Pork and Shrimp Asian Dumplings: stock your freezer with flavor

She winds up, she sends out her pitch and… SCORE!

No, I  haven’t taken up pitching for the Red Sox; I’m trying to say that I got a new-to-me freezer for my downstairs pantry. Here’s how the play went:

During King Arthur’s recent test kitchen remodel, the old standing freezer was headed to the metal dump unless a good home could be found – and soon. Susan sent me in search of James, and soon he and two others showed up at my desk.

It felt a bit like a late-night meeting of the Sopranos. Plans were made, meeting times arranged, and the guys melted back from whence they had come. Next day, my husband and I whisked the big white box home to our house and I began to fill and fill and fill it.

Two after-Thanksgiving sale turkeys? Check. Big batch of chocolate chip cookie dough? Check.

Mystery author Joanna Fluke has her character label frozen cookie dough “herring” or “lutefisk” to keep prying eyes out. I think I may try that next time.

As soon as a snowy Saturday afternoon hit, I knew it was time to make a batch of Pork and Shrimp Dumplings to add to my freezer stash. Having a stash of dumplings in the freezer is like having gold in the bank. Toss a few into a simple broth, add a few slivers of leftover veggies, and you have an amazing and fulfilling lunch in minutes.

Steam several different flavors and serve with a selection of dipping sauces from mild to palate-numbing, and you have a Friday night movie fest appetizer hit.

Dough for homemade dumplings could not be easier. Just flour and water, and a little time. Fillings are endlessly variable, and once you have the folding method down, you’ll sling out dozens of these little beauties in no time.

Let’s make Pork and Shrimp Asian Dumplings:

Prepare the filling first so the flavors have a chance to blend and marry.

When you choose your pork, look for a little extra fat around the edges. Pork fat in your filling will give it moisture and succulence.

The main flavors of this dumpling filling: pork, shrimp, scallion, garlic, and ginger.

Susan Reid was kind enough to share some of her homemade jarred ginger with me. What a time saver. You can also use our diced or sliced ginger with excellent results. Just avoid powdered ginger, it won’t give you the same depth of flavor.

Here we have:

½ pound boneless pork chops

6 large shrimp, uncooked

2 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

3 large scallions (aka green onion)

Pulse in the food processor until you have a thick paste, with some visible chunks of meat. Add 1 tablespoon soy sauce, white pepper, and salt, and pulse to combine.

Cover well with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or overnight. Be sure to bring to room temperature before filling your wrappers.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine 9 ounces (2 cps + 2 tablespoons) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour and 6 ounces just-boiling water. Stir well with a wooden spoon or spatula. As soon as you can handle the heat, knead the dough until smooth and pliable, adding very little extra flour to keep from sticking.

Place the warm, soft dough into a plastic bag. Seal well and let stand for 20 to 30 minutes.

When you remove the dough from the bag, it will be smooth, barely warm, soft, and pliable. The best descriptor I’ve seen calls it “earlobe soft.” (Go ahead, squeeze your lobe, no one will look).

Divide the dough into 1″ balls and flatten them with your fingers into little circles. Keep the dough you’re not using under plastic wrap or a towel to keep it from drying out.

Using a short, thin dowel, roll the balls into thin wrappers. Keep the very center of the circle a little thicker, as this will be the bottom of your dumpling and it needs to be a bit stronger. Turn, roll, turn, roll, until the wrapper is about 3″ across.

Once all your wrappers are rolled, fill each with about 2 teaspoons filling. Play with the amount of filling until you have plump dumplings, but not over-stuffed, ripped ones. You’ll get the hang of it after just a few.

Bring the dumpling edges up over the filling. Pinch together well. You can stop here, and the dumplings will hold together during cooking, but not be very pretty. Adding folds to the dumpling edges will keep them sealed very well, and add to the finished look of your pouches of goodness.

Folding a dumpling is like folding a pleat in your hem when you’re nervous. Pinch the dough with the thumb and first finger of both hands. Move one hand up slightly and the other down slightly, almost like tearing a piece of paper in half.

Use your pointer finger (my left finger in the photo) to push a little beak of dough towards your opposite thumb. Pull your finger out and press the fold of dough together.

Repeat the fold and press across from the center to the edge. Turn the dumpling around and repeat from the center to the edge again. Sure, the first few you do will look a little wonky and lopsided, but keep practicing and you’ll get it.

To freeze the dumplings, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the dumplings in rows. They can be close together, but shouldn’t touch. Freeze until quite solid, then remove from the trays and store in zip-top bags or airtight containers for up to 2 months.

