I had dough leftover from making my fresh chinese noodles for my lo mein so I had to do something with it! I know that you can freeze pasta dough for later use but I’m so bad about that and I tend to either forget it is there or let it go bad so I figured I had better just make something with it. I also had some grass-fed ground beef in the fridge that needed to be used up so I thought: dumplings!
I know that traditionally these dumplings are made with gyoza wrappers (which can be purchased pre-made or made from scratch) of some sort but I figured if I rolled out my fresh pasta dough very thin it would do the job. It sure did! These dumplings were tender and flavorful and everything that they should be. I am also used to dumplings made with a pork filling but I used beef since that’s what I had on hand. No regrets there! Since I used 80% lean beef, there was still plenty of fat to keep the meat moist and flavorful. Served with an easy scallion dipping sauce, these are a perfect accompaniment to beef lo mein or as an appetizer to almost anything! Plus, these can be made ahead, frozen and then cooked from frozen! So make a bunch of them, freeze them and then transfer them to a ziplock bag for easy storage.
I will admit I am NO expert dumpling shaper. I was feeling creative so my dumplings came out in many shapes and sizes as I played with my dough, filling it and closing it in different ways. For some I stamped out a round of dough with a ravioli cutter and for some I used a pastry wheel I cut dough of various shapes and sizes. So in the pictures you will notice they are many different shapes and sizes! My favorites were the mid-sized ones that were like little “pouches”. But have fun with it. Why not? I suppose I would like to learn the real way to get the nice professional looking “folds” on my dumplings one day but I guess I just didn’t have the patience for it the day I made these! Haha.
Beef and Cabbage Dumplings
(Adapted from “Pork and Cabbage Dumplings” in Best International Recipe (from the editors of Cooks Illustrated))
Ingredients for the Filling:
- 3 cups minced napa cabbage leaves (about ½ medium head)
- ¾ tsp. salt
- ¾ lb. ground beef (80-85 % lean- OR you can substitute ground pork or chicken)
- 4 scallions, minced (about 6 tbsp.)
- 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
- 4 tsp. soy sauce
- 1 ½ tsp. minced or grated fresh ginger
- 1 clove of garlic, finely minced or pressed through a garlic press
- 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
Ingredients for the Dumplings:
- 24 round gyoza wrappers OR 1 recipes of “Fresh Chinese Noodles”- dough rolled into a large thin sheet (or multiple thin sheets with a pasta machine)- 4” circles or squares cut for the wrappers
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 cup water, plus extra for brushing
- 1 recipe scallion dipping sauce
- Toss the cabbage with the salt in a colander set over a bowl and let stand until wilted, about 20 minutes. Press the cabbage with a spatula to squeeze out any excess moisture, than transfer to a medium bowl.
- Add remaining filling ingredients and mix thoroughly to combine
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until well chilled (chill up to 24 hours)
- Working with 4 wrappers at a time (keep the remaining wrappers or dough covered with plastic wrap), fill, and seal and shape dumplings. To do this place 1 generous tablespoon of filling in the center of the wrapper. Moisten the edge of the wrapper by dabbing gently with water. Fold in half to make a half moon shape (or in half diagonally for square wrappers). With forefinger and thumb, pinch dumpling closed, pressing out any air pockets. Place dumpling on its side and press gently to flatten bottom.
- Transfer dumplings to a baking sheet and repeat with remaining wrappers and filling (to make about 24). Dumplings can be wrapped tightly and refrigerated for 24 hours or frozen for up to 1 month (do not thaw before cooking if frozen).
- Line a large plate with paper towels and set aside
- Brush 1 tbsp. of oil in the bottom of a 12-inch nonstick skillet and arrange half of the dumplings in the skillet, with the flat sides facing down. Place the skillet over medium-high heat and cook, without moving, until golden brown on the bottom, about 5 minutes
- Reduce the heat to low, add ½ cup of water and cover. Cook, covered, until most of the water is absorbed and the wrappers are slightly translucent (if using fresh Chinese dough they will not be translucent, just a light beige and tender).
- Uncover the skillet, increase heat to medium-high and cook until the dumplings are well browned and crisp on the bottom (3-4 minutes more).
- Slide dumplings onto paper-towel lined plate, browned side facing down and let drain briefly
- Let skillet cool to warm then wipe clean and repeat with remaining dumplings
- Serve dumplings with scallion dipping sauce
Scallion Dipping Sauce
(Adapted from “Scallion Dipping Sauce” in The Best International Recipe (from the editors of Cooks Illustrated))
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp. mirin
- 2 tbsp. water
- 1 scallion, sliced thin on the bias
- 1 tsp. chili oil (optional or to taste)
- ½ tsp. toasted sesame oil
- Combine all ingredients in a medium serving bowl and serve