Chinese Dumplings

A little over a week ago, my home internet started crapping out, sporadically and for prolonged periods.
I pay my bills online. I watch Netflix. I blog. I need my internet.

So after a couple days of this, with me plugging & unplugging shit, toggling wires, hard resetting all my devices including my router, I finally said “Ffffuck it.”
I’d done all I could do, it was time to pass the baton.

So I called Comcast and got an appointment for the next day in their 4-6pm window.

K so around 5pm, nobody had shown up.
5:30p, nothing.
6p. Still no one.
8p. I’m back on the phone with Comcast.

Naturally I’m connected to a different lady who profusely apologizes and rescheduled me for the next day, same time slot.

Once again, I left work early to be present for when the tech came.
Once again, nobody showed up.
Once again, I called up Comcast.

“We’re so sorry!”
Yeah, yeah.
“The day after tomorrow work for you?”
*eye roll* Sure, why not. But look, I want someone from Comcast to call me at 5:30pm, whether the tech is here or not. Check up on me anyway.
“Yes, of course!”

Day after tomorrow rolls around.
No call. No show.
The fucking heat coming off of me..

The heat coming off me was so strong I thought I was going to fucking levitate.

“Ma’am, we are so sorry”
“Yes…yes…ye, I understand ma’am..”
“Ma’am? Ma’am..”
“Calm down ma’am! Please ca..”
“Ma’am? Ma’am, ma’..sir, ma’am, ma’am..”
“Ma’am we are so sor..”

If I had a dollar for every fucking time this zilch said ma’am..
You know what? New drinking game..
Next time a service you’re paying through the nose for fucks up, do a shot every time they say ma’am. Or sir.
I swear you’ll have to have your stomach pumped.
In like the first 15 mins.

I knew I needed to cool down.
I needed to get this thing back on track before she hung up on me.
Like this is the zero-tolerance I have. I am literally losing my mind on an old lady.
“Miss, just please get a supervisor. Let me speak to a supervisor, alright?”

While I was waiting for the supervisor to come on the line, I remembered someone once saying that the magic word with any customer service is: unacceptable.

K, so this guy gets on.
I tell him the problem between tight teeth but as calmly as I could, interjecting the word ‘unacceptable’ as often as I could.
I tell him I want someone at my apt within the hour.
He goes;
“Well ma’am, we can’t do that because all of our techs are booked for the day but I’ll tell you what. I see you live in Somerville and while I can’t send you any techs now, I can however stop over and personally fix this for you since Somerville is on my way home.”


THAT’S what I’m talking about!!
Turning this franchise. Around.

So what’s the takeaway?
If you stay calm and keep staying ‘unacceptable’, you will get results.
If you start loosing your mind like a psycho the way I was, there’s a 99% chance you’ll get hung up on.

Now, about these dumplings.
I was a bit hesitant to call these Chinese dumplings because I didn’t really use any Chinese seasonings but I couldn’t really call them Pork Dumplings because I didn’t make them with Pork (Trader Joe was out).
Yet just calling them ‘Dumplings’ sounded too bleh.
Like the difference between Canada and the United States.
*wink wink Eva*

Making dumplings can sound intimidating, at least to me they did, but they’re in fact really easy to make.
To be honest, I actually had a lot of fun making them.
Flour on my cheeks and everything.
I felt like a baker.
Like I was doing some major shit, me and my rolling pin.

So if you want to try making them, let me first point out a couple things:
– When it calls for hot water, I mean that shit needs to be boiling.
– Knead means keep mushing the dough around with the heel of your palm. This is a tireless effort.
– When you go to roll the dough out, try to roll it out real thin.
Not exactly paper-thin, more like résumé paper thin. You want them this thin because steaming them expands the dough and you want the emphasis to be on the filling, not the dough.
Unless you want a mouth full of dough, which is cool too.
– Add the filling and form the dough into the dumpling shape as you go.
Meaning, don’t wait until they’re all rolled and cut out before you apply the filling and shape them. I found the dough tends to thicken from its résumé-paper thin state, which sort of counteracts the purpose of rolling them like that in the first place.
Do like 3 at a time.
Roll out 3 dough pieces. Add the filling. Seal. Repeat with another set of 3.
– Try and time the eating process to 3-4 minutes after they’re done steaming. They taste soooo much better fresh than reheated in a microwave or re-steamed.
– This recipe makes about 20 dumplings.
– Used ground pork if you can. I have a feeling it will be awesome.
Not saying this isn’t..


