I have been CRAVING dumplings recently! If I were in Sydney I’d be straight off to one of the many wonderful Chinese Yum Cha restaurants to gorge myself, but here in Munich, I prefer to make my own dumplings.
My easy recipe for Pork Dim Sum is so quick and easy, that you’ll wonder why you’ve never tried making them at home before.
What is Dim Sum?
Ok, so these pork dumplings might be often called dim sum, but they are actually just one type of dim sum dish called ‘Siu Mai/Shu mai’. The term dim sum actually refers to a whole meal of many different dishes, including pork buns, dumplings, noodles and even chicken feet.
To make matters more confusing, in Australia the meal (and Chinese restaurants) are usually called ‘Yum Cha’ which means ‘drink tea’!
To keep things simple I’ll be calling these dumplings Pork Dim Sum throughout this recipe.
To make pork dumplings for dim sum you’ll need the following main ingredients (full details in the recipe card):
- Ground pork: I’d recommend either making your own ground pork or having it ground for you at the butcher for best results. You want to use pork with decent fat content, so throw in a bit of pork belly if you can. Lean pork is not suitable as it can taste a little dry.
- Dumpling wrappers: You can find these in the freezer or fridge section at most Asian stores as well as grocery stores with a decent international foods section. They are sold under the name Gow Gee wrappers or Wonton wrappers.
- Soy sauce: I always use light soy sauce as I find dark soy a little overpowering. This is used to add a rich umami flavour to the pork as well as making the spicy dipping sauce.
- Rice vinegar: This adds a tanginess and balance to the recipe. If you can’t get rice vinegar, substitute it with apple cider vinegar.
- Spring onions / green onions
- Ginger, chilli and coriander: To add a little spice and flavour. If you don’t like coriander / cilantro, leave it out or replace it with chives.
How to make Pork Dim Sum
The first time you make Chinese dumplings you might feel a bit unsure, but trust me, these dumplings are so simple to make (and so tasty you’ll be wanting to make more ASAP!)
- First, mix together all of the filling ingredients together in a large mixing bowl until well combined.
- Next, take one dumpling wrapper, hold it in the palm of your hand and place a heaped teaspoon of the meat filling in the middle. Fold the edges of the wrapper up all around the meat, forming a pouch that’s open at the top. Gently press the wrapper against the filling so that it sticks. Repeat the remaining filling ingredients. You should end up with around 24 dumplings. If you find the wonton skin is really not sticking, wet your index finger and use it to pinch the sides together.
- Now you need to steam the dumplings. You can either use a traditional bamboo steaming basket or a metal steamer insert. Cut a disk of baking parchment paper large enough to cover the bottom of the basket and poke it full of holes with a sharp knife. Place it in the base of the basket and place the dumplings on top (you’ll likely need to do this in two batches).
- Fill the bottom of a wok or large frying pan with a couple of cups of water. The water should come around 2cm (just less than an inch) up the sides of your steaming basket, but not touch the bottom of the dumplings. Bring the water to a boil, then place the closed steaming basket on top. Steam the dumplings for 10 minutes and serve hot with my spicy dipping sauce (see recipe card for details.)
- Add prawn/shrimp: These dumplings are often made with a mixture of pork and prawn. Stir through as much finely diced prawns as you like and continue as per the recipe.
- Bulk them out: If you want to bulk out these dumplings, add some diced water chestnuts or mushrooms to make the filling mixture go a little further.
- Vegetarian options: These dumplings work very well with vegetarian meat substitutes such as Quorn.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I buy wonton wrappers?
Dumpling or wonton wrappers are most often found in the freezer section of your local Asian stores. If you’re at all unsure, ask one of the staff for help! I prefer to use square wonton wrappers for this recipe, and round wrappers to make Gyoza or potstickers.
Can I double or triple the recipe?
Yes! Go for it, just scale up as needed. This recipe makes enough for two people, you generally need around 10-12 dumplings per person.
Can I freeze dim sum?
Yes! They freeze really well. Freeze them uncooked on trays dusted with cornstarch. When they are frozen solid, transfer them to freezer bags. Steam directly from frozen, they’ll need an extra 5 minutes or so to cook through.
What to serve with Dim Sum?
Pork dumplings like these are usually served either as a starter or as part of a larger meal, though they can be a perfectly delicious main dish all by themselves. I like to serve dim sum dumplings with steamed green vegetables like bok choy, broccoli or beans.
In dim sum restaurants, you’ll usually be served (very hot!) tea along with your dumplings, though I prefer a cold beer!
for the filling:
- 250g (½ lb) minced pork
- 2 spring onions (green onions), finely sliced
- ½ red chilli pepper, diced
- small bunch of fresh coriander (cilantro), finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, finely grated
- 1 Tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
- ½ tsp sugar
- ½ tsp sea salt
for the wrappers:
- 24 fresh wonton or dumpling wrappers, defrosted if frozen
for the spicy dumpling sauce:
- 3 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp sesame oil
- ½ red chilli pepper, sliced
- a squeeze of fresh lime
- PREPARE: Cut a disc of parchment paper to the size of your steaming basket and use a small, sharp knife to cut air holes into it. Soak the base of the bamboo steamer in cold water.
- MAKE THE FILLING: In a large bowl, combine ground pork with all other filling ingredients. Use your hands to knead until smooth.
- FILL THE DIM SUM: Dust a baking sheet or large plate with cornstarch. Working one at a time, hold a dumpling wrapper in the palm of your hand, and place a heaped teaspoon of the meat mixture in the middle of a wonton wrapper. Gather the up to form a pouch with an open top, pressing the dough into the filling so that it sticks. Place on the prepared tray and repeat with all remaining filling. Cover and chill until needed.
- STEAM DIM SUM: Heat 2.5cm (1 in.) water in a wok or large, heavy-based frying pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Place the dim sum into the prepared basket, leaving space between each (you may find you need two baskets or to make the dim sum in batches). Place the covered basket into the wok or frying-an and steam for 10 minutes.
- MAKE THE SAUCE: While the dumplings are steaming, stir together all dipping sauce ingredients.
- SERVE: When the dumplings have cooked, serve immediately with spicy dipping sauce.
Double or triple the recipe and freeze the dim sum. Cook directly from frozen for additional 5 minutes.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 12 dumplings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 728Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 144mgSodium: 3638mgCarbohydrates: 79gFiber: 4gSugar: 6gProtein: 42g
Nutrition is calculated automatically and may not always be accurate.
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