How to throw a dumpling party!

Dumplings are damn delicious.

And gathering around the table with family or friends, throwing sizzling morsels from pan to plate, makes them taste even better.

Unless you live in China, you’re probably paying more than 1 yuan (14 cents each) for your mouthwatering morsels. While probably packing yourself into a tiny restaurant, full of elbows, and with a Disneyland-esk wait time.

So, why not create your own perfect parcels of deliciousness and throw a dumpling party!

The easiest dumpling recipe in the world

So my easy dumpling recipe is as follows: Don’t use a recipe.

You know what tastes good and what you like, so chop up a whole bunch of ingredients and you can dictate what amazing dumplings to make.

This also creates just a hint of friendly competition, as guests taste and pick their favourite.

But if you’re not sure where to start, here’s what I’ve (finely) chopped up:

No recipe? No worries.
No recipe? No worries.
  • A few sticks of celery
  • A capsicum (or ‘pepper’, for the Americans playing at home).
  • Enokitake mushrooms (any kind of mushrooms will do)
  • Corn – essential ingredient
  • Beef or pork – cut into small cubes
    Note: My Mandarin teacher says Chinese people don’t really eat chicken dumplings and that it’s a very Western thing …
  • Ginger – very finely sliced into tiny cubes
  • Garlic – again, finely diced into tiny cubes (crushed garlic or garlic flakes would be even better)
  • Spring onion or onion – I prefer the spring onion for dumplings. However, if you caramelize a red onion, I’m pretty sure it will taste bloody amazing.
  • Chinese cabbage/bok choy – cut this up into slices and boil/microwave, until soft. Drain and mix with your main meat.
The nitty gritty of perfect dumpling dough
The dumpling dough itself is the easiest thing to make, plus it’s great fun creating a ‘production line’ of friends who are rolling, folding and cooking dumplings.
For the dough, you may need to make a trip to Chinatown or your friendly Chinese grocer to get the proper dumpling flour. Self-raising or plain flour will not cut it.
I use this one:

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Then just mix it with water. A ratio of 2 cups flour and 3/4 cup water is what I go with.

Mush it together in a ball, add normal flour to your hands if it gets sticky.

Pop in a plastic bag and leave to sit for a few minutes.

Bam. Done. Mic drop.

 


Now, pull it all together!

By now you have rolled your dough into circles (making sure the centre is the thicker than the outer edges).
Foldin' right: My basic guide on folding your dumpling babies.
Foldin’ right: My basic guide on folding your dumpling babies.

1. Pop a small amount of your mixture in the centre of the circle of dough.

2. Pinch both sides of the centre together.

3. Followed by pinching the left bottom and right bottom edges. Firmly close the rest.

4. If your feeling a little creative, you can fold two pleats on either side from the centre. Or use a fork to make pretty patterns at the edges. Aren’t you exotic.

If are feeling an Iggy Azalea level of Fancy I suggest Nutella Banana Dumplings – do it.
Add spoonful of Nutella and some mashed banana. Sweet lord dumplings, it's good.
Add spoonful of Nutella and some mashed banana. Sweet lord dumplings, it’s good.

Get cookin’

You can get an ultimate pro-steamer with four levels and steam your dumplings with unicorn tears, but ain’t nobody got time for that.

I use the steamer shelf in my rice cooker, or you can simply throw them on the pan with a tablespoon of oil. (I fry the steamed dumplings in the pan after anyway, making them slightly crispy and extra delicious).

Now it’s time for you and your friends to eat yourselves into a food coma. Bon app!

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