Pork and Vegetable Dumplings: It’s Actually Quite Simple!

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Pork and vegetable dumplings with pizza dough most certainly failed. The filling inside these failed buns, however, made great dumplings…

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So I’m still at it with this pizza dough and this has been a lot of trial by fire. Just over a week into the food and beverage blog business and I am already learning important lessons. 

Like one thing I learned is that these recipes I am trying and creating are not going to come out perfect the first time. I was trying this recipe here and I thought, why don’t I make a sort of pork and vegetable steam bun with the pizza dough? That sounds amazing! I had this idea of the dough just puffing up and looking beautiful.

Guess what? Pizza dough doesn’t steam so well!

Maybe it was because there was a wet filling on the inside, but the pizza dough just kind of stayed doughy. Also, the starch and flour in the dough reacted with the liquid in the filling and made this sort of goop… not good on the mouthfeel.

I wish I took a picture but it just was too much of an embarrassment. That, and I was starving at that moment and didn’t care what my food looked or felt like!

I’d love to see if dough just steams well on its own with no filling. But in this case, the “bun” I was looking for just wasn’t there.

This kitchen experiment was not a total loss, however!

I found out that our super powered blender can grind meat. I couldn’t find ground pork anywhere, but now I don’t need to. Just cut out the bones and slice the meat down to manageable sizes. If you have one one of those high powered blenders, let it do most of the heavy work! Mine is actually a knockoff, but I’m not picky about name brands. If it works, don’t fix it. 

The other half this recipe didn’t fail either.

I made my own pork and vegetable filling for the dumplings and it is really tasty if I say so myself. Thankfully, I bought some dumpling wrappers when I went to my local Asian grocery store today so I can still share this recipe with you. I bought Shanghai-style dumpling wrappers, but use any kind you like or have on hand.

If you live near an Asian supermarket, check for wrappers there first: they’re going to be not only more authentic but also more affordable. Also, I use a bamboo steamer but if you do not have a steamer, fear not! A colander inside of a pot with about an inch of water will also work. If you are interested in getting a bamboo steamer, click here to get the steamer that I own and have used for quite a few years now.

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In my pictures, you’ll see that I ruffled the edges. You can also do that by making a “Z” shape with the wrapper and then pinching it all together. If you’re pressed for time or simply don’t want to, the edges can be left plain too.
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This recipe makes a great appetizer or lunch, if they make it to leftovers the next day!

UPDATE: Fresh, uncooked dumplings keep up to three months in the freezer when stored in an airtight bag. Steam them as normal but do note they will take a couple extra minutes for them to cook. Y’know, them being frozen and all, it’s a bit expected.

Did you try them? What do you think? How big is your love for dumplings? Let me know in the comments below!

Cheers!

Gem

Pork and Vegetable Dumplings

  • Yield About 20 dumplings
  • Prep Time: 30 min
  • Total Time: About 45 min

Goods you need

  • ¼ lb ground pork (see above)
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. sesame seeds
  • 2 ½ tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. rice cooking wine
  • 1 tsp. vegetable or canola oil
  • ½ tsp. sesame seed oil
  • 1 oz. Napa cabbage, sliced thin (by weight)
  • Dumpling wrappers

Let's get to it!

  1. In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients together except wrappers. Make sure that the cabbage is fully incorporated. It will be wilted a bit, and that is okay. (See notes below!)

  2. Place down a dumpling wrapper. Wet finger with water and make a ring on top of the dumpling wrapper. This will be used to hold the dumpling in place and keep the filling from falling out.

  3. Fill dumpling wrappers with about a tsp. of filling. Do not overfill.

  4. Place prepared dumplings on a plate with a wet paper towel over them until they are ready to be steamed.

  5. Repeat steps 2-4 until there is no filling left.

  6. Once ready, place a pan that will fit your steamer on top with cold water on the stove over medium high heat. Once the water is boiling, place the dumplings in the steamer basket and steam for 6-8 minutes. If you have multiple baskets stacked for steaming, be sure to switch the baskets around at 3-4 minutes to insure even cooking in both baskets.

  7. Consume! Feel free to use soy sauce as a dipping sauce.

Pro tips

Take a bit of the meat mixture and microwave for 20-30 seconds. The texture won’t be great but you will be able to adjust flavors in the meat mix to your liking!

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