Parcels Project Parmesan and Pork Dumpling RecipeBy Alex & Will |
Hi there! We are Parcels Project, a dumpling and culturally inspired bites project based in the Bay Area and we’ve partnered with GDS to bring you one of our favorite recipes.
Alex is a seasoned food and beverage operations leader drawing his inspirations from his Asian-American upbringing along with his storied work experience at industry leading food and beverage companies and food tech startups alike. Alex helped build Parcels from the ground up using his operational background in the food industry as a framework for the growth and development of this brand. Will is the brains behind the flavors, she has worked her way through international Michelin restaurants and local New American joints along her journey. Will is currently an R&D Chef at The Culinary Edge - a premier restaurant consulting company in the Bay Area. Will draws her inspiration from her depth of culinary knowledge as well as her upbringing in Thailand.
Together we conceptualized Parcels as our passion project in telling our narratives of life through hand-wrapped dumplings. Nostalgic flavor profiles, top quality ingredients and a commitment to locality are the values we hold close to this project.
Dumplings were a staple in each of our households growing up, Chinese New Year, Thanksgiving, Easter Sunday or any given Sunday you could find dumplings being wrapped, cooked and devoured. This recipe that we are sharing with you is loosely based on an old family recipe revamped with new flavors drawn from our time spent cooking through the restaurant industry. A truly versatile recipe that can be served as an appetizer, side dish or even main course, and can be kept frozen for up to 4 months for those late night snacking sessions. We hope this delicious dumpling will bring you as much delight as it has brought us over the years.
Parcels Project Parmesan Pork Dumplings
Alrighty! Let’s dive into it starting with ingredients, this recipe has items that most people can find in their local grocery/asian grocery or already have in your pantry. We have included the items that we use when we make dumplings but also offered alternatives of items that are the more common or generic brands. Take this as a guideline more than a rulebook on dumplings, every grandma of every varying culture that makes dumplings will tell you their “correct” way of making dumplings, this is just our way! So feel free to add something, sub something or take something out, but ultimately have fun with it - that is the purpose of this recipe!
Soy Sauce! So we prefer for this particular recipe to use Japanese Kikkoman Smooth Aromatic Light Color Soy Sauce we found stocked in our local Japanese Mart - it has a smokier yet less salty flavor to it which we like to compliment the parmesan in this recipe.
If you are unable to find the Kikkoman Smooth Aromatic Light Color Soy Sauce, Pearl River Bridge Light Soy Sauce or even regular Kikkoman Soy Sauce will replace it just fine!
Onto the oil! So the oil helps to add a more velvety texture to the filling and acts in combination with water as a binding agent to turn your ground meat into a dumpling paste. We have recently switched to start using Tea Seed Oil which has many health benefits and is great for cooking and seasoning. We particularly prefer this brand yóu yóu who ships their product across the U.S! But if Tea Seed Oil is not what you already have or want to try, go ahead and use any neutral oil you have in the cabinet.
Ok, ingredients out of the way let’s start putting this together! Cut your cabbage into small wedges and then shred the cabbage into small bite size pieces no wider than a dime.
Next, add 1 TSP of salt to the cup of cabbage and let it sit while you prep the rest of your ingredients. This process will help break down the cell walls and draw water out of the cabbage, leaving you with a well seasoned mix.
Next step is to mince your cloves of garlic and knob of ginger. Psst when peeling your ginger, use the edge of a spoon to scrape the skin off instead of peeling with a knife or peeler, this will leave more of the “meat” of the ginger intact!
Drain off the excess water from the cabbage by squeezing it out over the bowl or sink after letting it rest and add the garlic, ginger, and cabbage to the ground pork.
Time to season, add soy, sauce, white pepper, Parmesan, sesame oil, neutral oil and water to the meat mixture. Now you may be thinking to yourself at this point that someone has lost their mind and added cheese to this recipe. However, you will find after trusting us and making this recipe that Parmesan is the perfect pairing and combination for dumplings. It adds an additional layer of umami and a “je ne sais quoi” to the dish that you will come to love.
