Every so often, we scour the site for cool recipes from our community that we then test, photograph, and feature—this one comes from longtime community member Tashie.
As easy as it is to inhale one pillowy dumpling after another, folding and crimping your own creations can be a bit more intimidating. At least, that’s what community member Tashie found when making dumplings with her dad growing up.
“As a family, everyone has a dumpling job, and I’ve always been relegated to putting water on the wrappers or putting stuffing on the wrappers,” she says. “I never had the wrapping job.”
But as she got older—and, dare we say, wiser—she realized fancy folds are nice, but not necessary.
“You can just put water on the wrapper and just press them together! What a concept,” she says.
Here, she’s simplified the stuffing and folding process by filling gyoza wrappers with ground pork, chopped shiitakes, and Swiss chard. Try to get fresh shiitakes, but if you only have dried mushrooms make sure to rehydrate them completely and remove the stems. Also, avoid the tempting shortcut of using a food processor to chop the Swiss chard. You need to finely chop by hand to keep the filling mixture from getting too watery.
When stuffing the dumplings, use a normal teaspoon to put the filling in the middle of the wrapper, then use your finger to put water around one half of the wrapper and fold the wrapper in half. Press the edges firmly together to make sure that the dumpling is sealed. From there, you can either boil the dumplings for a delicious dinner, or freeze them on a floured plate or baking sheet until solid enough to transfer into freezer bags.
While Tashie’s recipe streamlines homemade dumplings, there’s one part of her tradition she won’t alter: the hot sauce. Made with Thai chile peppers or jalapeños, her dad’s hot sauce packs a fiery kick.
“The best part of Dad’s dumplings is the hot sauce,” she says. “My dad has been making this hot sauce since I can remember, and it wows anyone who comes into contact with it.”
For the dumplings and marinade
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon cooking wine
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 4 fresh shiitakes or dried shiitakes (rehydrated in 1 cup of hot water for 20 minutes)
- 4 leaves of Swiss chard (stems removed), bok choi, or spinach
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 30 Shanghai-style round gyoza wrappers
For the hot sauce
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 3 Thai chile peppers or 1 jalapeño, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon sugar, preferably rock sugar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 scallion, chopped
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Have any simplified versions of childhood classics? Share your favorites in the comments!