Makes about 42 or enough to serve 4 as a main course
Ginger Chen makes her Shanghai-style dumplings with Shepherd’s Purse, available frozen in Chinese supermarkets in 16-ounce bags; look for Hunsty (WellLuck) brand, with a picture of the vegetable on the package. Here, the dumplings are made with ground pork and frozen spinach. Buy round or square dumpling wrappers (Twin Marquis brand Shanghai-style wrappers, sold in Asian supermarkets, come 40 to 50 to a package). After cooking, make a dipping sauce to accompany them by mixing Lao Gan Ma spicy black bean chile sauce (red label with photo of a Chinese woman ) and Chinkiang black vinegar.
|Flour (for sprinkling)|
|2||packages (10 ounces each)
frozen spinach, thawed
|¾||pound ground pork|
|1||piece (2 inches) fresh ginger, finely chopped|
|3½||teaspoons kosher or sea salt|
|6||scallions, finely chopped|
|2½||tablespoons soy sauce|
|1||package (6 ounces) eggless round or square dumpling or wonton wrappers (about
40 to 50)
|2||teaspoons sesame oil|
|4||teaspoons Lao Gan Ma black bean sauce|
|¼||cup Chinkiang vinegar (black vinegar)|
1. Sprinkle a rimmed baking sheet and your work surface with flour. Have on hand a small bowl of water.
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2. Place thawed spinach in a colander. Take a handful of spinach and squeeze the liquid from the spinach until no more liquid drips from the greens. Place the spinach on a chopping board. Repeat until all the spinach has been squeezed dry. Finely chop the spinach and transfer to a bowl.
3. Add the pork, ginger, 1½ teaspoons of salt, ½ of the chopped scallions, and soy sauce. With your hands, mix until thoroughly combined.
4. Set several dumpling or wonton wrappers on the work surface. Cover the remaining wrappers with a damp paper towel. Place about 2 teaspoons of the filling in the middle of the wrapper. With your finger, wet the edge halfway around. Fold the wrapper in half to make a half-moon shape. Seal the dumpling all around, pressing the edges together.
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This Chinese grandma forages and cooks
5. Set a dumpling in front of you with the rounded side facing away from you. With a finger, dot the right end of the half moon with water. Bring the right end down vertically as you bring the left end down. Overlap the left edge on top of the wet spot and press shut. Set on the floured baking sheet. Continue until all filling is used.
6. In each of 4 soup bowls, place ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon sesame oil. Divide the remaining scallions among them.
7. Fill a large pot with water. Bring to a boil. Add half the dumplings and return to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and cook for 4 minutes or until a dumpling you cut in half has no pink in the center of the meat.
8. Meanwhile in each of 4 small bowls, place 1 teaspoon black bean sauce and 1 tablespoon vinegar.
9. With a slotted spoon, remove the dumplings from the water and divide among the 4 soup bowls. Add about ½ cup of the cooking liquid to each one. Serve with the dipping sauce, spoons, and chopsticks.
10. Return the cooking water to a boil and cook the remaining dumplings in the same way.
Adapted from Ginger Chen