And then comes the fun part, time to mix, mix and mix more, you are looking for the texture of a paste. It may seem unnatural to turn the perfectly loose ground meat into a paste, but this will help to hold the mixture together in cooking and leave you with a cohesive dumpling instead of ingredients spilling out after you bite into the dumpling.
Below is how your finished product should look, cohesive ingredients thoroughly mixed together and a bit sticky.
Now we get to the fun part and where friendships are tested and bonds are made over years of dumpling wrapping. We won’t teach you exactly how to wrap the dumplings but feel free to take a free form approach or watch this super informative video on youtube that shows you how to pleat a dumpling like the pros (Us, jk we are only semi-pro).
And just like that you have a tray full of dumplings ready to be cooked or frozen for up to 4 Months. If freezing, use a stainless steel tray dusted in flour and lay your dumplings on there and place in the freezer till hard then transfer to a ziplock bag. When ready to cook, you can cook directly from frozen without defrosting.
Let’s get to cooking! Start by turning on your flame to medium high and oiling the pan with a neutral oil. Next, place your fresh or frozen dumplings directly into the pan being careful to not overcrowd the pan, ensuring each dumpling is touching the bottom of the pan.
Add enough water to come up to halfway up the dumplings and the cover and allow to steam.
Steam until most of the water has evaporated and then remove the lid from the pan. Next, allow for the water to completely evaporate and a little bit of color to form on the edges and bottom of the dumplings.
Invert and remove from the pan once a nice golden brown color has made its way on the bottom of the dumplings. And now comes the best part - time to devour, we don’t think these dumplings need any dipping sauce, but go nuts and dress it up however if you’d like! (Chili oil is always a good go-to for this, even better for this is Parcels House Chili Oil)
Thank you for following along, we hope that this recipe will bring you loads of dumplings and joy! And for all of you that scrolled past my hard work of writing this post, the TL;DR version of the recipe is below, but just know my heart and soul is found in the above - generations of dumpling knowledge could be yours if you scroll back up. No hard feelings though - have fun with this recipe, share with your friends and check out Parcels Project at ParcelsProject.com or on instagram!
Parcels Project Parmesan Pork Dumplings
½ LB Ground Pork
1 cup of Shredded Napa Cabbage
⅓ cup of freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
2 tsp Soy Sauce
1 tsp Sesame Oil
2 cloves Garlic
1 tablespoon minced Ginger
1.5 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon White Pepper
1 teaspoon Tea Seed Oil/Neutral Oil
1.5 teaspoon Water
1 pack of Dumpling Wrappers
- Start by slicing your cabbage into wedges and shredding into thin strips no wider than a dime. After slicing add 1 cup of cabbage into a bowl with 1.5 teaspoons of salt, mix to coat and allow to sit for 15 minutes.
- Mince 2 cloves of garlic and enough ginger to fill 1 tablespoon (about ½ inch knob).
- Drain your cabbage after it has been sitting by squeezing the cabbage over the sink to extract any extra water.
- Combine the ½ LB of ground pork, minced garlic, ginger and salted cabbage in a large bowl.
- Add into the pork mixture ⅓ cup of grated parmesan cheese, 2 teaspoons of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, 1 teaspoon of Tea Seed Oil or other neutral oil, 1 teaspoon of white pepper, and 1.5 teaspoons of water.
- And now mix and mix until the meat mixture becomes like a paste.
- Wrap the dumplings however you heart desires. (If you need some guidance here is a great video)
- If freezing, place dumplings on a sheet tray dusted with flour and freeze until hard then transfer to a ziplock bag for up to 6 months.
- When ready to cook, take your fresh or frozen dumplings and add to an oiled pan over medium heat. Add enough water to go halfway up the dumplings and cover with a lid. Allow for water to almost completely evaporate and then remove the lid. Crisp up the dumplings slightly and then remove from the pan and enjoy!
- No dipping sauce necessary but feel free to add chili oil, scallions or any other condiments you enjoy!
- We like to use store bought skins when in a hurry, they are uniform and great for wrapping dumplings when you don’t have time to make skins from scratch.
- Recipe will yield from 40-50 dumplings, feel free to double or triple the recipe to stash away for rainy day or late night dumpling needs.