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Cooking Asian Momma Style: A Dumpling Recipe

Cooking Asian Momma Style: A Dumpling Recipe

I would love to loudly proclaim that “My mom is the best cook in the world.” Yet, honestly, the statement would be akin to saying, “my puppy is cuter than yours” or “our daughter is the best dancer in her class” – it is inherently not to be trusted. But I do not joke when it comes to my mother’s cooking, especially with her dumplings. 

My mother’s dishes are filled with incredible flavors, sensational aromas, and a huge helping of heartwarming life lessons. Watching her make dumplings by hand is not just a work of art in progress; it is a lesson in the importance of perseverance. Making jiaozi is not just about making the perfect filling; it is about appreciating the gift of family.

While I still refuse to cook, I have certainly always loved helping my mother in the kitchen. Now as I get older, I am starting to appreciate how my mother’s family has passed the recipe down for generations. Currently, my mother and I only hand-make fried dumplings during the holidays (otherwise choosing to eat the store-bought kind), but dumplings are a perfect warm, delicious treat any time.

Pan-fried Pork and Cabbage Dumplings: Makes 50 to 60

Lightly dust your work surface with flour and keep some extra flour within hand’s reach.
Dumpling wrappers: My mother always purchases the round kind of wrappers, labeled for jiaozi, considering they are a hassle to make, but recipes are available.
For the filling, mix together: 1 pound ground pork, 1 cup shredded cabbage, 2 chopped scallions, 1/2 pound of shrimp, 2 teaspoons of salt, 1 tablespoon of soybean sauce, and 2 chopped fried eggs.

Folding the dumplings:
1. Place a small spoonful of filling in the middle of a wrapper. With clean fingers, spread water around the edge of the wrapper. 
2. Pinch the edges of the wrapper together and make a fold. Press the edges to seal.
3. Repeat the first two steps with the number of dumpling wrappers you wish to eat. Line finished dumplings on a plate. 
4. Pan-frying: Have 1/2 cup water, a large skillet, and a lid for the skillet. Heat the skillet with 1 to 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over high heat. Wait 1 minute for the oil to heat up. 
5. Once the pan is hot, place the dumplings smooth side down in the pan. Allow them to sear for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the bottoms turn golden brown. Add the water, immediately cover with a lid, and let the dumplings steam for another 3 to 4 minutes.
7. Uncover the lid to allow any extra water to evaporate before turning off the heat. Loosen the dumplings with a spatula and transfer them to a plate. Whatever you do not eat can be frozen and re-heated later.
8. Enjoy!

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