I first made these dumplings with two of my students (Becky and Faith) for no particular occasion....and they were love at first bite. I have since frequently made them with my son. The key to making these is to get the dough thin enough. But, you get a feel for it pretty quickly -- this dough uses no egg, but we have also made a version only with eggs as the dough. We made this recipe as a special treat for the holidays and loved the results. We also have a vegetarian version filled with chopped greens and mushrooms. The variations are endless. - Sagegreen
Test Kitchen Notes
The homemade dough for Sagegreen's dumplings is such fun to make. Don't worry if it looks a bit ragged upon first mixing -- after resting and a little kneading, it's smooth and pliant and rolls out like a dream. The tangy, gingery soy dipping sauce brings life to the fresh, mostly veggie dumplings. Sagegreen offers several cooking methods -- my favorite texture resulted from pan-frying, then covering and steaming with a splash of water, potsticker-style. —Kristen Miglore
flour (apf is best, but white whole wheat can work, too)
fine sea salt
cold water, divided
water chestnuts, chopped
finely minced napa cabbage
scallions bulbs, finely chopped
fresh grated ginger, peeled
grapeseed, rapeseed, peanut or canola oil suggested for frying
In a large bowl add the flour and salt together. I find all purpose flour is easiest and tastiest (but I have just used 1 2/3 white whole wheat flour with 1/3 cup spelt flour for a healthier version; see the photo of 3 on a plate). Make dent in the middle and pour in 1/4 cup of the water. Mix in. Add more water a spoonful at a time until you have a firm smooth dough; do not let this get sticky by adding too much water. Some days you might need a little more water, other days less. Knead this and create a ball shape. Cover with a kitchen towel and let this rest for 30 minutes.
Mix all the remaining ingredients together for the filling using clean hands.
After the dough has rested, divide the ball into 3 pieces; roll each of these out as thinly as possible on a lightly floured surface. Thin is key. Cut or stamp out 3 three inch diameter circles from the rolled dough. Add a tablespoon of filling into each circle. Fold in half, then fold and pleat the edges, sealing with your fingers using just a little water to seal the edges; create the pleated or fluted pattern with your fingers.
Boiling method option: In a large pot, boil water. One batch at a time, add about a third of the dumplings to the boiling water; cook for about 7 minutes. Remove and set aside. Continue until all the dumplings have been cooked. You can eat them this way or proceed to pan fry them. Another alternative is to steam them for about 10 minutes instead of boiling them. Or, you can also skip this step and just fry them, making sure the meat cooks inside.
Fry method: Heat some oil (with a high smoke point) in a large skillet or wok, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan until sizzling. Add the dumplings (boiled, steamed, or raw) and cook until golden brown. Drain on paper towels if needed.
Mix the ingredients together and serve as a dipping sauce with the hot dumplings. Some folks might like to add a tad of salt and sugar to season this sauce, but I am happy without these additions. I favor plenty of fresh greens instead.