Pork Soup Dumplings Recipe
Light, clean, and packed with ginger–these aren't your average soup dumplings. Helen uses powdered gelatin to make her aspic, resulting in a much less greasy dumpling than you'd normally find of this variety.
Makes 24 dumplings
Prep: 12 hours
Total: 14 hours
for the filling:
5 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups unflavored powdered gelatin, about 32 1/4 ounce envelopes
5 1/2 ounces ginger, peeled and finely chopped (about 1 cup)
4 scallions, cut into 1/2 inch pieces, white and green parts
1 pound ground pork
2 tablespoons sherry cooking wine
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
8 large cabbage leaves, or perforated sheets of parchment paper, for lining steamer
24 steamed dumpling wrappers
for the dipping sauce:
2 tablespoons chinkiang black vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 (4-inch) piece ginger, peeled and julienned
1. Prepare the filling: The night before, bring a large pot with 14 cups of water to a boil and stir in 1 teaspoon of the sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the gelatin until completely dissolved, then simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes until the liquid has thickened like a rich stock. Remove from the heat, transfer the liquid to a bowl and let cool to room temperature. Cover and chill in refrigerator overnight.
2. The next day, in a blender, small food processor, or mortar, combine the ginger, scallions, and 2 tablespoons of water and purée (or mash with pestle) until the mixture becomes a paste.
3. In a medium bowl, use your hands to combine the pork, ginger scallion paste, wine, remaining 4 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of sugar, oyster sauce, soy sauce, remaining teaspoon of salt, the pepper, and sesame oil, and fold it together for 3 to 4 minutes, until the mixture is very well blended and all the liquid is fully absorbed into the meat. Finely chop the gel and use your hands to gently fold it into the filling until well combined.
4. Fill a large pot with 2 inches of water; a bamboo steamer should fit snugly on top of a pot. Bring the water to a simmer and line 2 steamers with the cabbage leaves.
5. Pick up one dumpling wrapper and lightly tug the edges to stretch it out slightly; place it in the palm of your nondominant hand. With your dominant hand, use a fork to add about 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of the filling to the center of the wrapper, then lightly pat down the filling with the fork to get rid of any air bubbles.
6. Place the thumb of your nondominant hand on the filling to secure it in place. Pinch an edge of the wrapper between your other thumb and index finger and start pleating the edge of the wrapper up and around the filling, rotating the dumpling as you pleat the wrapper while pressing it into place. As you connect the two ends of the dumpling together, lightly twist the topknot to get rid of any air bubbles, then pinch it shut. Inspect the dumpling for any holes where the filling could leak out and pinch them shut. Repeat with the rest of the wrappers.
7. Make the dipping sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Divide into small dishes and top with julienned ginger.
8. Cook the dumplings: Gently place 6 dumplings, spaced 1-inch apart, in each steamer so the topknots are facing up. Stack the steamers on top of each other on top of the pot, cover the top steamer, and steam the dumplings for 6 to 7 minutes, or until the wrappers lose their white sheen and turn slightly translucent. Remove from the heat, uncover the steamers, and serve immediately. Repeat with any remaining dumplings.
Reprinted from The Dumpling Galaxy Cookbook. Copyright © 2017 by Helen You. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.