Shanghai Pork Wontons:
Went to our local Asian market, again, and of course I got fresh dumpling wrappers dam’it. If you’ve ever made dumplings or wontons before and purchased the single option wonton wrappers from large chain grocery stores – stop it. Your dumplings deserve better. Other than making wrappers from scratch, venture to your regional authentic Asian market for real wrappers – they are sheer delight. These fresh wrappers are softer, with a creamier finished texture, and much easier to work with regardless whether you steam, boil, or pan fry them. Shanghai style wrappers are traditionally white squares, eggless, and relatively thin. You will know how fresh they are by running your fingers down the side of the stack and if they fall gently like a ream of paper, they are fresh. If they are damp and stick together, they are not as fresh. For this recipe, I also procured a beautiful selection of fresh pork butt, cut into thick slices, and with the right balance of fat. Freshness is key, and these dumplings burst with flavor with subtle layers of fresh ginger, garlic, and bok choy. Some assembly required which takes patience, and it’s important to take your time with these and be gentle with fresh wrappers, while at the same time, resisting the innate urge to overstuff them with the rich filling.
SECRET INGREDIENT: Fresh Shanghai style dumpling wrappers
TIP: Don’t over stuff with filling, even though you will have the urge to do so
Shanghai Pork Wontons
- Pork butt (3/4 lb, thick slices coarsely chopped)
- Garlic (2 cloves, minced)
- Ginger (1 Tbl, minced)
- Scallions (5, trimmed and chopped)
- Bok Choy (2 cups, chopped)
- Soy sauce (1 Tbl)
- Rice wine vinegar (2 tsp)
- Sesame oil (2 tsp)
- Salt (1 tsp)
- Fresh ground pepper (4 turns of mill)
- Dumpling wrappers, Shanghai style
- In a food processor, combine all ingredients except wrappers, and pulse several times to mince and combine mixture.
- Fill a small bowl with water. Working with one wrapper, wet edges of wrapper and place spoonful of pork mixture in center of wrapper (don’t try to overfill). Carefully fold wrapper squarely and pinch edges firmly on all sides. Fold ends and with wet fingers crimp and seal two same-side ends together. Place wrapped dumplings on a parchment -lined baking sheet.
- Dumplings can be steamed for 12 minutes, added to a miso soup, or pan fried covered in a skillet over medium heat with tablespoon of oil and a half cup of water for 15 minutes, flipping half way through cooking time. For this recipe, the dumplings were steamed and serviced with a simple dipping sauce of soy sauce, sesame oil, chili garlic paste, and fresh cilantro leaves.