My mother in law makes these Chinese egg dumplings and they are SO GOOD. So every so often, I park my self at my in-law’s house, specifically in the kitchen, and try to learn a few things. Seriously, it seems like food just appears like magic in the house because if you turn around for one second, all the food is cooked and no more cooking lesson. So it took me a few tries to learn how to make these, but it was worth it. Super soft and tender egg wrapped pork dumplings (instead of a traditional dough wrapper) which is cooked with some napa cabbage to make a stewy flavorful meal.
- 5 Eggs
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 lb Ground Pork (not lean!)
- 1 Tbsp Low Sodium Soy Sauce
- 1 tsp Shao Shing Cooking Wine
- 1/2 tsp Minced Ginger
- 2 Tbsp Water
- 6 Tbsp Cooking Oil
- 1 Head of Napa Cabbage (about 15-20 pieces)
- Cooking Spatula
- 2 Spoons
- 2 Mixing Bowls
I started by prepping the napa cabbage. Basically, breaking apart the leaves, rinsing, and draining. I set those aside for later.
Next, I put the ground pork into a bowl. Use a fattier ground pork. None of that lean stuff. Begin rant: Vons only carries 95% lean ground pork. That’s it AND they wouldn’t grind any of it for me because it would taint their beef grinder. Get it together Vons. I went to my local Asian grocery store and got double the amount of meat (and probably 4x the fat) for 1/2 the price. End rant.
Next, I mixed in the soy sauce, cooking wine, water, and minced ginger. Mix thoroughly because you don’t want to take a bite into a huge chunk of ginger. Blech. I actually had to measure all this stuff out myself. This recipe was described to me in as “put in some ginger”, “cap full of cooking wine”, and “oh, put some water”.
Note: I think you can substitute the cooking wine with a dry sherry (or so I’ve seen in other Chinese recipes). You can usually find this stuff now in the ethnic food aisle in the grocery store (even Vons, amazingly).
In a separate bowl, I cracked 3 eggs (then added 2 more when I ran out of egg mixture) and added 1/2 tsp of salt. I beat the eggs and salt together until…the eggs were beaten?
Now all the pieces were prepped and I began assembling the egg dumplings. This process took process finessing so I’ll try to give you all the tips I can.
First, I coated the bottom of a pan with some cooking oil. I use canola oil. Any flavorless oil will do.
I turned the heat to med-low and let the oil heat up for a minute or two. If the oil isn’t hot enough, the egg won’t spread. If its too hot, it’ll burn before you’re done assembling the dumpling. The burning part totally happened to me.
So, I got very little instruction on how much egg to use for each dumpling. Apparently, if you’re super good at doing this, you can make zillions of dumplings per egg. I am definitely not that good. I used about 1.5 Tbsp of egg mixture per dumpling. That’s about 1 1/2 Chinese soup spoons worth. I used them because that’s what my mother in law used and I thought I could channel her dumpling making ninja skills. (Semi-worked).
About 5 seconds after the egg hits the pan, It should look kinda like this. You can use the spoon the help spread the egg into an oblong circular shape. The top side should be mostly uncooked.
I scooped about a scant tablespoon of the meat mixture on one edge of the egg.
Then, I used a spatula to fold one end over. Once the egg cooks, it fuses the dumpling together. This takes about 3 seconds and then I removed the dumplings onto a plate. The pork will be mostly if not completely raw.
I repeated this process until I got through all the meat mixture. You may need to add more oil to the pan after every 3-4 dumplings. It looks like a mass of not that appetizing scrambled eggs, but don’t worry. It’s going to be SO GOOD.
Next, I began assembly to cook the dumplings. I used a wok and coated the bottom with cooking oil.
I lined the bottom of the pan with half the napa cabbage leaves. You have to use napa cabbage. It’s what gives the dish its awesome soupy goodness and flavor. If you really have to, you can use regular cabbage, but its just not going to be nearly as good.
Next, I slid all the egg dumplings onto the napa cabbage bed in a single-ish layer.
Next, I covered the dumplings with the other half of the napa cabbage. I essentially made a napa cabbage cocoon for my dumplings. They kinda steam inside which I think is why the meat stays so tender.
I lightly sprinkled some salt on top and put a lid on the wok.
I turned the heat on to medium and let it simmer for 20 minutes. The napa cabbage cooks down and creates a soupy liquid flavored by the porky drippings from the dumplings. Om nom nom nom nom.
I mixed it up and made sure all the dumplings were cooked through, then transferred to a bowl. We eat family style so everyone gets a bowl of rice and scoops some egg dumpling delicousness on top to eat.