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in the kitchen with: helen yuet ling pang

by Grace Bonney

I went through the history of the ITKW column and realized that our favorite recipes tend toward sweet rather than savory. And even though I’d be content to eat cake morning noon and night, I know we should shake it up some. So this week we have a savory (and vegan!) recipe which comes all the way from London by way of a lifetime of love for dim sum. Helen Yuet Ling Pang, author of the World Foodie Guide blog, is an expert on the dumpling, how to make them, and where to eat the best ones in London. Her recipe this week is for Pan-Fried Three Mushroom Dumplings. You can follow Helen on Twitter right here, and send me any recipe requests right here! –Kristina

CLICK HERE for the full recipe (and more photos) after the jump!

Pan-Fried Three Mushroom Dumplings

Ingredients: (to make 20 dumplings)

* 1 packet dumpling wrappers – buy round-shaped wrappers labelled ‘gau gee’/’gow gee’/’jiaozi’, rather than wonton wrappers

* 8 dried shiitake mushrooms (about 3 cm diameter), rehydrated for 30 mins in boiled water from the kettle and finely diced

* 150g / 1 packet buna shimeji (brown beech) mushrooms, finely chopped (or any other type that you can find)

* 150g oyster mushrooms (or any other type that you can find)

* 1 tablespoon Chinese chives, finely chopped

* 1 spring onion or scallion, finely chopped

* 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

* 1/2 teaspoon ginger, finely chopped

* 1/2 tablespoon light soy sauce

* 1/2 tablespoon Shaohsing cooking wine (optional, or use dry sherry)

* couple of twists freshly ground black pepper

* 2 tablespoons groundnut oil


Dipping Sauce:

* half a fresh red chilli, finely chopped

* 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

* 2 tablespoons light soy sauce

* 1 tablespoon rice vinegar


Keep the dumpling wrappers sealed in the packet until you are ready to fill and wrap the dumplings, otherwise they will dry out.

Prepare the dipping sauce before making the dumplings. De-seed and finely chop the red chilli and grate the ginger. Mix the ingredients together and add to a small dish.

Rehydrate the shiitake mushrooms in freshly boiled water for about 30 minutes or until soft (but not flabby), remove any tough stalks and finely dice. Cut the base off the buna shimeji and finely chop, along with the oyster mushrooms. Finely chop Chinese chives, spring onion, garlic and ginger.

Heat 1 tablespoon of groundnut oil in a wok or large non-stick frying pan on a high heat. Fry garlic and ginger for one minute, then add the chopped mushrooms, followed by soy sauce, Shaohsing wine and pepper. Stir well to ensure nothing burns. The mushrooms will cook quickly, so two minutes should be enough. At this point, add the Chinese chives and spring onions and quickly stir again. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl.

Lightly dab a large plate with a little cooking oil, to prevent the dumplings from sticking to it and prepare a slightly dampened tea towel to cover the dumplings you have just wrapped.

Moisten the edge of a wrapper with a dab of water. Then place some filling onto the centre, leaving enough space around the edge to seal the wrapper. Fold the wrapper in half and press together to form a half moon shape. Seal tight so that there are no gaps. Pinch and pleat just one side of the wrapper, using your right thumb (if right-handed) to support the other side that will stay smooth. There are many different ways to pleat a dumpling and it will come with practice. Don’t rush this part, as the wrapper is delicate and will tear. If you’re not confident with pleating, the half moon shape is perfectly acceptable! The important part is to seal the wrapper tight to prevent leakage.


Heat 1 tablespoon of groundnut oil in a large frying-pan (with a fitted lid) on a medium heat. Before it starts to smoke, add the dumplings flat side down and leave them for about a minute or until they are golden brown. You only need to fry them on one side. Then pour in a quarter of a cup of boiling water. As this will give off a lot of steam, use the lid as a shield to protect yourself and cover the pan immediately to trap the steam. Keep the lid on firmly for 3 minutes, with the heat turned down, until the moisture has evaporated. The dumplings will be fried on the bottom and steamed on the top. Serve immediately with dipping sauce.


More About Helen: Based in London, Helen Yuet Ling Pang works as a Film Examiner for the British Board of Film Classification, where she makes recommendations for UK film and DVD ratings. She also writes about food and travel on her ‘traveleating’ blog World Foodie Guide, recently shortlisted for the British Guild of Food Writers New Media award. Food has always played an essential part in her life, having grown up in her parents’ Chinese restaurants in Germany, and she now combines food and travel in her blog writing. Recently she has been moving towards food and travel photography, and ‘traveleating’ trips to destinations such as Buenos Aires, Istanbul and Seoul are on the horizon. Portrait by Kang, Food images by Kristina Gill.

