Pork and Daikon Dumplings (蘿蔔豬肉水餃)
The Chinese name for the dumplings pictured above is 蘿蔔豬肉水餃, or 萝卜猪肉水饺 in simplified characters. The first two characters specify Daikon (Lo Bok, in Cantonese), the next specify Pig Meat, or Pork, while the last two characters indicate that these dumplings are ‘Water Dumplings’, meaning that they are poached. The filling is easy to prepare and, once the dumplings are formed, they are very simple to cook.
By the way, the dumplings shown above are in a simple sauce made out of black vinegar mixed with a little sugar, chopped garlic and chili oil. You can use any sauce you like and either serve the dumplings right in the sauce, or provide little dishes of it at the table to be used as a dip.
Ingredient Notes for 萝卜猪肉水饺
To make the dough for the dumpling wrappers, you can follow my very easy recipe for Basic Dumpling Wrapper Dough. Conventional wisdom is that you should use cold water for making the dough but, personally, I prefer to use hot water as it makes the dough easy to work and produces decent boiled or poached dumplings as long as the wrapper isn’t too thin.
The Recipe Card below specifies one cup of ground Pork, and a mix of Daikin flesh and chopped leaves amounting to one cup. If you like, you can vary the ratios and make the filling more vegetable than meat.
How to make 蘿蔔豬肉水餃
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. To get the best texture, stir the mixture repeatedly in the same direction up to fifty times or more. Afterwards, set this aside in the fridge to chill for an hour or two. This will help the flavors blend and makes the filling easier to use when forming the dumplings.
You can form the dumplings however you like. For this recipe, I have used a traditional ‘Jiao Zi’ fold, which is also commonly used for ‘Pot-stckers’. This fold takes a little bit of practice to master and, if you don’t want to try it for these dumplings, you might like to follow the steps for making the much simpler fold I use with my Beef and Sea Cucumber Dumplings.
For this recipe, I split my dough into 16 equal portions and rolled them out into circles to make the wrappers. This is probably the largest number you can make if you are poaching dumplings as it leaves the wrapper thick enough to withstand the cooking process. If you were going to fry the dumplings, or steam them, you could probably get 24 out of these ingredients.
To cook, bring a large pot of salted water to a gentle boil and then immerse a batch of dumplings. Here, I 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.
Your Recipe Card:
Pork and Daikon Dumplings (蘿蔔豬肉水餃)
- 1 batch Basic Dumpling Dough
- ½ cup Daikon root finely chopped;
- ½ cup Daikon Greens finely chopped;
- 1 tsp. Salt;
- 1 cup ground Pork;
- 2 tbsp. Garlic puree;
- 2 tbsp. minced Ginger;
- 2 tbsp. Sugar;
- 1 tsp. Black Pepper;
- 2 tbsp. Cornstarch.
- Mix the Daikon root and leaves with the salt and allow to macerate for an hour or so.
- Mix the Daikon with the Pork and seasonings and stir to produce a sticky texture. Allow the mix to chill for an hor.
- Prepare the dough and use it with the filling to form 16 dumplings in your preferred form.
- Poach the dumplings at a gentle boil for 4 to 6 minutes.
- Serve immediately with a sauce of choice.