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Brain Dumplings with Kimchi-Chile Sauce

Photo: Greg Dupree; Prop Styling: Blakeslee Giles

Active time 35 mins
Total time 45 mins

Serves 6 (serving size: 3 dumplings each)

Take your Halloween eats to the next level with these Jekyll and Hyde-inspired dumplings. Make ahead of time and freeze for a stress-free, yet totally spooky, spread.



  • 3/4 pound ground pork
  • 2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic chile sauce (Sambal Oelek)
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 18 round gyoza skins
  • Cooking spray
  • * a few whole Napa cabbage leaves or lettuce leaves

Kimchi-Chile Sauce

  • 1 cup store bought kimchi
  • 2 tablespoons garlic chile sauce (Sambal Oelek)
  • 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons water

How to Make It

  1. For Dumplings:

    1. Combine pork, soy sauce, ½ tsp. garlic chile sauce and next 7 ingredients in a medium size mixing bowl. Stir gently till well mixed.

    2. Working with 1 gyoza skin at a time (cover remaining skins to prevent drying), place skin on a work surface, starchy side up. Moisten edge of skin with water. Spoon 2 rounded teaspoon pork mixture into center of skin. Fold wrapper in half, pressing well to seal edge. Lightly moisten one edge of wrapper; pleat edge, pressing to seal pleats. Place on a baking sheet lined with plastic wrap coated with cooking spray. Cover with a damp towel or paper towels to prevent drying. Repeat procedure with the remaining gyoza skins and filling.

    3. Line each tier of a 2-tiered bamboo steamer with cabbage or lettuce leaves. Arrange 9 dumplings, 1 inch apart, over leaves in each basket. Stack tiers; cover with steamer lid. Add water to a skillet to a depth of 1 inch; bring to a boil. Place steamer in pan; steam dumplings 8 minutes or until done. Discard leaves. Serve dumplings tossed with Kimchi-Chile Sauce, then stack into tiny bowls, jars or plates to look like brains.  

    For Kimchi-Chile sauce:

    1. Process all ingredients in a food processor till chunky-smooth. Serve immediately.