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Recipe: Dumplings in spicy sauce

Dumplings in spisy sauce

Recently, I have been craving Sichuan-style dumplings with chili sauce, but they are only available with meat filling at most of the Chinese take-out places, so I thought I would try making some with mushroom filling.

Not everything in this recipe is made from scratch. I wanted to share a recipe that is easy to make and does not require weeklong preparations in advance, and if you ask me, life is too short to make your own dumpling wrappers:) I have thus been taking shortcuts whenever this could be done without affecting the final result too much.

Spicy sauce

4 tbsp soy

2 tbsp rice wine vinegar

1 tbsp chili oil

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped (approximately 1 heaping teaspoon)

Dried or raw chili flakes

Garnish with cilantro + toasted sesame seeds


Mix all the ingredients and put aside so the sauce is ready to be poured over the hot dumplings later.

The sauce is not authentic Sichuan chili sauce but made the way I like it. It has more vinegar than most other recipes, and it does not have star anise as I do not like that flavor very much. You are of course free to add some if you like.  

I tried to fine that kind of chili oil that comes with lots of roasted chili bits in the bottom of the jar, but the only chili oil available at the grocery store nearby, was a clear Japanese chili oil. I added some dried chili flakes I found on my kitchen shelf, but be careful with that, as just a tiny amount can make the oil super spicy.  If you have one of those chili oils with roasted chilis in the bottom, or if you have a jar of roasted chili paste, make sure to add some of the chili to the sauce. It looks nice and the oil-soaked roasted chilis are not so spicy.

The Japanese chili oil I used was made with sesame oil as the basis, and the sesame flavor goes particularly well with the other flavors in this recipe. If your chili oil is not made with sesame oil, add a few drops of sesame oil to the sauce, if you have some at home. 

Here are two kinds of filling. If you make both, you will need an extra pack of dumpling wrappers and a double portion of the sauce.

Mushroom filling

2 large portobello mushrooms (or 3 smaller ones) finely chopped

1 tsp corn starch

1 tsp vegetable oil

1 tsp soy sauce

1 tbsp egg (just mix the white and yolk with a fork)

1 tsp finely chopped garlic

Salt and pepper

Chicken filling

7 oz chicken mince

3 finely chopped spring onions (only the green part)

2 tsp vegetable oil

1 tsp finely chopped ginger

1 tsp corn starch

1 tbsp egg (just mix the white and yolk with a fork)

Salt and pepper

Dumpling wrappers (20 pcs)

dumpling wrappers (20 pcs)

How to assemble the dumplings

Mix all the ingredients of the filling of your choice

If you make mushroom filling, please be aware that the salt will drive out water from the mushrooms, so you might need to press out any surplus moisture from the filling, as it is difficult to work with if it is too wet.

Use a finger to add a little water to the edge of the wrapper. This will help glue the sides of the wrapper together.

Fold one half of the wrapper over the other and press the edges together. It is easiest to work your way from one end to the other, making pleats along the way.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Cook the dumplings. I cooked 10 at a time, but in a large pot, you could probably cook 15-20 at a time without risking that they stick together or get stuck at the bottom. The dumplings are done, when they are floating and feel lighter. For the mushroom dumplings, it only took about a minute. The chicken dumplings I made needed a little more time.

Serve the dumplings in the spicy sauce and sprinkle with cilantro and toasted sesame seeds.

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