Sunday, July 31, 2011

Seared Pork & Ginger Dumplings with Mapo Sauce

So for a while now I've been toying around with making some chilli oil dumplings. I love that peppery warmth that comes from chilli oil that coats your tongue in a delicious heat. But i also wanted to try something a little bit new, not the stock standard chilli oil dumplings. How to take it up a notch? Add Mapo!

I was surprised how well this dish worked; i would make a very impressive plate at a one of those trendy new small plate bars. The freshness inside the dumpling (with the ginger and water chestnuts) does not get tainted by the mapo and there are two distinct flavours happening here.

Ingredients (Serves 4 as part of a banquet)


  • 32 wanton wrappers
  • 300gm pork mince
  • 1 tin water chestnuts, chopped
  • 1 inch knob ginger, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp shao xing rice wine
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Chilli Oil

  • 1 cup peanut oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 handfuls dried chillis

Mapo Sauce

  • 3 tbsp chilli oil
  • 100gm pork mince
  • 1 heaped tsp fermented black beans
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp shao xing rice wine
  •  2 cloves garlic
  • 1 package firm tofu
  • Scallions, for garnish
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 tsp corn flour
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil


Chilli Oil

This part is easy: Coarsely chop the chillis and place in a heat proof bowl or cup

Heat the oil in a saucepan until just smoking.
Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes.
Pour over the chillis and stir.

Sit for 1 hour.
Strain and discard the chilli pods.

Stir through the sesame oil.

Mapo Sauce

Chop the tofu into 1-2cm cubes.
In a frying pan over medium heat add the peanut oil
Add the garlic and pork and saute until browned

Add the black beans, chilli bean paste, soy, rice wine and stock and stir until mixed.
Simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Add the tofu and cornflour and stir for a further 3 minutes. If mixture is too thick add water.

Add the chilli oil last and remove from heat. 
Set aside.


Bring a large pot of water to the boil
In a bowl, combine the soy, rice wine, pork, ginger, salt, pepper and pork and mix well.

Take a small teaspoon of mixture and put it into the centre of a wanton wrapper
Gather the edges of the wanton over the pork mixture and pinch to seal and form a bag
Repeat for all dumplings

Throw the dumplings into the boiling water, 8 at a time for around 4 minutes

Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a lightly oiled tray.
Heat a large non stick frying pan to medium heat.
Lightly spray the pan with oil then add the dumplings 8 at a time, until lightly seared on one side.

Place on serving platters then top with the warmed mapo sauce and sliced scallions

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