Pork Dumplings with Chile-Sesame Sauce

Photo: John Kernick

These wrinkly dumplings are filled with pork, shiitake mushrooms, bok choy, scallions and ginger. For Halloween, David Burtka soaks the brain-like dumplings in the dipping sauce, then serves them in science-lab beakers.

Yield: about 5 dozen dumplings
Recipe from Food & Wine

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Recipe Time

Total: 1 Hour, 30 Minutes


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps thinly sliced
  • 6 (large) scallions, light green parts, finely chopped
  • 3/4 pound baby bok choy, finely chopped
  • 1 (medium) carrot, coarsely shredded
  • 4 cloves (large) garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons mirin or sweet sherry
  • 1 teaspoon Asian chile-garlic sauce
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2 containers wonton wrappers
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Chinese black bean sauce
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil, toasted
  • 4 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
  • 4 teaspoons Asian chile-garlic sauce
  • 4 teaspoons mirin or sweet sherry


  1. In a skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the shiitake, scallions, bok choy and carrot; stir-fry over high heat until tender, 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, mirin and chile-garlic sauce and cook until the liquid is evaporated, 3 minutes. Season with salt. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until chilled, 15 minutes.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with wax paper. Add the pork to the filling and mix. On a work surface, brush 3 wonton wrappers with the cornstarch solution; spoon a scant tablespoon of the filling in the center. Fold the wrappers over to form triangles; seal the edges, pressing out any air trapped inside. With scissors, trim the the wrappers, leaving a 1/4-inch rim around the filling. Transfer the dumplings to the baking sheet, seam sides up. Keep the dumplings covered with a moist paper towel. Repeat with the remaining wonton wrappers and filling.
  3. Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl.
  4. Fill a wok or a large skillet with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Working in batches, arrange the dumplings in a double-tiered bamboo steamer lined with oiled wax paper; set the steamer over the boiling water. Cover and steam the dumplings until the filling is cooked through and firm, 6 minutes.
  5. Toss the dumplings in 1 cup of the sauce. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the dumplings to a platter. Serve the remaining chile-sesame sauce alongside.
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