My boyfriend and I, determined to break our fast-food dependency ( read: “addiction”), have made a pact to cook ourselves supper every Sunday. As in, cook from scratch. Even as I’m typing this, I can hardly believe that I've agreed to such a thing. Regardless, our culinary agreement has proven to me that I’m not as worthless in the kitchen as I had once believed.
One of our most recent (and probably most successful) dishes was inspired by a local restaurant here in Little Rock called Fantastic China. We are full-tilt obsessed with their dumplings, and decided to attempt our own version of them.
We pulled the basics of the process from an online potstickers recipe, then added our own flair to it.
You’re going to need:
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup boiling water
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- ½ tsp chili oil
- 1 lb lean ground pork
- ¼ cup green onions, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1tsp hot sauce (we use Sriracha!)
- white pepper
John usually mixes up the filling while I prepare the dough. Both process are pretty straight forward: for the filling, just combine all the above ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.
The dough takes a little more muscle, especially when using a wooden spoon to mix the flour and water (as opposed to an electric mixer, which could make your dough heavier and gummier). Once your flour and water are combined into a relatively smooth dough, pull it out and knead it on a floured surface for five minutes or so.
When the dough becomes smooth and somewhat sticky, split it in half and then roll each half into a 12-inch log. You’ll cut each log into 24 slices, which will be flattened out to become the wrapper for your dumpling.
Admittedly, the most tedious part of this recipe is filling each dumpling. John and I approached this task assembly line-style, where he pressed each dough slice into a thin round wrapper, and then I filled each dumpling (using about a tablespoon of filling for each) and then folded them up.
Once all the dumplings are filled and folded, you’re ready to fry/steam them up.
For the cooking process, you can use a large nonstick skillet or a wok. Get your pan hot and pour in ½ a tablespoon of vegetable oil, tilting the pan all around to coat the bottom. Place 12 dumplings into the hot pan, allowing them to brown for two or three minutes.
Once the bottoms of the dumplings begin to brown, pour in ½ a cup of water and immediately cover your pan. The dumplings will need to steam for at least seven or eight minutes. We wait to pull them out until all the water has evaporated from inside the pan.
When I remove the dumplings from the pan, I like to place them on a plate with a paper towel over it; this way, any excess oil will be absorbed and the dumplings come out crispier!
Repeat this process with your remaining dumplings! The dipping sauce (made by combining the ingredients listed above) is the delicious final touch. We usually eat our dumpling with some quick and easy white rice. And what to do with any remaining filling? Freeze it and fry it up with some rice or noodles later in the week!
There you have it, luvvies: the most delicious dumplings I've ever eaten. If you try this recipe at home, send us pictures of your delicious results! Hit us up on instagram and twitter at @hello_luvvy or email us at helloluvvy@gmail.