As you probably know, Chinese dumplings are very versatile food. Virtually any edible ingredient can be used to stuff a dumpling. Despite this, there are certain classic combinations of ingredients that are well-known to every native Chinese. The pork and chives dumpling is one such classic recipe that hails from Northern China. Every native Chinese northerner has a tale of being taught how to wrap this dumpling in their own kitchens.
The secret to making this dumpling well is quality ingredients. Traditionally, this recipe calls for the use of garlic, or Chinese, chives, whose strong pungent flavor contrasts nicely with the bland meaty taste of pork. Although regular chives can also be used, their more subtle flavor gives the dumplings a weaker taste. If possible, quality organic fatty pork will also make a big difference, giving this dish added flavor. You can substitute lean ground pork if you’re on a diet, but using fatty ground pork (about 30% – 40% fat) makes the dumplings more juicy and flavorful. This recipe is also a study in the use of pork, which features prominently in many Chinese recipes. Pork sometimes has a sweaty off-flavor, which is effectively eliminated through the addition of ginger, rice wine, and pepper. Other than these seasonings, the recipe is simplicity itself, and is basically just the combination of the two main ingredients.
Prep time : 30-40 minutes
Cooking time : 15-20 minutes
• Ground fatty pork, 2 cups
• Garlic/Chinese chives, chopped finely, 2 cups
• Ginger, 1 teaspoon(tsp)
• Rice wine, 1.5 teaspoon
• White pepper, ½ teaspoon
• Vegetable oil, 2 tablespoon(tbsp)
• Salt, 1 teaspoon
• Soy sauce, 1.5 tablespoon
• Dumpling wrappings (flour, 4 cups; water, 1.8 cup)
See more Chinese pork dumpling recipes.
1. First prep the ground pork. I grind my own pork from fatty pork belly meat. However, store-bought ground pork will do find. Add 1 tsp of ground ginger, 1.5 tsp rice wine, 1.5 tbsp soy sauce, ½ tsp white pepper, 2 tbsp vegetable oil, and 1 tsp salt to the meat. Mix well.
2. Wash the chives and cut finely, then mix well with the ground pork.
3. Rest the mixture for at least 10 minutes at room temperature. This will allow time for the flavors to mix.
4. Boil a large pot of water on the stove. Add a pinch of salt to the water. This helps to prevent the dumplings from sticking together.
5. While the pot of water is heating up, start wrapping the dumplings. For instructions and details on how to make dumpling wrappers and wrap dumplings, you can refer to this article.
6. Once the water has begun boiling, put the dumplings gently into the pot, and stir it for a minute to prevent the dumplings from settling onto the bottom of the pot and sticking to the hot bottom. Once the water has warmed up and the wrapper is slightly cooked, the dumplings will no longer stick to the bottom or to each other.
7. The traditional Chinese way to boil dumplings is to wait for the water to come back to a boil after you put in the dumplings, then add a cup of cold water so that it stops boiling, and repeat that twice (for a total of 3 times). I personally find this laborious, and simply let the pot simmer on low or moderate heat for 15 minutes, which also works just fine.
8. After 15 minutes, use a strainer to take the dumplings out from the water onto a dish.