A school mum gave me some fresh fennel and taught me how to make pork and fennel dumplings, a popular dish from Northern China.
Recipe is as follows:
Black pepper and ginger water
- 2 tsp sichuan pepper corns (or black pepper corns)
- a few 2 pieces of ginger, thinly sliced
- boiling water
Lightly crash the pepper corns; place black pepper corns and ginger in a cup and pour over boiling water; leave aside to infuse and cool.
- 300g pork mince
- 1 bunch of fresh fennel, approximately 50g
- a handful of corn kernels, approximately 50g (I used frozen corn kernels. I found them softer and more suitable for dumplings)
- 1/2 carrot, approximately 50g, skin peeled and graded
- 20g of green shallot (scallion), finely sliced
- 1/2 tsp grated ginger, or to taste
- 1/4 tsp white pepper, or to taste
- 1 tsp chicken bouillon
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp cooking sake
- 2-3 tbsp of black pepper & ginger water (see above)
- salt to taste
- 30-40 shop bought dumpling wrappers (I used a thicker wrapper typically used for boiled dumplings)
- Combine all ingredients – I use a mixer with a K-beater. If you don’t have a mixer, mix the ingredients in a large bowl with a pair of chopstick, stirring, one direction only, for approximately 5 minutes. The idea is to make the pork mince into a smooth paste. You may like to add a little more or less liquid if the paste is too thick or too thin.
- If you have time, transfer the paste to a container and leave it in the fridge overnight – the flavor will intensify.
- Wrap the dumplings – see video below.
- Steam the dumplings in a steamer for approx 10-15 minutes
- If preferred, serve with a dipping sauce of black vinegar, soy and minced garlic. The
- proportion of vinegar, soy and garlic is as-you-please to suit your taste.