If you find pork dumplings from your favorite take-out spot irresistible, just wait until you taste this home-made version. Pork dumplings, or jiaozi, are the quintessential dish of Lunar New Year celebrations and these have everything you want in a dumpling: plump and nicely chewy, filled with tender pork, flavored with fresh ginger, green onion, and sesame oil. Because of their resemblance to gold ingots, dumplings represent wishes of prosperity and fortune in the coming year. Making dumplings is also a group effort, so Lunar New Year celebrations are good times to get the whole family involved in making — and eating! — several batches. Whether you’re celebrating the Lunar New Year next week or stocking your freezer for a busy month ahead, these dumplings should definitely be on your list. You’ll find many of the ingredients in our Lunar New Year-themed weekly sale from February 4th – 10th, so it’s a perfect time to give them a try!
To assemble the dumplings: Toss cabbage with salt in a large mixing bowl and set aside for 5-10 minutes. Strain water from cabbage, squeezing out any excess and return it to the bowl. Add the ground pork, sliced scallions, cilantro, soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil, and eggs. Work the mixture with your hands until fully combined. Set a small bowl of water, the bowl of filling, dumpling wrappers, and a parchment-lined baking sheet on your work surface. Place 1 scant tablespoon of filling on each dumpling wrapper. Dampen the edge of the wrapper with water by dipping your finger in the bowl of water and running it around the edge of the dumpling. Fold the dumpling in half and press it closed, then place it on the parchment. Repeat with all the wrappers and remaining filling. Note: If you’re feeling ambitious, you can also play around with other pleats or shapes for the dumplings.
To cook the dumplings: These dumplings may be steamed, boiled, pan-seared in sesame oil in a hot skillet, or frozen for later use. Cook for 3 to 6 minutes if fresh, or 6 to 8 minutes if frozen. Steamed or pan-seared dumplings may be served with a simple dipping sauce made by combining 1 tsp of sesame oil with 1/2 C soy sauce, 1/2 C rice vinegar and a dash of hot chili oil. Boiled dumplings are delicious in a broth of your choice with stir-fried bok choy and/or mushrooms and garnished with fresh scallions.