Juicy, plump and super delicious pork and chive dumplings! Pork and chive is a very classic Chinese dumpling combination and flavour profile (on par with pork and cabbage). The key to delicious dumplings, aside from perfectly seasoning them, is to use fatty pork mince. This is where the flavour and juices at!
With Lunar New Year just around the corner, this is the perfect dish to have on the reunion table on New Year Eve. To further impress your family and friends, also try my Har Gow (crystal prawn dumplings)!
If you're a dumpling enthusiast like myself, I recommend trying out my Vegetable Dumpling recipe. It's really delicious and well worth making! These dumplings are perfectly seasoned and filled with flavoursome ingredients: carrots, spinach, shiitake mushrooms and tofu which is a fantastic flavour carrier.
If you're a beginner or new to making dumplings, I recommend trying my super easy and popular Pork Wontons recipe. It's made using a fool-proof wrapping method, nothing fancy but gets the job done.
- Dumpling wrappers - are available at Asian supermarkets, in the fridge section. Generally, a pack contains about 30 to 35 dumplings wrappers which are all you'll need for this recipe!
- Garlic chives - I always prefer getting mine from my local fruit and vegetable grocer. For this recipe, you'll need 2 bunches which is equivalent to approximately 3 heaped cups once finely chopped.
- Pork mince - the ideal fat to meat ratio for dumplings is at least 20% fat and 80% meat. Some people even like to ask their butcher to mince rindless pork belly and use that to make dumplings. The high-fat content is what makes dumplings even juicier and more flavoursome.
- Oil - this is optional. I don't always get my meats from a butcher and my local supermarket only stocks lean pork mince. Adding a little oil will help tenderise the pork and make the dumplings juicer.
- Shaoxing wine - or other types of Chinese rice wine. Alternative: dry sherry.
- Sesame oil - is to be used sparingly in this recipe so that it does not overpower the overall flavour profile.
How to make pork and chive dumplings
There are 3 core steps to making dumplings:
- Prepare the filling
- Wrap the dumplings
If you're hardcore and prefer to make your own dumpling wrappers then of course that'll be 1 additional step. This recipe calls for simply buying and using the store-bought dumpling wrappers for convenience and efficiency sake.
Prepare the dumpling filling
This part is super easy and takes about 10 minutes to do. To start, wash, trim the ginger and garlic chives. Garlic chives tend to have soil on them and it's important to take more care and wash it thoroughly.
Peel and finely mince ginger by chopping or simply using a cheese grater which is my preferred method. See the image above under step 1.
Then, finely chop garlic and garlic chives.
Place all filling ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix well. Best do this with 1 clean hand as it's just much quicker and easier. Once a uniform meat paste is formed, you're ready to wrap the dumplings.
Wrap the dumplings
To wrap these pork and chive dumplings, first, place about 1 heaped tablespoon worth of dumpling filling onto the middle of a dumpling wrapper. Notice how packed in the filling is? Packing the filling firmly and wrapping firmly is key to tight dumplings that will not fall apart when cooking.
Lightly dab the rims of the dumpling wrapper with water then pleat. Water helps the dumplings seal properly. See my video below on exactly how to do this!
Make sure to tightly seal the dumplings so that they don't break apart when cooking or get any water into them.
With a bit of practice, you'll begin to fly through these! I'd say it takes roughly 1 minute to wrap each dumpling. Faster if you're a seasoned pro! Even better, get your family or friends to help and cut the folding time significantly.
Having said this, don't rush, dumplings are a labour of love and attention.
Boil in lots of water
Boiling is the fastest and easiest way to cook dumplings. It takes just 3 to 4 minutes! Alternatively, you can pan-fry (yum, pot-stickers!) or steam. Both of these alternative options take a bit longer, about 10 minutes.
In Chinese, boiled dumplings are called 水餃 (shui jiao).
This recipe yields 30 large, plump dumplings. Avoid overcrowding the pot and cook in 2 batches. Overcrowding the pot increase the risk of the dumplings getting stuck together and thus breaking apart. Roughly 15 dumplings in a batch.
The boiling method is not that different to cooking ravioli. You've got to wait for the water to come to a fast boil then add the dumplings.
