These dumplings don’t exactly abide by my mantra of less time at the stove, more time at the table ... but they’re worth the extra effort. You might want to even double the batch so you have lots of extra for the freezer. This is a recipe I adapted from “The Good Fork Cookbook.” You can find fresh dumpling wrappers locally.
To prepare the dipping sauce, combine equal parts soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar and a star anise pod if you have it. Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and then let cool.
For the pork mixture, saute a diced onion until translucent. Add a bunch of chopped scallions, four minced garlic cloves and a heaping tablespoon of minced ginger, cook for another minute and then scrape into a large bowl and let cool.
Into the same bowl, stir in ¾ cup of crumbled soft tofu, 1/3 cup of hoisin sauce, 1 ½ pounds of ground pork, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Mix well.
Line a few cookie sheets with parchment paper and fill a small bowl with water. Take a dumpling wrapper and fill it with about 1 tablespoon of the pork mixture and then with your finger wet the edges of the wrapper. You can simply fold the wrapper in half and press the sides together. Or if you want to get authentic, watch a YouTube video on crimping a dumpling. Lay the folded dumplings out on the cookie sheets.
To cook, heat a little bit of oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat and add enough dumplings without crowding the pan. Brown for a few minutes on one side, add ¼-inch of water, cover and steam about five minutes or until the water evaporates. Remove the cover, flip and brown the other side. Serve immediately with the dipping sauce.
Freeze any uneaten dumplings on the cookie sheets for about 15 minutes and then transfer into freezer bags. Once frozen, they’ll last for several months.