Find inspiration in the flavours of Chinese cuisine with this spectacular version of Shanghai dumplings.

Ingredients of Shanghai Dumplings

  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 32 ¼-ounce envelopes
  • 5½ ounces fresh ginger
  • 4 scallions, cut into ½-inch pieces, white and green parts
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2 tablespoons sherry cooking wine
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 8 large cabbage leaves, or perforated sheets
  • paper, for lining the steamers
  • 24 Steamed Dumpling Wrappers

How To Make Shanghai Dumplings

  1. Bring a large pot with 14 cups of water to a boil and stir in 1 teaspoon of the sugar and ½ teaspoon of the salt.
  2. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the gelatin until completely dissolved, then simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes until the liquid has thickened like a rich stock.
  3. Remove from the heat, transfer the liquid to a bowl, and let cool to room temperature.
  4. The next day, in a blender, combine the ginger, scallions, and 2 tablespoons of water and puree until the mixture becomes a paste.
  5. In a medium bowl, combine the pork, ginger-scallion paste, wine, remaining sugar, oyster sauce, soy sauce, remaining teaspoon of salt, the pepper, and sesame oil, and fold it together for 5 minutes, until the mixture is very well blended and all liquid is fully absorbed into the meat.
  6. Finely chop the gel and use your hands to gently fold it into the filling until well combined.
  7. Fill a large pot with 2 inches of water; a bamboo steamer should fit snugly on top of the pot. Bring the water to a simmer and line 2 steamers with the cabbage leaves.
  8. Pick up one dumpling wrapper and lightly tug around the edges to stretch it out slightly.
  9. Use a fork to add about 1½ to 2 tablespoons of the filling to the center of the wrapper, then lightly pat down the filling with the fork to get rid of any air bubbles.
  10. Pinch an edge of the wrapper between your other thumb and index finger and start pleating the edge of the wrapper up and around the filling, rotating the dumpling as you pleat the wrapper while pressing the filling into place.
  11. As you connect the two ends of the dumpling together.
  12. Inspect the dumpling for any holes where the filling could leak out and pinch them shut.
  13. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil.
  14. Divide into small dishes and top with julienned ginger.
  15. Gently place dumplings, in each steamer so the topknots are facing up.
  16. Stack the steamers on top of each other on top of the pot, cover the top steamer, and steam the dumplings for 10 minutes.
  17. Remove from the heat, uncover the steamers, and serve immediately. Repeat with any remaining dumplings.