also found some round dumpling wrappers and thought it was time to make some pan-fried dumplings. I had to do some research on how to cook them, but it didn’t seem too difficult. If you are not familiar with how to fold dumplings there are a lot of videos online that can guide you through this process. The idea is to keep your dumpling wrapper moist and put just enough filling so you don’t have any issues when you fold them together. Also keep a bowl of water handy or a cornstarch water slurry to seal the edges.
To cook the dumplings, the idea is to shallow fry the outer skin until it is a nice light brown then add just enough water (1/4 cup should be enough for about 8 dumplings) then cover it quickly. Leave it to steam for a few minutes or until the water has completely evaporated. Let the dumplings crisp a bit more then drain with paper towels.
To prepare the dipping sauce, you can use either a ready made sweet chilli sauce or you can make a more traditional vinegar, soy sauce, chilli oil and ginger mix. It’s really up to you.
Here’s the receipe for my Chinese Pan Fried Dumplings:
- 1 pack (30 sheets) Frozen Dumpling Wrappers, thawed
- 500 g mince pork
- 1 pc white onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- oil (for frying)
- soy sauce
- chilli oil
Prepare the Dumpling Filling
In a large bowl, combine mince pork, onion, garlic, salt, and black pepper. Mix well. Set aside.
Make the Dumplings
Place a dumpling wrapper on a flat working surface. Use your finger to moisten the edges of the wrappers with water. Put about 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of the mixture in the lower center of the wrapper. Turn the dumpling over to make a semi circle then fold the sides of the outer layer inward so that they overlap. Wet the portions of the sides that meet. Set aside while you finish making the remaining dumplings.
Note: Keep the dumpling wrappers covered with a damp towel at all times to prevent the edges from drying and cracking.
Lay the dumpling neatly with a piece of baking paper between each layer if you are stacking them.
Cooking the Pan-Fried Dumplings
Preheat a large wok or frying pan then fill with about 1 inch deep high-heat cooking oil. When hot enough, gently slide in the dumplings (about 8 to 10 dumplings per batch). Fry the dumplings for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side, turning often until they are light brown and crisp. Add about 1/4 cup of water then cover the pan.
Reduce the heat if the dumplings brown too easily. Take the cover off and check the dumplings. When the water has nearly evaporated, let the dumpling crisp a little more. Remove the cooked dumplings from the pan and drain on paper towels. Serve while hot with soy sauce and vinegar with chilli oil (or any sauce that you like).
Have you tried this Chinese Pan Fried Dumplings Recipe ? What did you think? Do you have your own way of making dumplings?