Why I chose this recipe:

I’m a huge fan of Chinese dumplings. When I was a little girl, I was called ‘har gau (prawn dumpling) princess’ because those were my favourite dim sum, and I would often eat nothing else but har gau when my parents took me to Chinatown. These mushroom dumplings can be prepared steamed or pan-fried. Although I love steamed dumplings when I go for dim sum, at home I seem to crave the pan-fried version more. Everyone I know seems to love pan-fried dumplings too, so I wanted to share this recipe with you! My mother likes to make her own wrappers, while I prefer shop-bought ones, simply for the convenience. I recommend shop-bought wrappers the first few times you make dumplings! Feel free to choose whichever mushrooms you prefer, although one of the three should be dried shiitake mushroom, which will give the filling a more intense flavour.

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  • Thank you for this! I’ve always wanted to try to make my own dumplings…and the fact that they are vegan dumplings is even better! These look really delicious.

  • Yum! So hungry for dumplings now! Maybe with this receipe, I’ll finally have the courage to make my own, instead of asking my mom (who is an excellent cook!).

  • we hosted a student from Hong Kong many years ago and i still miss her AND her dumplings. thanks for this…now i’ll try making my own!

  • oh my! my mouth is watering and my tummy is rumbling. they look absolutely delicious! can’t wait to give them a try, even though tracking down some of those ingredients is going to require some dedication – i live in a very small town. thank goodness for the interweb!

  • i love dumplings and loved making them with my mom. this one looks really tasty and even better that it’s vegan! adding this to my recipe collection. thanks!

  • Thank you so much for this recipe! I was JUST thinking that the recipes featured on d*s are usually sweet, and although I love eating desserts, I’m not that into making them. I do, however, love to cook. This recipe was also perfect because I love both dumplings and mushrooms! Thanks so much for bringing us a great savory dish and please keep them coming!!

  • Hi Zeba!

    We have a few savory recipes up our sleeves for the coming weeks. In the meantime, have a look at Andrea Nguyen’s new Asian Dumplings book (there’s a link for it in the cookbooks column) for more dumpling ideas, or have a look through our ITKW archive for more fantastic (and easy) savory recipes.

    I hope over time we can persuade you to become a baker, even if only occasional!


  • very good!

    my mother being from hong kong and my dad being from shanghai, we literally grew up eating dumplings and it became one of my favorite household staples – so glad that this is being posted, so as to share the chinese’ love of dumplings with our western neighbors!

    on another note, i really hope the variety of mushrooms here doesn’t scare people away in both variety and also scarcity at your neighborhood market – asian stores (both small and chain alike) should have all varieties of these mushrooms dried, and they usually run pretty inexpensively given how many dishes you can make with one bags’ worth. and for those of you in nyc or sf, go to chinatown for those small chinese herb shops – they’ll typically have these mushrooms in bulk – even cheaper, if you buy only what you need.

  • @Bre – Yes, of course! Mud is my true love and I also love Shelley+James!! Great product, great people!

    @Kay W.- Thanks for sharing this info. It is important that people not be scared off by not finding particular ingredients– you can really personalize this to fit availability of ingredients and your own personal tastes!

  • I’m a huge fan of Helen & World Foodie Guide! These dumplings are just one delicious example of the great recipes and beautiful photographs on her site.

  • Just wanted to say hello to everyone! I hope you’ll like these dumplings and if you don’t like mushrooms or can’t find the types I mention, just use whatever vegetables you like! Just remember to chop them as finely as possible. You can also fry the dumplings without pre-cooking the filling. Thank you again for reading!

  • Thank you, Grace, for featuring a savory dish. I’m not much of a sweets eater, so this was perfect.

    Helen, thank you for delicious recipe. Can’t wait to try it and become a loyal reader of your blog.

  • @Elaine (Baggavond)- David Thompson, noted Thai-food expert, has a new book coming out in Australia (Penguin) called Thai Street Food. It is large format, full bleed photographs, double spread, beautiful from all accounts. You will find his recipe for Pat Thai from that book on the Penguin AU website: http://bit.ly/8HKYa

    I trust it!!

  • i L-O-V-E dumplings and this just persuaded me to d.i.y. dumplings for a change

  • tried the recipe …perfectly delicious and they turned out so professional looking, my guests loved them :)

  • Beautiful pictures and yummy recipe! I just wanted to make dumplings with the ingredients on hand (had some old wrappers in the fridge from who-knows-when) and used this as the inspiration. The advice on HOW to cook the dumplings was especially useful. Thank you!

  • pit some mirin in that dipping sauce .. and wow this whole site was very well done the recipes look great and taste great too .. keep it up .. i love the pictures too ,, i wish i could even come close:)

  • I tried a similar dumpling at a great restaurant earlier this year. The mushrooms provided a delicate balance of flavours…delicious! This recipe looks quite similar..I look forward to trying it tonight!