These should probably be called ‘Pork and Daikon Dumplings’ since I am also including ground pork in the filling mix but you could, if desired, omit the pork and replace it with more daikon and perhaps some onion, or other non-meat ingredients.
Today’s recipe will be for a type of dumplings known as ‘Shui jiao’ (水餃), which translates as ‘water dumplings’ and are so called because they are boiled rather than steamed or fried. I am going to be using fresh daikon but a pickled variety could easily be used and, if you don’t have daikon greens available, you can substitute with spinach, cabbage, or even kale…
- 1 batch Basic Dumpling Dough (made with 1 cup flour and cold water);
- ½ cup Daikon root, very finely chopped;
- ½ cup Daikon Greens, pre-blanched, squeezed dry and finely chopped;
- 1 tsp. Salt;
- 1 cup cooked ground Pork;
- 2 tbsp. Garlic puree;
- 1 tbsp. minced Ginger;
- 2 tbsp. Sugar;
- ½ tsp. Black Pepper;
- 2 tbsp. Cornstarch.
First, mix the daikon root and greens together in a bowl and sprinkle with the teaspoon of salt. Allow to sit for an hour or so until the root has softened and then pour off any liquid that has accumulated. If you like, you can also quickly rinse the mix to remove any excess salt but, if you do, make sure you squeeze it well to get rid of the extra water.
Next, mix together the daikon and the remaining filling ingredients, adding a splash or two of water, if necessary, to make a sticky blend. Set this aside to chill for an hour or two.
You can form the dumplings however you like. For this recipe, I have used a traditional ‘Jiao Zi’ fold, and this method is pictorially detailed in my Pickled Bamboo Dumplings post if you wish to follow those steps.
To cook, bring a large pot of salted water to a gentle boil and then immerse a batch of dumplings. I formed 16 with the dough and filling from this recipe and cooked them 8 at a time to avoid dropping the water temperature too much. The dumplings will sink at first but will rise within a minute or so. Once they do, they should be cooked from 4 to 6 minutes depending on size. Once done, remove to dishes for serving.
I served this batch of dumplings in a simple sauce made out of black vinegar mixed with a little sugar, chopped garlic and chili. The result was actually a bit better than I expected as using cooked ground pork is a little trickier than raw. The dumplings were harder to fold than usual but, as it happened, I only had two that turned out a little misshapen. The flavor was very nice and my wife liked the dumplings very much, as did I. They weren’t terribly exciting, to be honest, but I have been served worse in restaurants. Next time, I will use more daikon and less pork, I think.