Pork and Chive Dumplings

About 2 years ago I was channel surfing and happened to watch an episode of Bobby Flay’s Throwdown show. On this particular episode he went head to head with owner and entrepreneur Sohui Kim, owner of The Good Fork in New York. The challenge was who could make the better dumpling. What caught my attention was Kim’s use of Chinese chives and Hoisin sauce. In Vietnamese cuisine, we love Chinese chives in stir fries and we like to add a fresh sprig to our springrolls. Once you’ve had fresh springrolls with these chives, you never want to eat it without it. SO MUCH FLAVOR! Chinese chives are an aromatic that look like thick flowering grass, heavy on the garlic flavor with a little bit of onion flavor as well. If you’re from south Vietnam, you’d chop it up and use it in Bún mắm , a salty noodle soup made from aged fish preserves cooked with eggplant, lemongrass, and garnished with tons of fresh mint, Chinese chives, and lime wedges. My mouth waters as I think about it. It is so good. So back to the dumplings. These are some of my favorite as it’s sweet from the Hoisin sauce and savory. They are so incredibly juicy and flavorful.

Oh and Bobby Flay lost that throwdown by the way. After you make these, you can see why.

Recipe yields servings for 8 small plates.

  • 1/2 pound fatty ground pork
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated peeled ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pinch of white pepper
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped Chinese Chives
  • 24 to 30 round dumpling wrappers
  1. Combine all ingredients except the wrappers in a large bowl. Set bowl in a larger bowl of ice to keep chilled while forming dumplings.
  2. Place a slightly rounded teaspoon of filling in center of a wrapper and moisten area around filling with water. Fold in half to form a crescent and press to seal.

To steam dumplings

  1. In large saucepan with tight-fitting lid, bring 1 1/2 inches water to boil. Lightly oil metal steamer (if using bamboo, line with cabbage leaves to prevent sticking) and set in pan.
  2. Arrange dumplings, sealed edges up, on steamer, cover, and steam until filling is firm and wrappers are slightly translucent.

To pan-fry dumplings

  1. In large lidded nonstick sauté pan over moderately high heat, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil until hot but not smoking. Add 13 to 14 dumplings, pleated sides up and sides not touching, and immediately pour in enough cold water to come halfway up sides of dumplings (use care; oil may splatter). Cover and cook until liquid is evaporated and bottoms of dumplings are crisp and golden, about 10 minutes. (Use spatula to loosen and lift edges to check bottoms; replace lid and continue cooking if necessary, checking after 1 to 2 minutes.)
  2. Transfer dumplings, crisp sides up, to platter and keep warm. Repeat with remaining 2 batches of dumplings.
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