These juicy dumplings are easy to make. When cooking for a crowd, Eunsook Pai sears the dumplings a couple of hours in advance and then steams them just before serving. Although she makes her dumpling wrappers from scratch, store-bought ones also do the trick.
- 7 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more if needed
- 6 cups thinly sliced napa cabbage (about 1/2 head)
- 1 3/4 teaspoons fine sea salt, divided
- 2 cups thinly sliced Vidalia onion
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh chives (about 1 bunch)
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions (about 4 scallions), plus more for garnish
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic (about 6 cloves)
- 1 1/2 pounds ground pork
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, plus more for garnish
- 1/4 cup sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- Homemade Dumpling Wrappers or 80 store-bought (3-inch rounds; from two 12-ounce packages)
- 2 large egg whites
For a beautiful presentation, Eunsook Pai serves her dumplings on banana leaves and frames the platter with big bunches of sage.
Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large saute pan or wok over high heat. Saute cabbage, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt, and transfer to a large bowl. Heat another tablespoon vegetable oil, and saute onion, stirring occasionally, until just softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt, add to bowl with cabbage, and let cool 5 minutes. Process in a food processor until just coarsely chopped, and return to bowl.
Heat 2 teaspoons vegetable oil in pan over medium heat, and saute chives until just tender, about 1 minute. Transfer to chopped cabbage mixture, and let cool. Stir in scallions, garlic, pork, sesame seeds, sesame oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Stir together soy sauce, vinegar, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl; set dipping sauce aside.
Working with 1 wrapper at a time, moisten edge with egg whites, then place 2 teaspoons filling in center. Fold in half to form a half-moon, press edge to seal tightly, and place on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet.
Wipe out pan. Working in batches and wiping out pan between each, heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil until shimmering, and sear dumplings until browned, about 1 minute per side. (If preparing in advance, stop here and steam before serving.) Add 1/4 cup water, and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Steam dumplings 2 minutes. Transfer to a platter, and loosely tent with foil to keep warm. Repeat with rest of dumplings. Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds. Serve dumplings with dipping sauce.