You can make dumpling dough from scratch, but according to Fran Gerling, our recipe tester, the process proves sticky, at best. It's far simpler to purchase wrappers in the frozen food or produce department of your supermarket. For steamed dumplings, look for "shoo-mai" wrappers. They should be about 3 to 3 1/2 inches in diameter, paper-thin, and nearly white. Can't find shao-mai wrappers? Use square won ton skins, and cut the corners off. Unsteamed dumplings-and dumpling wrappers - freeze well. Yield: About 46 dumplings
3/4 lb. ground pork
2 c. ( 1/2 lb) Chinese cabbage, chopped and squeezed dry
3 T. soy sauce
1 tsp. salt
1 T. sesame oil
1 T. chopped green onions
3 tsp. fresh minced ginger
2 packages (30 count) dumpling wrappers
cherry tomatoes (optional)
Mix first seven ingredients. Place two tsp. mixture in each wrapper. Fold in half, and pinch edges with tucks to form a standing half-moon shape. Seal the edges with a bit of cold water.
Place the dumplings on a cookie sheet line with parchment or wax paper and refrigerate.
Oil the steamer, or line the bottom with cabbage leaves so the dumplings won't stick. Place dumplings in steamer, and steam at medium heat for 20 minutes.
Drizzle with Garlic-Soy Dipping Sauce (see recipe, below). Garnish with cherry tomatoes and cilantro, if desired.
Garlic-Soy Dipping Sauce
3 T. soy sauce
2 T. white vinegar
2 tsp. sesame oil
2 tsp. minced fresh garlic
Combine ingredients and stir. Let stand 5-10 minutes before using to give the garlic time to permeate the soy sauce.
From the May 1996 issue.