When I discovered that my toddler, who practically sustained on air, was actually enthusiastic about eating unnaturally bright blue or green color foods, I began searching for non-dyed choices to indulge her and to hopefully get her to gain a few pounds or at least a few ounces to get her weight percentiles up from the single digits. Cue green pork and shrimp dumplings.
She wasn’t interested in naturally blue or green foods like blueberries or broccoli but foods that are not typically blue or green like noodles, rice or dumplings.
As a result, pandan, pesto and spinach became common ingredients in our kitchen.
For St. Patrick’s Day, we decided to celebrate and join in on the festivities with two of my daughter’s current favorites: green dumplings and spinach noodles.
No green beer for us 😉
There is no doubt in my mind that my mom is the queen of pork dumplings so I used a modified version of her recipe where all vegetables like chives and leeks are omitted with some store brought green dumpling wrappers.
There is a beautiful post here by the Flavor Bender on how to make your own green (spinach) wrappers but I took the easy way out.
Green Pork & Shrimp Dumplings
1.5 lbs. ground pork
1.5 cups water
1 tsp salt
3 tsp sugar
3 tsp bouillon of choice
3 tbsp. sesame oil
white and black pepper to taste
1 lb. raw deveined shrimp
1/2 tsp salt
optional: herbs such as chives, leeks, cilantro or vegetables such as cabbage
Garlic Worcestershire Reduction
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
Splash of Balsamic vinegar
Splash of Garlic oil
1. Mix pork, water and salt until “sticky” so that the meat will be moist and not crumbly. My mom used a wooden spoon to manually mix the meat, but I just put it in the kitchen aid for about 3-5 minutes.
3. Smash shrimp with salt to make almost a paste. My mom uses the flat side of a meat cleaver but due to my knife aversion I just crush the shrimps with my thumb and palm. Add shrimp “paste” to pork mixture and blend well.
4. Assemble dumplings. There is a great video on YouTube by Tipsy Waltz showing 7 different ways to wrap a dumpling:
5. Cook dumplings in your preferred method (steam, boil, deep fry or pan fry).
6. If using the Garlic Worcestershire Reduction Sauce, boil first three ingredients until reduced and drizzle on sesame oil then pour on dumplings or serve on side as a dipping sauce.
1. So many other sauces work well with these dumplings! My daughter likes dipping her boiled dumplings into plain hoisin sauce. My mom likes her dumplings pan fried and served with a Sriracha and white sugar paste. I prefer my pan fried dumplings drenched in a sweet and sour raw garlic and vinegar sauce (my breath stinks for days though). What is your favorite dumpling sauce(s)?
2. My mom taught me this trick when I was still her little helper. To quickly devein shrimps, pierce the back of the shrimp with a toothpick (works better with the shell on) and then gently pull the toothpick up, perpendicular to the shrimp, pulling the entire vein out. Growing up in a competitive household, it was always fun to see who can devein the most shrimp quickest. It takes us about 5 seconds to devein a dozen shrimp.
3. Keep wrappers moist during assembly by covering with a moist towel.
4. Assembled dumplings can be kept for hours in the refrigerator if well wrapped and for a month or two if frozen so a great time saver is to go ahead and make a large batch and save some for another day.
5. Any extra meat mixture can be formed into meatballs or patties and frozen for use in other recipes. This is partly why I omit the herbs and vegetables in the receipe- the meatballs and patties are awesome for a quick last minute meal.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!