Dumplings are one of my absolute favorite foods—EVER. That along with noodles of course. Dumplings hold a special place in my heart and are rooted in my memories, mainly with family. To me, dumplings symbolize little pockets of fond memories, pockets of happiness. They are tiny wrapped bundles of joy gifted from maker to taster. Growing up, my grandmother would make a variety of dumplings and buns from scratch and I would always watch in awe as she kneaded flour into dough, dough into skins, and then wrapping those skins around tasty fillings of meats and vegetables.
I love any kind of dumpling, but I'll be sharing with you today a healthier option that you can make with your family! Made with vegetable dumpling skins, sole fillets, ginger and scallion, the flavors are light and reminiscent of ginger/scallion steamed fish dishes I grew up with that my family made and that we also enjoyed in Chinese restaurants. It'll be hard to stop eating them, and you won't need to feel guilty about it either because they're so healthy! Plus the dumplings are green because of the veggie wrappers, so it's practically like eating a salad with fish! Hahaha...yeah didn't sound as funny as I hoped it would...Anyhow...
These dumplings are great in a clear seafood or chicken broth and pair well with simplistic flavors because the fish is so delicate and sweet. The corn adds sweetness and texture, while the ginger and white pepper adds a freshness to the fish--boil up some bok choy or other Chinese green, add some noodles and they could make a great meal too!
If you're not inclined to make your own dumplings, choose offerings that are steamed and boiled over those that are fried if you visit an Asian restaurant. But making a classic Chinese dumpling isn't as hard as you think! This recipe for shui jiao 水餃, or boiled dumplings, only requires a few simple ingredients
1.5 pounds gray sole fillets (flounder, swai, basa fillets also work)
1 pack green vegetable dumpling wrappers
3/4 cup sweet corn kernels (cooked)
3 tbsp water
2.5 tbsp corn starch
3 tsp light soy sauce
1.5 tsp white pepper powder
1/2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp ground ginger powder
3 scallion stalks (minced finely)
2 scallion stalks (minced finely)
2 tbsp ginger (grated finely)
3 tsp cooking oil
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
1. Dice up your fish fillets into small pieces, and chop scallions finely. In a large bowl, add fish, scallions, egg, soy sauce, white pepper powder, and corn starch and sesame oil. Slowly add water, and mix until well incorporated.
2. Once the filling is done, get your dumpling wrappers out. Lightly wet the edge of your wrapper with water and place 1 tbsp of fish filling in the center of your wrapper. Then, you'll want to fold the wrapper in half to enclose the filling. Press the edge with your fingers so that it's sealed tightly. Click here to see how you can fold dumplings in 5 different ways!
3. Cook the dumplings by boiling them or steaming them, about 7 minutes. You'll know it's cooked if it's floating in the water at the top and completely opaque (not translucent). The white meat of the fish will also be opaque and easy to fork apart.
4. While the dumplings are cooking, make your dipping sauce! Cook the cooking oil until it's hot and then add the grated ginger and scallion. If you like spicy, add in some sliced red chili peppers as well for that extra kick. Once fragrant, put the mixture into a bowl and add soy sauce and sugar, mix. You can also ladle hot seafood broth, chicken soup, or dashi soup over the dumplings before serving. Here, I used store bought dashi soup base. And that's it!
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do! Because I like spicy food, I tend to add the red chili pepper and red chili oil into my dipping sauce too 😁 Enjoy as is, or add it to a meal of noodles, which also represent longevity in Chinese culture!
Just a gal who loves to eat and cook ❤