In anticipation of Meatless Madness 2022 (kicking off on February 7), the Hopkins Test Kitchen revisited last year‘s Chompion: Homemade Dumplings. This great dish will be an excellent addition to your culinary repetoire. Do not be deterred if you are new to making your own dumplings. This recipe is pretty straightforward, and repetitive actions like kneading dough and folding dumplings is good for your brain.
Original recipe: Madeline Lu
Tested by: Chef Hamilton J. Goss, Director of Culinary Innovation, Johns Hopkins Dining Services
The recipe as written below is (very lightly) adapted from the original to reduce sodium content and to add some more detailed advice on cooking procedures.
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup hot water
pinch of salt
3 cups shredded napa cabbage or white cabbage
2 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and finely chopped
1 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoons freshly grated garlic
1 spring onion, finely chopped
¼ of a medium-sized purple onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 ½ teaspoons salt
pepper, to taste
¼ cup sesame seeds, placed in a small bowl, plus more for garnish
3 tablespoons water, in a flat plate
2 teaspoons spring onions, finely chopped, for garnish
drizzle of sesame oil, for garnish
drizzle of soy sauce, for garnish
pinch of red pepper flakes, for garnish
Canola oil (or other light oil) for frying
Dipping Sauces (optional)
Soy Sauce Dipping Sauce (whisk together 1 teaspoon grated ginger, 1 teaspoon finely chopped spring onions, 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, ½ teaspoons sesame seeds)
Chili Garlic Sauce (store bought)
Chili Oil (store bought)
Makes 48 dumplings.
To prepare the dough, put the flour in a medium bowl. Add the hot water in a steady stream, stirring with chopsticks until a raggy dough forms.
Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead until smooth, 10 minutes. (Pro tip: if the dough picks up too much flour while kneading and starts to feel hard, wet your hands and knead to soften.) Sprinkle the dough with flour, cover loosely with plastic wrap and let stand for 1 hour.
Take the dough out and knead again for 5 minutes and then cover again with plastic wraps for 30 minutes. By then, the dough should be springy and soft.
While the dough is resting, prepare the filling. Slice the cabbage into thin strips and put into a mixing bowl. Add 1 teaspoon salt and mix well. Set aside.
Use another mixing bowl, combine the shiitake mushroom, purple onion, ginger, garlic, and spring onion.
Take the cabbage strips out of their bowl and use two hands to squeeze out the excess water.
Add the cabbage to the mixing bowl with the mushroom mix. Add ½ tsp of salt and some fresh pepper, as well as 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Mix all ingredients together until well combined. Set aside.
Sprinkle a large chopping board or baking sheet with flour. (You can also do this directly on your countertop.) Remove the dough from its bowl and cut it into quarters.
On your floured work surface, roll each piece into a rope. Cut each rope into 12 pieces and roll into balls; sprinkle with flour.
Roll out 6 balls at a time to 3 ½-inch rounds and brush off the excess flour. Spoon 2 teaspoons of the filling onto the center of each round wrap.
Bring up the sides of the wrapper and press and pleat the edges to seal in the filling. There are many techniques for folding dumplings. To achieve the fold pictured, start by pinching the two sides together over the filling. Then begin to pleat the open edges together until you reach the pinched part. Turn the dumpling over and repeat the process on the other side. Once the dumpling’s fully closed, give the top a quarter turn to help seal everything. Repeat steps 10 and 11 until all dumplings are formed, filled, and folded.
Dip the bottom of each dumpling in your plate of water and then dip it in the bowl of sesame seeds, so the bottom of the dumpling is evenly covered with sesame seeds. Place the finished dumpling onto a chopping board or baking sheet.
At this point, you can freeze the dumplings for future use. To IQF (individually quick freeze) place the dumplings on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and allow them to freeze solid. Once frozen, place them in a freezer-proof container or bag for future use. If you’re working with frozen dumplings, the rest of the recipe is exactly the same.
In a skillet or wok over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the canola oil. (Vegetable, corn, or peanut oil would be fine too. All of these oils have a high smoking point. Olive oil has a very LOW smoking point; do not use it for high temperature frying.) Arrange the dumplings in the skillet, pleated edge up. Cook over high heat until the bottoms are lightly browned, about 2 minutes. *
Add ½ cup of water, cover the pan, and cook until the filling is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
Uncover and cook until the bottoms are well browned, 1 minute.
Transfer dumplings to a plate. Sprinkle with more finely chopping spring onions, chili flakes, sesame seeds, sesame oil, and soy sauce. Serve immediately with optional dipping sauces.
*An alternate way to cook the dumplings would be to steam them in a steamer pan and then sautee them over medium heat until the sesame seeds are browned.