Pork and Cabbage Dumplings

A white plate of pork and cabbage dumplings with a pair of wooden chopsticks

These pork and cabbage dumplings are delicious little morsels of food that are very easy to make no matter your skill level of cooking. Each one has a juicy pork-based filling flavoured with a variety of Chinese sauces and wrapped in gow gee pastry. This recipe is pure comfort and will bring a little happiness to anyone’s day!

In our family, everyone knows that if you get in between Steph and her dumplings, you’re gonna cop it! Dumplings are one of her absolute favourite things to eat and that inner wild savage she suppresses to maintain her innocent image will not be contained. Yes… do not be fooled by her pleasant demeanour.

Unfortunately for me, there are always two sides to a coin. While Steph loves eating dumplings, she’s not so keen on cooking them. So as you can imagine, in preparation for this post I have been slaving away in the kitchen for days on end while Steph stuffed her face with all those dumplings!

If you are reading this and at all worried about my wellbeing…. don’t be. I was able to pull through on scraps, rain water and an unbreakable will to survive!

Today’s Post is Sponsored by Kitchenware!

Today’s post is sponsored by Kitchenware! They have kindly provided us with a beautiful wok for this post.

This Woll Diamond Lite Pro Induction 34 cm wok with lid is the perfect cookware for making dumplings. For this blog post we steamed our dumplings, and this wok was great for fitting in a large bamboo steamer and still being able to cover with the wok lid. This wok is also great for boiling and pan-frying these dumplings.

The other great thing about this wok is you can use it on an induction cooktop, which is what we have in our kitchen. We both grew up watching our mums work with traditional Asian-style woks on gas stove-tops, and just assumed we’d never be able to do that style of cooking in our kitchen. Now that we have this wok we can see it’s totally possible – it’s large enough that we can stir-fry to our heart’s content without worrying about the food falling out.

The handle and pot lid on the wok also doesn’t get hot while cooking, so you can safely move the wok around without burning your fingers. It is also super easy to clean, nothing sticks to it and it’s just the right size for popping into our kitchen sink.

Pork and Cabbage Dumplings

What Goes Into Pork and Cabbage Dumplings

  • Protein – pork mince. Use regular, not lean. The fat will keep the dumplings juicy.
  • Vegetables – wombok / napa cabbage or baby wombok, ginger, garlic and spring onion
  • Seasoning – sesame oil, shaoxing cooking wine, soy sauce, salt, sugar, pepper.
  • Gow Gee Wrappers – these are white, round, wheat-based dumpling wrappers. We use the Double Merino brand, which is stocked at our local mainstream supermarkets (Coles and Woolworths).

Making the Filling

The main goal is to turn the filling into a paste, which will help the dumplings to hold together when eaten.

To do this, place the filling ingredients in a large bowl and use your hands to combine. Next, use a punching motion to pound the filling until it turns into a paste – this should take about 5-8 minutes.

Wrapping the Pork and Cabbage Dumplings

Wrapping the dumplings can be a bit of an artform, but honestly don’t get too caught up on perfection. The dumplings will go a bit wonky once they are cooked. The most important thing is that the dumplings are properly sealed, so the filling and juices don’t fall out.

If you are a novice, then the best thing to do is put less filling into the dumplings. This will make it a lot easier to wrap.

In the pictures below, Steph has taken a brief break from eating dumplings to demonstrate how we wrap ours:

  1. Add roughly 2.5 tsp of filling. Dip your finger in a bowl of cold water, then run it around the edge of the dumpling wrapper to dampen. The water will act as the “glue”.
  2. Fold the wrapper in half and use your thumb and forefinger to pinch the centre.
  3. Use your thumb and index finger to create the first fold, just next to the centre seal.
  4. Press the fold down.
  5. Create the second fold right next to the first fold.
  6. Pinch the fold down and repeat on the other side of the centre seal. The finished product will look something like the one on the work surface in Picture 5 below.

Making Dumplings in Advance

Cooking Them Within a Day or Two

Place the wrapped, uncooked dumplings on plates or a chopping board, uncovered, with a little bit of cornstarch. Leave them in the fridge.

The cornstarch will stop the dumplings from sticking. Do not cover the dumplings as they may sweat, which will also cause them to stick.

Freezing

  1. Place the dumplings on a plate lined with baking paper. Don’t let the dumplings touch each other.
  2. Put the plate of dumplings in the freezer.
  3. Once the dumplings are frozen, place them in freezer bags. Once frozen they won’t stick.

Cooking Pork and Cabbage Dumplings – 3 Methods

Boiled

This is the easiest way to cook dumplings:

  1. Bring a large wok or pot of water to the boil. Non-stick is preferable here, it reduces the chances of the dumplings sticking.
  2. Drop the dumplings in, and give the pot a stir to prevent the dumplings from sticking to each other or the bottom of the pot.
  3. Cook the dumplings for roughly 6-8 minutes, uncovered, over medium heat.

Pan-fried

These definitely look and taste the best, but a bit more effort:

  1. Add a tablespoon of neutral oil (e.g. canola) to a non-stick fry pan with a lid.
  2. Heat the oil over medium heat.
  3. Fry the dumplings, without moving or flipping, until the base is golden.
  4. Get your lid ready, add 1/2 cup of cold water and pop the lid on immediately. IMPORTANT – you are adding water to hot oil here so it will spit – having the lid ready and putting it on immediately will protect you. The water will make the dumpling base soggy initially, but as the water evaporates they will crisp up again.
  5. Cook, covered, for 7 minutes over medium-heat.

