There were certain rules to this event - the dumplings needed to be wrapped in dough and either boiled, steamed, baked but not fried.
So for my pastry I decided to cut a corner and use the ever useful, wonton wrapper. These small squares of fresh pastry certainly make life easy.
I've opted to steam my dumplings and have given them a Chinese feel with a blend of pork, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, spring onions, cabbage and water chestnuts for added crunch.
120 grams pork shoulder (or pork mince)
120 grams cabbage, roughly shredded
3 spring onions, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
dash sesame oil
freshly ground white pepper
handful water chestnuts, roughly chopped
20 wonton wrappers
To save a bit of time I made the filling using a small food processor.
Cut the pork into cubes and process until finely chopped but still retaining some texture. Remove and place into a bowl.
Add the spring onions and pulse until finely chopped - tip this in with the pork.
Add the cabbage and pulse until finely chopped. Add the pork and spring onions back to the bowl and pulse briefly to mix the ingredients. Now tip this all back into your bowl.
Add the hoisin sauce, sesame oil (be careful with the sesame oil as it's very strong you only need to add a few drops) and pepper and stir well.
Add the water chestnuts (I left these in larger pieces as I wanted them to provide the contrasting crunch) - stir again. At this stage to check that the seasoning is correct I like to cook up just a teaspoon or two of the mix - just cook a little in a frypan just until the pork is cooked through. Taste and make any adjustments as necessary.
Lightly beat an egg and add to the mixture. Stir it through and the filling is complete.
To make the dumplings:
Place the wrapper flat on a board and and lightly moisten the edge with water - place a spoonful of filling in the centre and bring the corners together - as you do that, gently squeeze the filling upwards to create an purse like shape, allow the corners to fold as they will. There should be an opening in the top. The best part of this type of shape is that no two will look the same.
I used a bamboo steamer - be careful not to overcrowd the steamer as you don't want the dumplings sticking together. Steam over a pot of boiling water until cooked through. These took between 5-10 minutes.
These are best served hot from the steamer.
Because I couldn't help myself I also made a few that have been
Depending on whether you feel good or bad, the choice is there!