Easy to make, easy to please with – these pork and garlic chives dumplings are a huge hit with my family and hopefully they’ll be for yours too.
So a lot happened in the last week.
Our LG washing machine of 8 years broke down and the quote to fix it was more expensive than a new machine so what to do next was a no brainer -> Buy a new machine YAY! It took me awhile to find a machine to my liking and during that time we had to send our laundry out because 2 kids and 1 klutzy mom makes for A LOT of dirty clothes. Laundering one load of whites and one load of darks costs us 600 dhs total ($180). Ouch. I miss the US system where they charge by weight instead of per item.
Then our Siemens dishwasher went on the fritz – the only way it will work is if we give it a few persistent kicks. Time for a new one too I think?
Maybe with all the stress of broken machines, one morning, I said something to my son (Wee Scotch) that just continues to put me in the category of “Bad Mommy.”
Me: I don’t like that tone of voice you are using with me. If you don’t start being nice to mommy, then mommy’s going to stop being nice to you.
Wee Scotch: (Crosses arms against chest. Sulks.)
Me: That means mommy won’t take you out to restaurants and I won’t make your favorite foods.
Wee Scotch: (Stares out window. Continues to sulk.)
The truth of the matter is that no matter how angry I get at him or how much he misbehaves, I will always make him his favorite foods and buy him his favorite toys. Because he may have moments of naughtiness (he’s only 6 after all and in kindergarten) but he is (for the most part) a sweet, loving, and caring boy.
And one of his favorite foods (it’s in the family genes 🙂 ) are dumplings. Like me, he likes eating them AND making them.
When I made the chicken and shrimp wontons, he exclaimed, “Mom, your dumplings are so, so, so, so, so, so (continues for nearly a minute) so, so … so goooooood!”
He makes a mom proud.
And after biting into these pork and chive gyoza, he went into a whole minute of “yum, yum, yum, yum…” I kid you not.
After a few hours, while we were driving around town running errands, Wee Scotch says to me: “Mama, I just can’t stop thinking about your dumplings!”
Gotta love that kid.
Gyoza wrappers – I like the made-in-Japan gyoza skin for these potstickers. They are thin (I don’t like thick dumpling skins) and so easy to work with.
In Dubai, they are sold in Waitrose (8 dhs I think) in the Japanese frozen section and also at Dean Fujiya’s (also the frozen section). They are slightly cheaper at Dean’s. I have tried another brand of gyoza skin (made in the U.S.A. from Lulu’s hypermarket Barsha) but they were not as good.
By the way, “Gyoza” is the japanese word for “Jiaozi” and Jiaozi is the Chinese term for a type of dumpling. Potstickers are jiaozi that are panfried.
If you are a food geek like me, you can devour more details about gyoza and jiaozi on Wiki.
Garlic Chives – These are similar to onion chives but with a garlicky flavor, hence the name, and are popular in Chinese cooking – especially in soups and dumplings.
Buying Tip – Up into recently, garlic chives were rarely sold in supermarkets outside of the Chinese food markets in international city.
But now, they are sometimes available at Waitrose and more frequently at 1004 Mart which is a store in Al Barsha that sells predominantly Korean products. If you don’t see them at 1004 Mart, be sure to check with a store assistant as they do get regular deliveries on specific days of the week.
Click here for my map to Dean Fujiya’s, 1004 Mart and other Asian grocery stores.
Harvested garlic chives from my garden today to make Chinese Pork and Chive dumplings. Recipe on the blog soon. Two hours after I made the dumplings for lunch, Wee Scotch says to me: "Mama, I just can't stop thinking about your dumplings! They are so so so … so GOOD!" Gotta love that kid. #dumplings #chives #garlicchives #garden #dubai #mydubai
The garlic chives I use in my cooking almost always comes from my garden. I have a few pots of them and I started the the plants from seeds that my mom harvested from her New York garden.
They are growing very well in Dubai and when they are nearly 12 inches long, I harvest them and use them in dumpling or soup recipes.
For these potstickers, I cut the garlic chives with my kitchen shears to 3/4″ (2 cm) length:
Here’s Li’L Ginger eating a potsticker – hurray!
She’s such a picky eater. She liked the first batch I made with no garlic but was turned off by the subsequent batches made with minced garlic.
Below is a video of Wee Scotch demonstrating how to wrap the filling into the gyoza skin. He is using a little dumpling mold that I bought a few years ago in Chinatown (Brooklyn, NY) for $1.
I love how proud he is of all his gyoza creations. If you cannot see the video below for any reason, click here.
You can eat potstickers on their own or with a dipping sauce like soy sauce mixed with a little bit of rice vinegar.
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- 1-2 Tb vegetable oil for pan-frying
- gyoza wrappers, about 30
- 450 grams (1 lb) minced pork
- 70 grams (2.5 oz) chives, cut into 1.5 cm (about 1¼ cup packed)
- ½ teaspoon ground sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic (optional but nice), minced
- 1 teaspoon sugar, optional
- 1 egg
- Mix together all the ingredients for the dumpling filling until well combined. Taste test one by microwaving a tablespoon-size ball of filling for 30 seconds. Adjust seasonings to your taste.
- Refrigerate dumpling filling for at least 30 minutes.
- Put some water into a small bowl and use the water to wet the edges of the gyoza wrappers with your fingers.
- Put a teaspoon of the dumpling mixture into the middle of the wrapper.
- Fold the wrapper over and pressing down on the edges to seal.
- In a saute pan with a lid, heat 1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil on med-high heat.
- Add dumplings and swirl pan so dumplings slide around the oil so they don’t stick to pan.
- Allow to brown for 3 minutes, then gently flip the dumplings over using chopsticks or a spatula.
- Add ¼ cup water, cover pan and lower heat to simmer and cook for 5 minutes after which most of the water should have evaporated.
- Remove lid by lifting straight up so condensation does not drip back onto frying pan.
- Turn the heat up to medium, swirl dumplings around again and cook for another 5 minutes to get a nice browning.
- Remove to serving plate and serve with dipping sauce.
- After folding the filling into the wrapper and before cooking, place dumplings on a freezer safe plate for 1.5 to 2 hours or until frozen.
- Transfer to a resealable bag.
- To cook, do not defrost but follow pan-frying instructions as per the above.
- You can also boil the dumplings from frozen if you don't want to make potstickers: Bring a pot of water to boil, then simmer dumplings for 10 min being careful not to let dumplings stick to the bottom of the pan or to each other.
(2) There are about 20 dumpling skins in the gyoza wrapper sold at Waitrose
(3) If you don't want to make these dumplings as potstickers, you can also boil them for 4-5 minutes then serve in soup or eat by themselves with or without dumpling sauce.