And yes I know that’s not a ‘a couple’, but you read it right?
Alright then.

On a more serious note, you’ll have to excuse the poorly presented finished pictures.
I was working under a bit of a tight timeline and those rain clouds were moving in fast.

Chinese Dumplings.

What I Used.

2 cups all-purpose Flour. 1lb Ground Meat (Pork preferred). 3 Scallions (diced). 1 tbsp Mirin (aka Rice Wine). 1 cup Shredded Cabbage. Water. 1 tbsp Sesame Oil. Salt. Pepper. Other (Seasonings as preferred). Soy Sauce (low sodium prefferably).

What I Did.

Clear and clean a counter.
Spoon 2 cups of flour onto the surface, forming a volcano in the middle of it.
Add 1 cup hot water in the crater.
Using your hands, mix the dough until it forms a ball.
I should note though that I did my dough in 2 stages (1 cup flour, ½ cup hot water) so I wouldn’t wear my arms out from all the kneading. I’m such a baby, I know 😀

Knead the ball over and over again until its consistency is even and it is springy to the touch.

When so, set the ball of dough aside to rest.
Use this time to make the filling .

Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan.
Add the ground meat and cook until most of the pink is cooked.
Then add into the diced scallions and shredded cabbage.
Cook, mixing frequently for about 1 min.
Then pour in 1 tbsp mirin.
Season with salt, pepper and whatever else you like.
Mix and cook for another minute.
Turn the flame off and set aside.

Back to the dough.
Make a circle with your index finger and your thumb.
Then tear off that size, chunks of the dough.
Rub that chunk between both palms to form a small circle.
Flour the counter surface and using a rolling pin, flatten that circle of dough real thin.
Using a circular cutter or some kind of bowl that has a fairly sharp surface, cut out a circular shape in the dough.
Your cutter should be at least 3″ in diameter.

Then spoon a large tablespoon of filling into the center of the flattened circle.
My technique was to hold it in one hand and with the other hand, fold the ends together, pushing the middle inward first, as if I’m gift wrapping. Then seal it by closing the outer corners over the (now pushed inward) middle.
This probably makes no sense to you so don’t pay attention to me. Youtube is where you wanna be for this.

Ok so assuming you have all your dumplings folded and cinched like draw-string purses..
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pan.
When the oil is hot, add the dumplings, flat-side down.
When the bottom of the dumplings are nice and golden brown, add water to the pan.
The water should be halfway up the side of the dumpling.
Cover with a lid and steam under med heat until cooked through or until the water has evaporated. About 4-5mins.
Monitor it.

Finally, make a ponzu sauce:
1 tbsp sesame oil, ¼ cup soy sauce and 1-2 tbsp sriracha sauce.
Mix well & serve with dumplings.

I’m entering this post into Our Growing Edge link party because this is the first time I’ve ever made dumplings and from what you guys tell me, making the wrapper on my own like this is a pretty big deal. 😀
This month is hosted by Jules from The Kiwi Diaries.

More info on Our Growing Edge can be found HERE. 

50 thoughts on “Chinese Dumplings

  1. As you may or may not know, I am Chinese, and you may very well have nailed this. Additionally, I have also felt the Comcastian rage – repeatedly – to the point where once FiOS became available, I quit Comcast and never looked back. Once, a Comcast salesman cold-called me, and we had this conversation:
    Him: “Ma’am..” (drink)
    Me: “No. Never again.”
    Him: “But…”
    Me: “I would rather have my arms torn off by a bear than go back to Comcast.”

    And I have never had a problem since.

    Anyway, back to the dumplings. The only other things I’ve seen my people add to the filling that you didn’t are egg, minced ginger, and chicken bouillon powder. Nicely done!

    1. Oh also! On the dough, when my family made these production line style, my dad would roll the dough out into a rope about 1-inch thick and maybe 18 inches long. Then he’d slice the rope into fat little medallions about 3/4″ thick and hand me the medallions. I’d squish it down into a circle and then hand it to my mother, and my mother would use the skinny pasta rolling pins she used to beat us to roll the medallions out into little circles. Super efficient!

      Later when we got lazier, we just bought a huge package of pre-made wrappers from the Chinese grocery. Even more efficient!

    2. Hahaha!
      You’re hilarious!
      I can see you now, walking with just your shoulders, STILL talking shit.
      But thanks for the feedback.
      Since I plan on making these again soon, get my Martha Stewart on, that’s good to know.
      And now do they add the egg in a poached fashion? How’s that part work?

