While making the dough for dumplings is not difficult, premade wrappers can be found in the supermarkets along side wonton skins, or spring and eggroll wrappers.
Chinese Dumpling Dough
2 cups flour
2/3 cup warm water
Combine the flour and water until a soft dough forms; knead on a floured surface for five minutes. Cover with a clean linen towel and let rest for 30 minutes. Divide the dough in half, roll out each half into a 12 inch long cylinder; cut into 1/2 inch slices. Flatten out each slice with the palm of your hand, or use a rolling pin, to a 2 1/2 inch diameter.
Makes 48 dumpling wrappers.
The filling for dumplings is very versatile and can contain any kind of protein, vegetable or combinations; using fruit will give you the filling for a unique dessert item. I am going to post a typical filling, that you would get in any take out place, made with ground pork.
Chinese Dumpling Filling
1/2 pound ground pork
2 large napa cabbage leaves, rinsed and finely diced
2 green onions, finely sliced
1 Tbsp minced ginger
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp cornstarch
Bowl of warm water
Mix all ingredients listed, except water, together; place a teaspoon of mixture off center in a dough circle. Dip finger in water and trace around outside edge of dough circle; fold dough over filling, with edges meeting and begin pleating the edges to seal filling in.
To Fry Dumplings:
In a large skillet, heat 1/4 of canola or peanut oil over medium-high heat, add dumplings, 12 at a time, and brown one side; takes about 2-3 minutes. Add a 1/2 cup of water, cover and let steam for 5 minutes; uncover and let cook for another 2 minutes.
To Steam Dumplings:
Fill a large stockpot halfway with water and bring to a boil. Line bottom of bamboo steamer with cabbage leaves, place dumplings within, cover and place steamer on top of stock pot. Steam for 6 minutes.
To Boil Dumplings:
Fill a large stockpot halfway with water and bring to a boil. Put dumplings into boiling water and when they float, they are done.
Serve dumplings with your favorite sauce(s).