Recipe: Steamed Pork Dumplings

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Chinese dumplings (siu mai) like these are a dim sum favorite for good reason. These have a savory mix of pork, green cabbage, garlic, ginger and sesame oil inside, and they are surprisingly easy to make.

They do take a bit of work, although that can be cut down by using pre-made dumpling wraps. But it's a relaxing sort of work - chopping, mixing, and wrapping. They smell wonderful, too; the aroma of ginger, scallions and sesame filled my kitchen and I could hardly wait for them to be done!

Step-by-step pictures below...

This was my first time making this sort of dumpling, as you can probably tell from my awkward wrapping. The dumplings should look like drawstring purses, not quite closed at the top. But regardless of how good they look they will undoubtedly taste wonderful.

Steamed Pork Dumplings (Siu Mai)
makes about a dozen

Dumpling Wraps
1 cup self-rising flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water

Mix the flour and salt. Add 1/2 cup water, or just enough to mix into a smooth, elastic dough. Set aside for about 20 minutes until doubled in size.

Pork and Cabbage Filling

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1/2 pound ground pork
2 cups chopped green or Savoy cabbage (about 1/4 head)
2 scallions, chopped
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce
4 cloves of garlic, minced or smashed (about 2 tablespoons)
3-inch grated ginger (about 2 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon chili bean paste (optional)

Mix the pork and chopped cabbage and scallions. Mix in the sesame oil and soy sauce. Add the garlic, ginger, and chili bean paste, if using, and mix well.

Spray a steamer basket insert with cooking spray, or wipe lightly with oil. Put a couple of inches of water in a large pan; the water should not touch the bottom of the steamer basket.

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Divide the dough into 12 equal balls.

On a floured board or countertop roll them out one by one into thin smooth circles. Roll the dough as thin as you can; it will puff up as it steams.

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Put a heaping spoonful of the pork filling in the center.

Draw the edges of the dough circle up in gathers around the filling and pinch to tighten, leaving a small gap at the top. Moisten with a little water, if necessary, to get the edges to stick to each other.

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Arrange the dumplings in the oiled steamer basket a couple inches apart; they will grow as they steam.

Bring the water in the pan to a boil, then put the steamer basket inside and cover the pan.

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Lower the heat to medium and steam for about 10-12 minutes, or until the pork is cooked through and firm to the touch.

Serve with soy sauce and chili-garlic sauce for dipping.

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