These bring back memories of Chinese New Year celebrations, sitting around the table making dumplings for the family late at night with my grandparents, waiting for my uncles to finish work in their Chinese takeaway, the kitchen filled with the aroma of fried garlic, fried pickled vegetable fillings and steamed rice. I have added some influences from my travels in Hong Kong here, with a little more Sichuan peppercorn from the rayu or chilli oil and aged Chinese black vinegar to give it that bit of balance, tackling your taste buds from all sides with sweet, sour, spice, salt, umami and the numbing peppercorns from the first bite.
Makes 801 x 200g pack of wonton wrappers
FOR THE FILLING:
500g pork mince
2 spring onions, finely chopped
3 tbsp ChanChan Black Garlic Hong Kong Street Sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
¼ tsp caster sugar
¼ tsp fine sea salt
¼ tsp ground white pepper
FOR THE SAUCE:
60–80ml light soy sauce
2–3 tbsp ChanChan Black Garlic and Peanut Chilli Rayu or Chinese chilli oil
2 tbsp Chinese black vinegar or balsamic vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp caster sugar
black and/or white sesame seeds
½ red onion, thinly sliced (optional)
a handful of fresh coriander leaves, torn
Combine all the filling ingredients in a large bowl. Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a separate bowl.
To assemble the dumplings, set a small bowl of water next to you. Place 1 teaspoon of the filling in the centre of a wrapper. Dab your index finger into the water, then trace the outer edges of the wrapper. This will help to seal the dumplings.
Fold the wrapper to form a triangle, then pinch the wrapper to seal it tightly, making sure there is no leakage. Using the thumb and index finger of both hands, pinch and fold both corners of the dumpling downwards, then lift the right corner over the left corner, pinching to seal it tight. You might dab a little water on both corners to help seal the dumpling. Transfer to a floured surface or a plate lined with parchment paper to make sure the dumplings don’t stick. Form the rest of the dumplings the same way.
Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Drop all the dumplings into the water and gently stir with a ladle to prevent them sticking to each other. Boil for 1–2 minutes, until the dumplings float to the top. Using a small spider strainer or a slotted spoon, immediately transfer the dumplings to a large bowl, shaking the excess water back into the pot.
Add the desired amount of the sauce to the dumplings and gently toss to coat. Transfer to a serving platter, then garnish with some sesame seeds, raw red onion (if using) and torn coriander and serve immediately.