There’s Truly No Asian Dish More Comforting Than The Classic Pork And Prawn Dumplings
I still remember the very first time I tried dumplings. After years of having the usual western fare of a meat dish, potatoes or pasta, and blanched vegetables, I must admit that seeing little parcels of meat on a dish felt rather odd.
But I soon ate my words as quickly as I wolfed down the rest of the dumplings after the very first piece. If you’ve ever tried mini hot pockets, think of it as a softer version of hot pockets that is far juicier, meatier, and insanely delicious.
While dumplings originated in China, you can easily find variations of them worldwide. Think wontons, jaozi, Nepalese momos, Italian ravioli, Russian pelmeni, and even the famous Japanese gyoza.
Even though they carry different names, dumplings are essentially ground meat and finely chopped vegetables wrapped in a thin layer of dough, which are then steamed, boiled, deep-fried, or pan-fried.
My personal favourites are steam and pan-fried dumplings because they don’t have the intense dry crispiness of deep-fried dumplings, nor the soggy texture of boiled dumplings. Whenever dumplings are steamed or pan-fried, they have a truly comforting texture and taste - which is what I believe dumplings should typically be.
Are Prawn And Pork Dumplings Better As An Appetiser Or Main Dish?
The beauty of pork and prawn dumplings is that they can be both an appetiser AND main dish. The only thing separating it is how much you’re having.
The rich dough that makes up the dumpling skin provides the carbohydrates you need, while you can have your daily dose of vegetables and protein from the filling.
Of course, there are ways to have it with less carbs by replacing the dumpling wrapper, just like how these crispy vegan rice paper dumplings are made with low-carb rice paper as its wrapper.
Essential Pork And Prawn Dumpling Ingredients and Dumpling Dipping Sauce Ingredients (They Can All Be Found At Your Nearest Asian Grocers!)
Dumpling wrappers are typically made from dough that is hand-rolled and cut into slim (not thin!) round slices. But these days you can easily find pre-made dumpling wrappers that are just as great as homemade ones, if not better, in almost every Asian supermarket.
Minced Pork and Diced Prawns
This recipe for pork and prawn dumplings takes after the traditional method with a classic minced pork and diced prawn filling. It’s a timeless Asian classic combination where the neutral yet meaty flavours of the pork is complemented by the natural sweetness of fresh prawns.
You’ll find sesame oil in most Asian recipes (and almost every Asian home) because of how aromatic and flavoursome it is. Sesame oil adds a distinct and delightful flavour to dishes unlike any other oil and the best part is how a little goes a long way.
This recipe uses sesame oil to add a rich, nutty taste that complements the pork and prawn filling while enhancing the overall flavour profile of the dumplings. Aside from giving it a flavour-boost, it also makes the dumplings juicer than ever.
Much like sesame oil, soy sauce is something almost every Asian household won’t be caught dead without. It’s commonly used in dipping sauces and as a base for many Asian recipes because its savoury, salty, and slightly sweet flavour delivers a rich umami taste that complements most ingredients.
The dipping sauce recipe we’re using today combines soy sauce with minced garlic and dark vinegar for an umami-bomb with every bite after just one light dip.
I personally love adding finely chopped chilli or a teaspoon of chilli oil into the dipping sauce for an extra spicy kick, but you can skip that if you’re not too fond of the heat!