Jian Jiao – Pan-fried dumplings, potstickers, and Peking ravioli are just some of the names for dumplings beloved everywhere in Asia and at Asian restaurants all over the world. Dumpling wrappers can be found in most food markets or ordered online. In Cambridge, MA, Joyce Chen, the famous 1960s restaurateur, cookbook author, and TV personality, named them Peking Ravioli. Her first restaurant sat right in the middle of an Italian neighborhood and it was the only way to get the locals to try them. She introduced northern Chinese cooking to mainstream America, and also introduced a flat-bottomed wok to fit on American electric stoves.
The story of how steamed dumplings got themselves pan-fried has many takes. The most popular story is that a cook in Peking’s royal palace left dumplings steaming in a wok to do something else. When he returned, all the water had evaporated and the bottoms had become browned and crispy. He took a risk and served them anyway. The fans loved them and our chef not only kept his job, but his head as well.
Jian Jiao – Pan Fried Pork and Cabbage Dumplings
- Large skillet with cover
- Colander and large bowl
- 16 oz Package round dumpling wrappers (3-inch), 40+ wrappers
- 4 cups Chinese or Nappa cabbage leaves, sliced thin crossways (approx 8 leaves)
- 1 tbsp Kosher salt
- 1 cup Scallion, minced
- 3 tbsp Soy sauce
- 1 inch Piece fresh ginger, peeled, smashed and finely chopped
- 2 tbsp Dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine (optional)
- 2 tsp Sugar
- 1 tbsp Toasted sesame oil
- 5 tbsp Vegetable oil
- Make Stuffing – Put cabbage in a colander in the sink. Sprinkle salt over and massage. Let sit while making filling.In a large bowl, combine pork, scallions, soy sauces, ginger, rice wine, and sesame oil. Mix everything together with your hands. Squeeze cabbage in a towel to extract as much liquid as possible. Thoroughly combine cabbage shreds and the pork with your hands.
- Wrap Dumplings – Sit pile of wrappers on a clean work surface. Place a small bowl of warm water, clean plate, and pork filling nearby. Fill the middle of each wrapper with 1 tbsp filling. Dip finger in water and coat edges with water. Fold wrapper in half and seal. Move to plate. Repeat until filling or wrappers are used up. Empty water bowl and refill to use for cooking.
- Cook Dumplings – Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When oil begins to simmer, carefully place as many dumplings in skillet as will reasonably fit on the bottom. Reduce heat to medium. Cook for about 3 minutes to brown without moving the pan. Add 2 tbsp water to the bottom of the skillet and immediately cover with the lid. Steam 2 minutes, shaking pan to keep from sticking. Add another 2 tbsp water, cover, and steam another 2 minutes. Repeat process 1 more time. Turn off heat for 1 minute leaving the cover on. Remove lid, turn heat back to medium high to crisp up the bottoms. Transfer to a serving platter and cover with a kitchen towel to keep warm. Add 1 tbsp oil to pan and repeat process for the remaining dumplings. Serve with vinegar-scallion dipping sauce.
- Edges of dumplings can be crimped with fork tines for a prettier presentation.
- Dumpling can be refrigerated in a sealed container before cooking.
- Uncooked dumplings may be frozen indefinitely.