For parties and gatherings at this time of year I love to serve mini morsels of my favourite foods. That way, in one meal I can serve (and eat) so many delicious foods. Besides, nearly all our parties these days involve kids so making bite-sized party food lets me serve a range of mini dishes that will work for adults as well as kids. The biggest thing I consider when making bite-sized food is how much of the work can be done ahead – I always choose recipes that require minimal last minute preparations but that are still big on taste.
One of my favourite bite sized party foods are these gorgeous flavorful Chinese pork dumplings. Little morsels of deliciousness that go down a treat with any age group. I like think of them as the Asian version of sausage rolls that make a nice change when you’ve had one sausage roll to many! And besides, I love dumplings – who doesn’t? So much flavour in one little bite!
The more traditional Chinese pork dumplings recipe includes cabbage however I’ve replaced the cabbage with shiitake mushrooms as I love the shot of flavour they bring. That’s the beauty of these dumplings – you can choose whatever meat and veg filling that you like.
CHINESE PORK DUMPLINGS RECIPE with SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS
Makes: 15 dumplings (approx)
For the dumplings:
120g minced pork
40-50g shiitake mushrooms finely chopped
3 spring onions finely chopped
1½ tsp grated ginger
1 tsp shaoxing rice wine
2 tsp soy sauce
couple of twists of black pepper
pinch of salt
pinch of sugar
dumpling skins (shop bought)
2-3tsp cornflour for dusting
1 tbs oil for frying
For the dipping sauce:
3 tbs soy sauce
2 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp chilli oil (optional)
2-3 tsp toasted sesame seeds
To start with, mix all of your filling ingredients together making sure everything is mixed really well.
Now you can start assembling the dumplings. For this I like to work on a very lightly floured surface and I keep a lightly floured baking sheet or tray nearby to put the assembled dumplings on. You also need a small bowl of cold water to glue the dumplings together. To assemble the dumplings follow this easy tutorial on folding Chinese dumplings. You can do up to this stage a few days ahead and freeze the dumplings.
When you’re ready to cook, heat a large non-stick frying pan and pour in the oil. When the pan is medium hot put in your dumplings – flat side down. Let them fry for a couple of minutes till the bases are a nice golden brown colour. Then pour in the water, lower the heat to a gentle simmer, cover and cook till the water evaporates – around 10 minutes.
For the dipping sauce, mix all the ingredients together and that’s it. I also serve a bowl of chilli oil on the side for those who like a bit of heat. This Chinese pork dumplings recipe is one of my favourite party foods to make because it’s such a hit every time I serve it!