Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Daring Cooks #2 Chinese dumplings...

And here it is - this special time each month - to post out our completed challenge. This month's challenge was to make traditional Chinese dumplings - you should know them as wontons. I always wanted to make them, but it never really happened ;) This was a great opportunity for me to finally try it! The dough wasn't so difficult - though, you have to make right the amount of the flour and water, that can be tricky. The filling was our choice and as my Hubby like his meat ;) I choose pork filling as suggested by the host of the challenge - Jen from and I made a sweet ones too - blueberry filling :)

How to make it...

- 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (113g) warm water
- flour for work surface
- 450g ground pork
- 4 large napa cabbage leaves, minced
- 3 stalks green onions, minced
- 7 shitake mushrooms, minced (if dried - rehydrated and rinsed carefully)
- 1/2 cup bamboo shoots, minced
- 1/4 cup ginger root, minced
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
Dipping sauce:
- 2 parts soy sauce
- 1 part vinegar (red wine or black)
- a few drops of sesame oil
- chili garlic paste (optional)
- minced ginger (optional)
- minced garlic (optional)
- minced green onion (optional)
- sugar (optional)

I also made a sweet version of those dumplings with blueberries. They were served with some Greek yogurt and brown sugar - yum! :)

Instructions how to make the dough by Jen:
Method 1: Place the flour in the work bowl of a food processor with the dough blade. Run the processor and pour the warm water in until incorporated. Pour the contents into a sturdy bowl or onto a work surface and knead until uniform and smooth. The dough should be firm and silky to the touch and not sticky.[Note: it’s better to have a moist dough and have to incorporate more flour than to have a dry and pilling dough and have to incorporate more water).
Make the dough, Method 2 (Jen's mom’s instructions): In a large bowl mix flour with 1/4 cup of water and stir until water is absorbed. Continue adding water one teaspoon at a time and mixing thoroughly until dough pulls away from sides of bowl. We want a firm dough that is barely sticky to the touch.
Knead the dough about twenty strokes then cover with a damp towel for 15 minutes. Take the dough and form a flattened dome. Cut into strips about 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide. Shape the strips into rounded long cylinders. On a floured surface, cut the strips into 3/4 inch pieces. Press palm down on each piece to form a flat circle (you can shape the corners in with your fingers). With a rolling pin, roll out a circular wrapper from each flat disc. Take care not to roll out too thin or the dumplings will break during cooking - about 1/16th inch. Leave the centers slightly thicker than the edges. Place a tablespoon of filling in the center of each wrapper and fold the dough in half, pleating the edges along one side. Keep all unused dough under damp cloth.

Filling - meaty:
Combine all filling ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly (I mix by clean hand). Cover and refrigerate until ready to use (up to a day, but preferably within an hour or two). - Easy peasy ;)

To boil:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add dumplings to pot. Boil the dumplings until they float.
To steam:
Place dumplings on a single layer of napa cabbage leaves or on a well-greased surface in a steamer basket with lid. Steam covered for about 6 minutes.
To pan fry (potstickers): Place dumplings in a frying pan with 2-3 tbsp of vegetable oil. Heat on high and fry for a few minutes until bottoms are golden. Add 1/2 cup water and cover. Cook until the water has boiled away and then uncover and reduce heat to medium or medium low. Let the dumplings cook for another 2 minutes then remove from heat and serve.
To freeze:
Assemble dumplings on a baking sheet so they are not touching. It helps to rub the base of the dumpling in a little flour before setting on the baking sheet for ease of release. Freeze for 20-30 minutes until dumplings are no longer soft. Place in ziploc bag and freeze for up to a couple of months. Prepare per the above instructions, but allow extra time to ensure the filling is thoroughly cooked.



  1. Beautiful pleating and I really love the blueberry dumplings - good to hear that it's still sunny (for the moment). Yes I had some problems with the ratio of water/flour I had to add about 45mls of extra water. Always good to visit your blog, Cheers from cold and wet Sydney.

  2. Your dumplings are so cute! And those blueberries look delicious.

  3. Great pictures of your perfectly pleated dumplings! I'll have to try your sweet version. It sounds wonderful!

  4. Beautiful dumplings! I bet the blueberry ones were great!

  5. Great job, your pictures are fantastic!! Next time around I'm going to try a sweet version to, your blueberry dumplings have inspired me!