It's important not to mix or stir when the dumplings are cooking. As tempting as it may be! When still raw, dumplings sink to the bottom. Don't worry, they won't stick and will simply float to the top once they're cooked.
As a general rule of thumb, I let these pork and chive dumplings boil for about an extra 30 seconds to 1 minute once they've floated to the top. Just to double make sure they're fully cooked.
When ready, transfer the dumplings onto a large plate with a slotted spoon.
Repeat this for the second batch.
Serve as is or with a quick soy sauce, minced garlic, sugar and sesame oil dipping sauce. Otherwise, my favourite is serving with a side of my super fragrant homemade Sichuan Chilli Oil!
Tips and tricks for boiled pork and chive dumplings
- Take care and tightly seal the dumplings before cooking. I like to do one last check just before boiling. If you see any corners that have fallen apart, simply dab with a little water and seal.
- Only add dumplings into the pot once the water is boiling aggressively and cook on high heat. You want the dumpling wrappers to cook very quickly so that there is minimal chance for them to soften and stick to each other.
- NEVER stir the pot in the first 3 minutes of boiling from the moment the dumplings have been placed into the boiling water. Every single time I do it, inevitably, a few dumplings break, making them bland.
- Place cooked dumplings onto large plates without overlapping. Otherwise, the dumplings will stick together when you're eating. I recommend 2 large plates for 30 dumplings. Heck, if you're not sure, use 3.
Good to know (FAQs)
Dumpling is a broad term that covers all dishes that consists of pieces of dough with or without filling inside. However, all Chinese dumplings have filling on the inside. Gyoza is a specific type of Japanese dumpling, usually filled with pork and are pan-fried (not too different to potstickers). Gyozas tend to be thinner and longer in shape compared to the typical Chinese dumplings like this recipe.
About 70 calories per dumpling. This will vary depending on the fattiness of pork mince used.
In Chinese, boiled dumplings are called 水餃 (shui jiao).
Once the dumplings have floated to the top of a boiling pot of water!
About 3 to 4 minutes will do the trick!
Yes! The pork will cook very quickly in the boiling water. All the juices will be encapsulated inside the dumplings, making them absolutely delicious!
Make ahead - how to freeze raw dumplings
Dumplings are perfect to make ahead and freeze in portions!
Simply place the dumplings in freezer-friendly trays (I use either my cutting boards or oven trays that would fit in my freezer) without overlapping. Place in the freezer for about 1 hour or until completely frozen. Once frozen, dumplings will no longer stick together and can be stored, stacked inside airtight containers and freeze.
Raw pork and chive dumplings last up to 6 months in the freezer.
To cook frozen dumplings, do not thaw and add them directly into the boiling water and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes or until fully cooked.
Any leftovers will keep well in the fridge for 3 to 4 days stored in airtight containers.
Made this recipe? Let me know your thoughts or questions by dropping a note in the comments section below! I'd love to hear from you. 🙂
If you're active on Instagram, take a picture once you've made this recipe and tag me on Instagram! I'd love to see them!
Happy cooking! - Gen
Pork and Chive Dumplings
- 1 packet dumpling wrappers about 30 sheets
Pork and chive dumpling filling
- 500 g / 1 pound pork mince fatty, around 20% to 30 % fat
- 2 bunches garlic chives wash then finely chopped, ~3 heaped cups
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger (note 1)
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- ½ tablespoon shaoxing wine substitute: dry sherry
- ¼ teaspoon brown sugar or white sugar
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- ½ tablespoon neutral tasting oil optional (note 2)
- In a large mixing bowl, combine dumpling filling ingredients. Mix well until a thick paste is formed. I find using a clean hand to mix is the most efficient way to do this.
- To fold the dumplings, watch my how-to video in the post above. This recipe makes approximately 30 plump dumplings.
- Once all the dumplings have been folded, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Divide and cook about half of the dumplings at a time. To cook, add about 15 dumplings into boiling water and cook on high heat, undisturbed (otherwise the dumplings will break apart). (note 3)
- The dumplings are ready once they float to the top. This will take about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer cooked dumplings onto a large plate with a slotted spoon and repeat for the second batch.
- To serve, eat as is or with a fragrant homemade chilli oil!