With store-bought dumpling wrappers, available in rounds and squares that typically come in packages of 50, making homemade dumplings is a breeze. (If buying wrappers from the refrigerator case, freeze half the package for a future use.) You can buy ground chicken, but I’ve included a quick DIY hack. Sherry makes a good substitute for the Shaoxing cooking wine.
- 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken thigh meat, cut into chunks
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 4 scallions, trimmed and sliced into thirds
- 4 ounces of raw peeled carrot chunks
- 2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Shaoxing cooking wine
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided use 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 25 to 30 round dumpling wrappers
- 10 tablespoons water
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
Place the chicken chunks on a rimmed sheet pan and freeze for 10 minutes (this makes grinding easier). Meanwhile, place the ginger, garlic, scallions, and carrots in a food processor and process until finely minced; transfer to a large bowl. Add the chilled chicken to the food processor bowl and process until finely ground, about 10 to 15 pulses; add in the soy sauce, cooking wine, cornstarch, sesame oil, black pepper, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and pulse a few more times until well blended. Transfer to the bowl with the vegetables and mix thoroughly.
Line a clean rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper. Dampen a clean dishtowel or paper towels and place them over the sheet pan. Fill a small bowl with cold water and set it between the package of wrappers and the chicken mixture. Use a fingertip to thoroughly wet the circumference of a dumpling wrapper and then place a heaping teaspoon of filling in the center (don’t overfill or it won’t stay sealed). Fold over the wrapper to make a half-moon shape, pressing down along the edges to seal, then crimp the edges to further seal in the filling. Place the dumpling on the sheet pan under the damp toweling. Repeat until you’ve filled all the wrappers.
Heat a wok or large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 5 tablespoons of water, and a layer of dumplings to the pan (fry in two batches, if needed, to avoid crowding). Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Take off the cover and keep cooking until the liquid evaporates and the bottom of the dumplings are browned, another 3 to 5 minutes. Repeat with the remaining dumplings.
For a dipping sauce, combine the 1/4 cup soy sauce and the rice wine vinegar in a small bowl and serve.