Growing up, there were always dumplings at home. We would eat them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Even now, if I head over to my parent’s place and take a look in the freezer, I can pretty much guarantee that there are at least two bags of frozen dumplings. My mom’s big on frozen dumplings, mostly because the convenience of store-bought frozen dumplings is too alluring to pass up.
That’s not to say that my mom doesn’t make dumplings, but when she does she makes the filling, but not the wrappers. Fresh dumpling wrappers are available at most Asian grocery stores. You can definitely make your own wrappers, but if you’re short on time and still want fresh, “home made” dumplings, store-bought fresh dumpling wrappers are perfect.
Dumplings are great because you can be as creative or as basic as you want. I kept it simple with a mix of ground pork and diced kimchi. The crispy dumpling skins, the juicy meat and the slight spice of the kimchi were fantastic.
Pork and Kimchi Dumpling Recipe
makes about 40 dumplings, depending on how big you make them
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 cup kimchi, diced
salt and pepper to taste
store-bought fresh dumpling wrappers
bowl of water
oil for pan frying
Mix together the ground pork and diced kimchi. Make sure you’re not adding too much kimchi “juice,” you don’t want your meat mixture to be too loose.
Take a dumpling wrapper and place about a tablespoon of meat in the middle. Dip your finger into the bowl of water and wet the edges of the dumpling wrapper. You can just fold your wrapper together and press the edges shut or you can pleat it.
When pleating, you only pleat one side of the dumpling wrapper. Bring the edges of the dumpling wrapper together and pinch in the middle. Starting in the middle and working your way to edge, fold the dough over itself to create a pleat. Repeat pleating until you reach the edge, go back to the middle and pleat in the opposite direction so that all your pleats face the centre.
Heat up a generous amount of oil in a non-stick pan on medium heat. When the oil is hot and shimmery, add the dumplings and pan fry on medium or medium low until brown and crispy. Turn and pan-fry on all three sides until all the dumpling sides are crisp. Make sure the filling is cooked by cutting open a dumpling.