Dumplings are such a well-loved Chinese staple often made with minced pork or veggies. We created this elevated version by using a moreish pulled short-rib filling instead, which creates such a surprise for dumpling lovers. It also keeps well in the freezer; you can them make in larger batches and whip some out whenever the dumpling craving strikes.
Technique tips: Blanching is not essential; however, it helps to ensure a better stock. To ensure the short rib is ready, take out one of them with a spotted spoon and, if it falls apart naturally, that means your short rib is ready. Refrigerate the stock overnight so it's easier to separate the excess fat. You can also use a blender for the vegetable to mix with the short-rib filling; just blitz a few times into a small dice.
Swap options: You can use bone-in short rib, but that will take longer (up to 5-6 hours).
Braised Short Ribs
- 2.2 pounds boneless short rib
- 1 head garlic
- 2 onions
- 4/5 cup shallot
- 1/2 cup sliced ginger
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 cups red wine
- 1 gallon apple juice
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup rock sugar
- 1½ tablespoons soy sauce
- 1.65 pounds Braised Short Ribs (recipe above)
- 1½ tablespoons grated garlic
- 2 tablespoons chopped shallot
- 3½ tablespoons chopped spring onion
- 4 tablespoons chopped leek
- 1½ tablespoons salt
- 1/2 tablespoon white pepper
- 1 cup braising liquid reduction
- 50 dumpling skins
- 1 handful sliced scallion
- vegetable oil, for frying (up to 1 tablespoon for 6-10 dumplings)
For the Braised Short Ribs:
1. Take the short rib out of refrigerator and let come to room temperature before cooking, about 1/2 an hour to 1 hour.
2. In a pot, prepare 2 liters of water for blanching.
3. While waiting for the water to boil, slice the vegetables on a chopping board. In another pot, heat up the vegetable oil and sauté the vegetables until slightly browned. Add red wine and reduce the liquid by half. Add apple juice, bay leaf and sugar, and bring to boil.
4. Blanch short rib for about 45 seconds to 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the short rib to the red wine stock. Discard the blanching water.
5. Let braise for 2-3 hours, or until fork tender.
6. Using a spotted spoon, transfer the short rib on a racked tray; let cool. Use a very fine mesh sieve and place over a larger pot. Pour the stock through the sieve into the pot to strain out any remaining solids. Discard the solids.
7. Ladle off as much fat on the surface as possible.
8. Bring the stock to boil and reduce the sauce by half or 40%. It should be thick enough to look like gravy. Season at last with soy sauce. Let cool; skim off excess fat if necessary. Reserve.
For the Dumplings:
1. On a chopping board, mince the vegetables into tiny pieces. You want to have some texture in the fillings.
2. Remove the skin or excess fat, then shred the meat using both hands or two forks. It's completely OK to keep it a little bit fatty to give it a richer flavor.
3. In a bowl, mix the vegetables, salt, white pepper and braising liquid reduction with the shredded short rib; let chill for 15 minutes to let the mixture solidify.
4. Wrap the dumplings: Using a soup spoon, scoop the filling, about 1 tablespoon, and put it in the middle of the dumpling wrappers. With some water on the edges, start with folding crescent shape, use index finger and middle finger to press the left and the right side down.
5. On a chopping board, slice the scallions as well.
6. Heat a nonstick pan over medium-high heat and add oil. Add 4 to 6 dumplings at a time and cook for 1-2 minutes until the bottoms are browned. Add 1/3 cup water, cover, turn down the heat to medium-low and steam the dumplings until the liquid is absorbed, about 4 minutes.
7. To assemble the dish, align the dumplings to a straight line, place them fried side up and serve. Eat the dumplings together with the sliced scallion.