Beijing-style pork and cabbage dumpling filling
Total time: 20 minutes
Servings: Makes enough filling for 3 dozen dumplings, about 6 servings
Note: You can find ground pork with a higher fat content at many Asian markets, or ask your butcher to grind fat into regular ground pork (you want about 20% fat). Or substitute regular ground pork. Ground beef chuck or chicken thigh may be substituted for the pork in this recipe. Regardless, fatty ground meat makes for more succulent dumplings. Chinese rice wine is available at Chinese and most Asian markets.
1 1/2 cups finely chopped nappa cabbage
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons soy sauce, plus extra for the dipping sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1/2 teaspoon sugar
6 ounces fatty ground pork
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup water or cold broth
2 teaspoons minced, peeled fresh ginger
1. In a small bowl, toss cabbage and salt together. Set aside for at least 10 minutes to draw water out of the cabbage.
2. Meanwhile, combine the soy sauce, rice wine and sugar in a medium bowl until sugar is dissolved. Vigorously stir in the pork and sesame oil, using a fork or chopsticks and stirring in one direction until the mixture becomes a smooth paste. Gradually add the water in 3 stages, vigorously stirring in the same direction until each addition is emulsified.
3. Squeeze the excess water from the cabbage with your hands and transfer to a plate, reserving the water. Add the cabbage water to pork mixture, vigorously stirring in the same direction; the mixture will be very soft. Stir in the drained cabbage and ginger. Use the filling immediately, or wrap and chill until ready to use, no more than 1 day.
Each serving (with wrappers): 223 calories; 10 grams protein; 26 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 8 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 20 mg. cholesterol; 1 gram sugar; 368 mg. sodium.