      1. Oh, you just add an egg or two along with the raw meat and mix it in like you’re making meatballs or meatloaf or whatever.

        Our beating stick was the translation for “Beat [whichever child is getting beaten]”. As in, “You disrespect me?? I’m getting the 打定定”.

  2. Your dialogues always crack me up 😉 But somehow phone/internet companies are always the worst in customer service…!
    I love that you actually made the dough yourself and that it’s such an easy process, because often when I read recipes for dumplings they simply say to buy such and such wrappers etc. 🙂 So, now I’m off to make dinner, because your post really made me hungry!

    1. Hey hot stuff!!
      Thank you!
      I really hope you give it try. I’m a 1.7 on a scale of 10 when it comes to using a rolling pin and I have to admit, these were pretty bomb.
      I’m soo gonna do this again, fill them with all sorts of stuff 🙂

  3. I just love you!!! You make me want to bust out my rolling bin and go buck wild on some dough and my internet provider!! I had almost an identical experience with AT&T. I’ll spare you all the “unacceptable” bits but let’s just say they are no longer providing me anything!

  4. They look brilliant! And you made your own dough – heads up, Dana! I am impressed!
    As for the phone experience, sorry, but I cannot empathise with you. At all. Here where we live, everything telephone-based has been outsourced to Asia, where people are incredibly friendly, work stupid shifts, and are answering calls concerning problems they have never heard of. I seriously believe that they deal with broken down computers, insurance claims and microwave oven display misfunctions simultaneously, and that every 5 calls they have to ring up a random stranger in the UK to try and sell them double glazing. Fat chance of any of them passing by on their way home from work. I actually feel for them, but not when I am stuck in a cue to the tune of Mozart’s Little Night Music.

      1. I have to admit that in hindsight, I called a company because I had missed the parcel delivery, and the guy assured me it would be delivered the next day. He rang the doorbell the same evening – as our house was on the way to his son’s soccer practice so he decided to drop it off!
        No chief baker here, had a major cake drama yesterday. Off to boil some pig’s trotter now 😉

  5. We love the internet! The Koala and I lose our minds without the internet. We go through a grieving process. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. Once we reach acceptance, we start cleaning the house. Without fail.

    I’ve made a thousand dumplings in my life but I’ve never made my own wrappers. You are amazing making these from scratch! I always wanted to make the wrappers because the store-bought wrappers are too small for my tastes (maybe I’m just greedy wanting larger dumplings but who can blame a girl?). You kinda put this Chinese girl to shame.

    We always fill the wrappers with raw meat. It’s one less step (no pre-cooking required). I know, it sounds scary, but the method you have used cooks them through completely. I swear! My family have been wrapping dumplings with raw meat filling at home and in shops for years and we’re still here.

  6. Comment on that picture of meat in the sauce pan- it’s a good one, you should continue this way. As for the internet I fully sympathise sis. Here is the same- bunch of complete retards on the phone and nobody cares, so I know that pain. I think I’m gonna make these dumplings next weekend. Cool recipe Dana 🙂

  7. Dude. They are some damn fine looking dumplings! Me likey dumplings. Me likey dumplings a lot. Might be time for a trip to my favourite Yum Cha house so I can get my dumpling on!! Yep. I’m booking that shit in 🙂

  8. Mmmmmm amazing ❤ ❤ I loooooove dumplings. And I hate comcast/optimum/at&t, and all of the other providers out there…. horrid customer service and follow through. I pull my hair out every time. Really surprised I'm not bald at this point!

  9. I was seriously getting stressed out on your behalf! Same thing happened to me. I kept getting customer service people that couldn’t do anything. Supervisor wasn’t much better. Finally got someone out to tell me wires were fried on the outside of my house. Finally got it fixed. Took over a week. Oh by the way. I love your dumplings. I don’t have a steamer and liked that you didn’t use one either.

    1. Hahaha!
      They’re a mess, I swear Julie!!
      The hardest part of the whole thing was to keep reminding myself to stay calm.
      Sooo hard when you’re frothing at the mouth like an animal haha
      Glad you like the dumplings 🙌🙌💜💜

  10. Oh. Whoa. You DID. You did jiaozi. I both reject and abjure your hideous travesty of all that is good, decent, and part of my Beijing toddlerhood! — and am pretty ashamed that you made your own dough for the stuff, which I’ve never seriously tried since I was a wee t(/d)yke. O my first welcomer to WordPress blogging! I’ll have my own response, however on the wrong side of history I may be, before the New Year passes. ;p

Go on, get it out..

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s