To cook the dumplings either fresh or frozen, you can use a veggie steamer, or rig one up in a wide-bottom pan with a good fitting lid. Here I used a 3″ deep pan with a round cake cooling rack in the bottom.

Add 1/2″ water to the bottom of the pot. It shouldn’t touch the bottom of the rack. Add your dumplings and bring the water to a quick boil. Reduce the heat so the water just simmers, and cook your dumplings for 8 to 10 minutes if fresh, up to 13 minutes if frozen. Sacrifice one during the cooking time to ensure the filling is completely cooked and very hot.

Come to Mama!

Serve the dumplings hot with your choice of dipping sauces, or just solo. My friend Ben said he loved the fact that you could bite these dumplings and the filling didn’t fall out like take-out dumplings. The wrapper and the filling stay together, so you can get bite after bite of both.

A dozen dumplings will serve 3 people as appetizers, or two as a main dish, with stir-fried veggies on the side. Store any leftovers (leftovers?) in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Please make, rate, and review our recipe for Pork and Shrimp Asian Dumplings.

Print just the recipe.

Share your filling and dipping ideas in the comments below. Seriously, my freezer needs a refill, and I need ideas!

MaryJane Robbins
About

MaryJane Robbins grew up in Massachusetts and moved to Vermont 20 years ago. After teaching young children for 15 years, she changed careers and joined King Arthur Flour in 2005. MaryJane began working on King Arthur Flour's baker’s hotline in 2006, and the blog team ...

comments

  1. diane d. gavigan

    I have not made these dumplings yet. I have several others to make so these are on my list. I do know some of the meats even with the fat can be dry. If you chicken breast or turkey breast this helps to add moisture. If you use silken tofu or medium firm, drain it by place it on an angle and top with paper towels. Then top with plate and a heavy pot or can. Just mix it in the ingredients as you mix, the Tofu will brake up and will take on the other flavors. I use the tofu that is in a box. Has a longer shelf life. I also use it in meatloaf and ricotta cheese for stuff shells, lasagna. Just make sure tofu is drained. For the ricotta cheese and tofu I use 1/2 of each, then mix together. I hope this will helpful to those who have to watch what they have to eat.

    Reply
  2. Tian Li

    I congratulate you on your dumpling success. The only suggestion I have is to use dumpling flour (shui jiao fen). Unfortunately, KAF does not produce such a flour. The closest KAF would be perhaps Queen Guinevere. But I am not certain. Very sadly, Queen Guinevere has recently been discontinued by KAF.

    Reply
  3. maricel

    please help! I froze my wonton and they all got stuck together… How can i cook (fry) them without breaking the wontons apart? Should i just boil the whole 50 pieces chunk in the pot then deep fry them after? Pls help ASAP 🙁

    This is a bit of a sticky situation (excuse the pun). The only thing I can suggest is to allow the wonton wrappers to thaw in your refrigerator and then slowly try and separate them. In the future I would suggest to place a piece of parchment or wax paper in between each layer to prevent sticking.-Jon

    Reply
  4. CamiSu

    MJ, you fed these to Ben, and not to me? Boo on you! We will have to do DumplingHogFest, since Tamalentine’s is out for me this year, thanks to the weather. But I want some soon!

    Also, I have always stored my ginger in vodka. That way it does not get a vinegar-pickle taste, and you can use the liquid for flavour as well.

    Thanks for another great ginger storage tip!-Jon

    Reply
  5. milkwithknives

    We just made these for the third time and they’re wonderful! I think we’re getting better with practice and from reading the ongoing suggestions and comments here. We ground up some nice, lean pork sirloin and mixed in Chinese chives, ginger and garlic, and next time will give it a couple of shots of fish sauce, too. We rolled out the dough with our Kitchenaid pasta roller (setting 2 for nice, thick skins) and then used the little turnover machines (Item # 8935) to cut and fill our dumplings. We then cooked them for about ten minutes total with two doses of boiling water. Perfect. This was our best batch yet, helped greatly by the turnover machines and remembering to cover the dough waiting its turn to be used. Oh, also, I used half white whole wheat in the dough with excellent results. Thanks so much, MaryJane, for the great lesson! We’ll be making these regularly now for sure.

    Reply
  6. Kam Bright

    I use a tortilla press to flatten out the dough. Just be sure to wrap both plates in plastic wrap so the dough doesn’t stick plus it makes clean up a breeze.

    What a brilliant idea! Thank you for sharing. Kim@KAF

    Reply
  7. Crissy W.

    Sounds delicious!!! Would love to make and freeze. How long can I store these in the freezer?

    The dumplings should be cooked within a few months of freezing (if they last even that long!), checking them after 4 months and perhaps letting them stay frozen for 6. Best, Kim@KAF

    Reply

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