Who doesn’t love a good juicy dumpling?
Growing up, dumplings were our staple food. Thinking about dumplings gives us nostalgic feelings, bringing us back to the many valuable family bonding times, watching our parents easily fold platefuls of dumplings, whilst us as children struggled immensely in enclosing the filling.
Having tried many types of dumplings with various types of fillings, we realise our favourite is still pan-fried pork and chive dumplings, AKA 锅贴 Guo Tie. Favourite dumpling restaurants? That would be Singapore’s Grand Shanghai Restaurant, which is an expensive flight to go through but totally worth it, or for something cheap yet delicious, we like Melbourne’s Ping’s Dumpling Kitchen, simply because that’s where a lot of our dates took place at.
This recipe of ours simply originates from our many years of eating dumplings. We like to add in a bit prawns for more flavour, wombok cabbage for sweetness and especially water chestnuts for an extra crunch. We love chives and the smell it gives before it is even cooked, so we like to add more of it. These chives are the Asian garlic chives that are flat, make sure not to mix it up with the Western onion chives that are cylindrical and taste completely different! With seasonings, we like ours similar to how restaurants would be where it is saltier and you can actually eat it plain without any sauces. The traditional way is simply to dip it in vinegar, accompanied with ginger sliced in fine strips, which is the way we love, and therefore the filling should be well seasoned for a good flavour. The other way is to dip in soy sauce mixed with vinegar, in which case, a less saltier filling is preferable. Some of you may love your spice, so feel free to add in some red oil chilli sauce as well!
With these dumplings, you can boil them if you feel lazy or want to be healthier, otherwise pan-frying is highly recommended for it gives you a much juicier and tastier result. When pan-frying, you may pan-fry and serve them individually, or for a more interesting presentation, you may add a little bit of cornstarch mixed in cold water near the end to form this beautiful golden brown crunchy tasty crust layer that helps stick all the dumplings together, and when you serve it, you simply place a large empty plate over the pan and turn over, and voila! It should land nicely on your plate.
We are only two people, so almost every time, we will have to freeze the remaining dumplings. Believe us, they will still taste the same! We use cling wrap, making sure the dumplings are not stuck together as we wrap them. This is to ensure easy removal and separation of them when we take them out. You don’t need to defrost them before cooking, just cook straight away. The slightly longer cooking time will only differ from normal by a couple or few minutes.