  6. Yours look so perfect - great job! I'm going to try some fruit ones soon.

  7. When Anula tells me my photos are lovely, that is a compliment to the highest degree! However, yours are top notch, professional, and your dumplings are perfect and to die for! LOVE the oozing blueberry, beautiful job all around as usual!

  8. Great job. Your pleats are so perfect! Love the shot of the dumplings and the flour.

    What other sauce is there- the reddish one?

  9. The red sauce is sweet chilli sauce :)

  10. What a wonderful job you've done. Your pleats are picture perfect and I love your blueberry dumplings. Very clever. Have a wonderful day.

  11. I love your blueberry dumplings, how creative! Love the photos. Wonderful job!

  12. Yum the blueberry ones sound delicious!!

  13. Yum!! Your dumplings look amazing =D. The sweet ones sound especially delicious!!

  14. I was so nervous about the dumplings challenge, I only opted for the pork filling. But the variations you more experienced cooks are making are helping me learn to consider other ideas. The blueberry filling is a brilliant idea and one I'll try using the dumpling recipe. Great job!

  15. Absolutely beautiful! The blueberry ones were my favorite too.

  16. Your pleating was done really well. Blueberry filling sounds so yummy. Great job!

  17. Great job! I love both versions! That blueberry version looks so tasty!

  18. Is that chili oil in your photo? Your dumplings are so fat and juicy looking. After seeing your blueberry ones I want to try fruit too. This was a fun one. I wonder what's next?

  19. I just love how your dumplings look, so fat and juicy. I'm going to try the fruit ones next. Tasty work. :)

  20. Amazing pleat job and I love the blueberry twist. My mom used to make blueberry pierogies and I bet your dumplings were just delicious! Great post!!!

  21. The dumplings in the first picture are so gorgeously plump and inviting! I also might have to check out the related post on sauerkraut dumplings -- I love them!

  22. The blueberry dumplings are creative esp with some Greek yogurt! Nicely done. :)

  23. Hi Anula
    Your dumpling pleats are so perfect and mine look like ugly ruffles, but I was thrilled with how good this recipe tastes! I'll be getting more practice pleating them as I'll make them many more times.
    Your blueberry dumplings sound, and look, scrumptious!

  24. Beautiful pleating! And just love the blueberry dumplings! Make me drool!


  25. What perfectly shaped dumplings! I'd like to try a sweet version soon too.

  26. Great job Anula,they look fantastic and delicious...I love the blueberry one in particular.
    I also had lots of fun participating in this challenge ans it teminded me of pierogi making.
    Have a nice week
    Pozdrawiam z Montralu!

  27. Great looking dumplings! The blueberry ones must have been amazing . . . I wonder how they would have been with a bit of lemon zest (blueberry and lemon is my favourite taste combination).

  28. Lovely pleats and photos! Blueberry dumplings with greek yogurt and brown sugar sound incredible, especially for breakfast this morning...

  29. I love the curvy, purse-shaped form of your dumplings! And congrats on being a true Daring Cook and making a sweet version! I was tempted to try, but chickened out in the end...

  30. Great job on the pleating! They look very professional! The dessert ones look so yummy! Wish I had thought to fill some with something sweet.

    Can't wait for the next recipe!

  31. yours looks super duper good!
    great idea on the sweet filling.

  32. What beautiful photographs and amazing results. I love the blueberry dumplings. I will have to make these. They look fantastic.

  33. Awesome dumplings! And I never would have thought to use blueberries... I must make some, soon!

  34. Love the variations and how they turned out. Those blueberries are so tempting :) Great job on the challenge. Your dumpling pleats are beautiful!

  35. Great job! I made a sweet version too, but not as interesting as yours. That blueberry and brown sugar looked sooo tempting!

  36. wtg! these dumplings looks great!

  37. Blueberry dumplings, sounds wonderful! You are so creative.

  38. The dumplings look great and I love the idea of using a sweet filling - brown sugar and Greek yogurt...mmm! Sounds delicious!


Thank you for taking your time and leaving a comment. It means a lot!
Pozdrawiam, Anula.