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Pork and Black Garlic Dumplings

Pork and Black Garlic Dumplings

Renée Robinson

Homemade Dumplings – So Much Better Than Store Bought.

When it comes to dumplings, I’m a fan of most all I’ve ever tasted. Some are better than others, but when it comes to putting together a quick meal, nothing is faster than having a pre-made bag of frozen dumplings on hand. As handy as those are, homemade dumplings do taste a whole lot better. 

Making the filling is easy. I like Kenji Lopez-Alt’s combination of pork shoulder and a little bacon, but added my own additional ingredients and seasonings. I used some reconstituted dried black mushrooms, along with a full tablespoon of black garlic, some orange zest, fresh ginger and ground white peppercorns. 

Ingredients for Dumplings

The chunks of pork shoulder are fully salted and put into the freezer for 15 minutes before being mixed in the food processor with the pieces of bacon which are fully frozen. This prevents the meat from over processing and turning to mush. An egg, Shoaxing wine, soy sauce, and a little bit of sugar are also added to the mix, along with the additional ingredients I previously mentioned. This is all quickly pulsed in the food processor and then it’s simply a matter of filling the dumpling wrappers. I did test a small spoonful of the filling for seasoning by placing it in a glass dish and microwaving it. 

I didn’t make my own wrappers. I bought a couple packages of frozen Shanghai style dumpling wrappers, let them sit out for about an hour and I was good to go. It helps to be organized when you fill the wrappers. On my kitchen table, I set out a cutting board, a little bowl of water for moistening the edges of the wrappers, a 1 tablespoon measuring spoon so that I’m not tempted to over fill the dumplings, the dumplings, which I keep covered with plastic wrap to prevent them from drying out, and a couple of paper towels to wipe my fingers in order to keep them dry and clean. My son and I did this together, so I had a full setup for each of us. 

Filling for Dumpligs

As we filled and sealed each dumpling, we placed them on a parchment lined sheet pan. I popped it into the refrigerator until dinner time, while freezing the rest for future meals. This makes about 60 dumplings, so there are plenty. You can boil, steam, or pan fry the dumplings either freshly made or straight from the freezer. I prefer to either steam or pan fry them because the wrappers I used are thin, which are the kind I prefer, but they’re a little more delicate and I don’t want to risk them breaking open if they’re jostling all around in a pot of boiling water.

Raw Prepared Dumplings

This time around I pan fried them and served them with a simple dipping sauce of soy sauce, black vinegar, sesame oil, and chili oil. I also love Thai inspired dipping sauces made with lime juice, fish sauce and scallions. There are many different dipping sauces you could use. I kept it simple because the dumplings themselves are fully flavored and I wanted to be sure the sauce didn’t overpower them. Both the texture and flavor are so much better than the ones you buy, they’re fun to make, and what a sense of satisfaction it is to look at all those pretty dumplings lined up in rows. I simply love making stuff like this.

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Pork and Black Garlic Dumplings

Recipe by Renée Robinson



I made these dumplings with pork shoulder, bacon, black garlic, orange zest, and a lot of scallions. It only takes a few minutes to whip up the filling in a food processor. I used store bought dumpling wrappers, so it's an easy recipe to put together.

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Ingredients - Yields 60 Dumplings

  • 1 pound pork shoulder, with fat, cut into 1 inch cubes

  • Diamond Crystal kosher salt

  • 1/4 pound thick cut bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

  • 20 g dried black mushrooms

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 large egg, chilled

  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine

  • 2 teaspoons Kikkoman soy sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon black garlic

  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest

  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger

  • 1 teaspoon finely ground white peppercorns

  • 16 scallions, sliced thinly, white and green parts

  • 1 1/4 pounds Shanghai Style round dumpling wrappers

  • 2 - 3 tablespoons neutral vegetable oil

  • 3/4 cup water

  • Soy sauce

  • Black vinegar

  • Sesame oil

  • Chili oil


  • In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup water to a boil. Add the dried mushrooms, reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let them sit for 30 minutes in order to soften. Remove the mushrooms from the liquid and squeeze them dry. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the liquid and chill it. Mince the mushrooms.
  • Freeze the bacon pieces. Sprinkle the cubes of pork with 1 1/2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt and place on a sheet pan, spreading them out with space in between each piece. Put the pan in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  • Add the pork, bacon, egg, wine, soy sauce, reserved 2 tablespoons liquid from the mushrooms, sugar, black garlic, orange zest, ginger, and white pepper to the bowl of a food processor. Process until the bits of pork are no larger than 1/8 inch. Add the scallions and mushrooms to the processor and pulse in 1 second increments until the scallions and mushrooms are evenly incorporated.
  • Fill the dumpling wrappers with 1 tablespoon filling and seal. You can find many videos online explaining how to pleat dumplings. Just go with whatever appeals to you. Place the filled dumplings on a parchment lined sheet pan. if you choose to cook them later on in the day, cover them with plastic wrap and chill until you're ready to cook them. Or you can freeze them by placing the sheet pan in the freezer and after the dumplings are frozen solid, add them to a ziplock bag and stash them in the freezer.
  • The dumplings can be cooked fresh or frozen. The frozen ones will only take a couple of minutes longer to cook. Pan fry them by placing a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, adding the oil, and when it’s hot, add as many dumplings to the pan which will fit comfortably. Cook them without moving for several minutes until the bottoms begin to show some color. Swirl them in the skillet until they’re golden. Add 3/4 cup water to the skillet and cover the pan with a lid. After they’ve steamed for 2 or 3 minutes, remove the lid and continue to cook until the water has evaporated and they’ve fully browned.
  • Make a simple dipping sauce by stirring together a couple tablespoons of soy sauce and black vinegar, a teaspoon of sesame oil, and however much chili oil you’d like. I don’t really measure any of these ingredients. You can add more or less of each ingredient, according to your own taste. Serve and Enjoy!

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