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Chinese Dumpling (Jiaozi) Filling – Shrimp and Pork

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This recipe is a variation of the basic pork filling for Chinese dumplings. See notes for suggested variations. If you make up your own variation, please share it in the comments below! This recipe is enough for about 3-3½ dozen dumplings.

Active Time: 10-15 minutes

Total Time: 30-35 minutes

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Ingredients

  • ⅔ lb raw shrimp meat, minced | 300g

  • ⅓ lb ground pork | 150g

  • 8 large napa (or Chinese) cabbage leaves | ~200g

  • 2 scallion, minced | ~60g

  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil

  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger | ~6g

  • ½ cup of loosely packed cilantro, minced

  • 1½ teaspoons Chinese Shaoxing wine

  • 1½ teaspoons oyster sauce

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ½ cup water or chicken broth

Instructions

  1. Chop the cabbage. For the white part, mince into small dice. For the leafy parts, cut into thin strips that are no more than 2 inches in length. Place in a bowl and add ½ teaspoon of salt. Mix to coat the cabbage, set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add shrimp (⅔ lb), ground pork (⅓ lb), shaoxing wine (1½ tsp), oyster sauce(1½ tsp), and salt (½ tsp) to the bowl and mix well.
  3. Add aromatics on top of the mixture, but do not mix: minced scallions (2), ginger (1 tbsp), and minced cilantro (½ cup).
  4. Heat oil until a bamboo chopstick or skewer bubbles when inserted, ~300°F/~150°C. When it reached temperature, pour oil over aromatics. Mix in the aromatics until fully incorporated.
  5. Once everything seems well incorporated and distributed, use chopsticks, a wooden spoon, your fingers to stir the mixture in one direction. You can also use a stand mixer and the flat beater attachment at a low speed. Stir for about 30-45 seconds, and you should see the mixture begin to change to a more paste-like consistency.
  6. Add the water/broth (½ cup) and continue to stir in the same direction until the water is absorbed and the mixture is one cohesive “paste”.
  7. Cover and put the mixture into the refrigerator while the cabbage continues to wilt and sweat.
  8. After about 20 minutes, squeeze out as much excess water as you can from the cabbage, then add it to the rest of the filling. Give it another 15-30 second mix, still going in the same direction as before to fully incorporate the cabbage.

Notes:

  1. Dumpling fillings vary wildly from recipe to recipe, region to region, and from one type to another. Feel free to try using a different ground meat or a mix of ground meats. It is common to have a 2:1 ratio ground pork and shrimp (chopped into small pieces or even into a paste). 
  2. If you want more texture, try adding diced bamboo shoot, water chestnuts, or wood ear mushrooms. Other common additions include rehydrated and minced black mushrooms (aka shiitake), minced Napa cabbage, or minced baby bok choy. Try adding approximately ½ cup of any of these at the first step. Or divide the filling mixture into multiple bowls and try adding a different add-in to each bowls. Use proportionally less of each add-in if you divide up your base filling mix into multiple parts.

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