I love making dumplings. Growing up my family would gather around the table with fresh dough, filling, and small dishes of water and form a dumpling assembly line. These days, convenience and speed have me buying pre-made wonton wrappers (sorry Aunt Emy!), and because of this, I like to make sure my filling is extra flavorful and juicy. I don’t eat pork, so here’s my pesca-friendly recipe (you can also sub shrimp for edamame and firm tofu for a veg-friendly option!):
1 lb raw shrimp, cut into 1/2” pieces
3/4 cup scallions and/or chives (Chinese chives are best)
1 tbsp fresh minced ginger
2 cloves fresh minced garlic
White pepper (a substantial dash)
Black vinegar (a splash)
Soy sauce (a substantial splash)
1.5 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp egg (this optional step will help the filling bind together a little better)
Oil (oils with a high smoking point, like vegetable oil or grapeseed oil, work well)
Dumpling wrappers (I use Twin Marqui wonton wrappers)
Combine all the ingredients (except wrappers & oil) in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Set aside for a few minutes to let the flavors meld. In the meantime, place a fry pan on medium high heat and add the oil.
Fill a small bowl with water and start to fill the dumpling wrappers with your filling, using the water to help adhere the wrapper edges together. Once your pan is hot and dumplings are filled, place the dumplings in the pan. You want to aim for very crispy bottoms with a golden brown color, and the tops of your dumplings should still be fairly raw. Add an 1/8 cup water to the pan and immediately cover. This will steam the dumplings and finish cooking those tops.
Once the water has evaporated and your dumplings are cooked completely, remove from the pan and set on 2 layers of paper towels. At this point you should have crispy bottoms and soft tops. If you added too much water to the pan and you’re left with soft bottoms, keep the dumplings in the pan for a couple extra minutes to re-crisp your bottoms. Then serve! Makes 2x what you see in the picture (about 2 dozen).
I like to dip my dumplings in a sauce of black vinegar, a touch of soy sauce, homemade chili oil, and scallions.