Swiss Chard & Pork Dumplings

chard-pork-dumplings.jpg
Swiss Chard Pork Dumplings. Photo © Molly Watson
  • 40 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins,
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 3 to 4 dozen dumplings
Ratings

Making dumplings at home is much (much!) easier than you might think—especially when you simply buy the wrappers. While these may sound like something for a special occasion (and they're certainly tasty enough for that), once you get the easy trick of folding the wrapper, they're quick enough for a fun family dinner.

This filling is chock full of Swiss chard and a bit of pork and ginger for a lovely flavor needing only the simplest of sauces to make the most of it. A drizzle of soy sauce will do it, although I like to make a bit more of an effort with the chile oil-spiked sauce below.

 

What You'll Need

  • 1 bunch Swiss chard
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 2 bunches green onions
  • 1-inch piece ginger
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chili oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/3 pound ground pork
  • Cornstarch
  • Wonton skins or dumpling wrappers
  • Salt
  • For the sauce (optional):
  • 3 Tablespoons hot chile oil
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)

How to Make It

Cut out the stems from the Swiss chard leaves (see here for details). Rinse the stems and leaves. Set the leaves aside.

Finely chop the stems. Set a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Once it's hot, add the oil, swirl it around a bit, and add the chard stems. Reduce heat to medium or medium-low. Cook, stirring frequently, until the stems are softened, about 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop the leaves and the scallions.

Add the leaves to the stems. Cook, stirring, until the leaves are wilted and the liquid they give off evaporates, about 7 minutes. Transfer the chard to a medium bowl, stir in the scallions and let cool.

While the chard cools enough so it's no longer steaming, grate in the ginger, and add the rice wine, soy sauce, chile oil, and toasted sesame oil. Stir to combine. Add the pork, breaking it up into small clumps as you add it, and combine it in, too.

Generously dust a large clean work surface with cornstarch, set a small dish filled with water to one side, and dust a large baking sheet with cornstarch. If you plan to boil the dumplings soon, put on a pot of salted water to boil.

Lay out 6 to 12 wonton wrappers on the cornstarch-dusted surface (if you're feeling confident, go with a dozen at a time; if you're a bit more nervous about making dumpling, keep the number small as you learn). Put a small dollop (about 1 teaspoon) of the chard-pork mixture  on each wrapper. Dip a finger into the dish of water, and dampen the edges of each wrapper.

Working with one dumpling at a time, fold the wrapper over the filling, turning the square into a triangle. Press any air bubbles out as you pinch the edges to seal them shut, then bring the two corners that are further apart together and pinch them together. Set the dumpling on the cornstarch-dusted sheet. Repeat with the remaining topped wrappers.

When all those dumplings are made, repeat until all the filling is used.

When you're ready to boil the dumplings, set a cooling rack or large colander over a rimmed backing sheet near the stove.

Gently add the dumplings to the boiling water—add only as many as fit in a single layer across the pot. Boil until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to lift the dumplings out of the water and transfer to he cooling rack or colander. Repeat with remaining dumplings.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the ingredients for the sauce.

Serve the dumplings hot. I like them best with the sauce in the recipe and a sprinkle of cilantro, but others may prefer just a drizzle of soy sauce.