Steamed

This is our preferred way for making dumplings. To steam:

  1. Get a large wok or pot with a lid.
  2. Place a steaming rack in the wok.
  3. Add water, as much as you can without reaching the top of the steaming rack. If you don’t have a steaming rack scrunch up some aluminium foil – the purpose is to prop up the steamer so it’s not resting on the bottom of the wok or touching the water.
  4. Bring the water to a light boil.
  5. Line a bamboo steamer with baking paper or pieces of cabbage.
  6. Place the dumplings in the steamer with roughly 1 -2 cm between each dumpling and the steamer edge. The dumplings will flatten and spread as they cook. If they touch each other or the steamer there’s a chance the wrappers may stick together and rip when you try to separate them, hence why you want to leave a bit of space.
  7. Place the steamer into the wok, on top of the steaming rack, and cook with the lid on for 10 minutes over medium heat.

Note: if the pastry of the dumplings turned out a little dry in your first batch, spray water on the dumplings with a spray bottle before steaming.

How to Serve

Our favourite ways to have these dumplings is to pile them on a plate and drizzle with either:

  • chilli garlic oil and/or dumpling vinegar sauce
  • soy sauce
  • hot chilli sauce

Other Recipes You Might Like

If you guys do make this recipe, please tag us at #scruffandsteph on InstagramPinterest and Facebook. We would love to see your creations!

We hope you enjoyed the post and thank you for all your support.

Scruff & Steph

A white plate of pork and cabbage dumplings with dipping sauce

Pork and Cabbage Dumplings

Scruff
These pork and cabbage dumplings are delicious little morsels of food that are very easy to make no matter your skill level of cooking. Each one has a juicy pork-based filling flavoured with a variety of Chinese sauces and wrapped in gow gee pastry.
0 from 0 votes
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook time per a batch 10 mins
Course Light Lunch
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4
Calories 407 kcal

Equipment

  • Steamer
  • Wok / Large pot

Ingredients
  

  • 35 Gow Gee wrappers +/- 5 depending how much you put in your filling.

Filling

  • 250 gm wombok / napa cabbage
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 250 gm pork mince
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 spring onions finely chopped
  • 10 gm ginger, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • pepper

Sauces

  • dumpling sauce
  • chilli garlic oil

Instructions
 

Making the Filling

  • Cut the cabbage and place it in a large bowl with 1/4 tsp of salt. Massage the cabbage with your fingers then let it sit for 15 minutes.
  • Prep all your vegetables.
  • After 15 minutes, use your hands with a moderate amount of strength to squeeze the water out of the cabbage.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add all the filling ingredients and combine well. With your hands, work the filling with a punching motion for about 5 minutes until the filling is like a thick paste.
  • Taste check for seasoning by cooking a small amount of filling in the microwave for roughly 20 – 30 seconds.
    Remember not to make them too well seasoned if you are planning to dip them in sauces.

Wrapping the Dumplings

  • Please refer to the detailed guide in this post for wrapping progress pictures.
  • A. Add roughly 2 – 2.5 tsp of filling. Dip your finger in a bowl of cold water, then run it around the edge of the dumpling wrapper to dampen. The water will act as the "glue".
    B. Fold the wrapper in half into a semi-circle and use your thumb and forefinger to pinch the centre.
    C. Use your thumb and index finger to create the first fold, just next to the centre seal. Press the fold down and seal.
    D. Create the second fold right next to the first fold. Pinch the fold down and repeat on the other side of the centre seal.
    E. Repeat until all dumplings are done.

Cooking Method 1 – Boiling

  • Bring a large wok or pot of water to the boil.
  • Drop the dumplings in, and give the pot a stir to prevent the dumplings from sticking to each other or the bottom of the pot.
  • Cook the dumplings uncovered until they are floating and the skins have gone transparent. To be sure, take one out and check for doneness.

Cooking Method 2 – Pan Fried

  • In non-stick fry pan with a lid on medium heat, add a tbsp of neutral oil.
  • Add roughly 8 dumplings and fry until the bottom is golden.
  • Add 1/2 cup of cold water and pop the lid on immediately.
    IMPORTANT – you are adding water to hot oil here so it will spit – having the lid ready and putting it on immediately will protect you.
  • Cook for 7 minutes over medium-heat.
    Note: You may need to adjust the cooking time after your first run, due to factors like size of your dumplings.

Cooking Method 3 – Steaming

  • Please refer to the detailed guide in this post for steaming progress pictures.
  • In a large wok or pot with a lid, place a steaming rack and add as much water as you can without reaching the top of the steaming rack. Bring the water to a light boil.
    If you don't have a steaming rack scrunch up some aluminium foil. The purpose is to prop up the steamer so it's not resting on the bottom of the wok or on in the water.
  • Line a bamboo steamer with baking paper (can substitute with cabbage leaves).
  • Place the dumplings in the steamer roughly 1 – 2 cm apart, and away from the steamer edge.
    Note: If you notice that the dumplings are a little dry, spray a little water on the dumplings with spray bottle on mist setting.
  • Cook each batch in the wok for 10 minutes on medium high with the lid on.

Serve

  • Serve the dumplings immediately after cooking.

Nutrition

Calories: 407kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 18gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 814mgPotassium: 424mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 272IUVitamin C: 19mgCalcium: 96mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Pork and Cabbage Dumplings
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