Lamb Dumplings

I love dumplings, and if you do too, you’re going to want to try these for yourself!

In a previous post, I told you about the amazingly delicious beef and onion dumplings (or jiaozi, in Chinese) I had ages ago in a Muslim restaurant in China.  That really was the beginning of my love affair with dumplings.  I kept wanting to go back to the restaurant every chance I had because I just couldn’t get enough of those juicy and succulent parcels!  I tried the more traditional jiaozi, filled with pork and chives, and pork and cabbage, and I even had seafood dumplings.  But I was partial to these beef ones.  Inspired, I came up with a recipe that tasted pretty much exactly like what I’d eaten in that restaurant.  For many years, I only ever made these beef and onion jiaozi, and when I quit eating beef, I continued to enjoy these dumplings with pork.

Then last year, after trying the lamb dumplings at a Uyghur restaurant (which, sadly, has since closed) in my city, I got the idea to make my dumplings with lamb instead.  i was pretty sure they’d turn out good, but OMG I never expected them to be that good!  Whereas pork has a milder flavour, and even beef has somewhat more of a subtle taste, lamb imparts a stronger, richer flavour which, in my opinion, gives these jiaozi that extra oomph!  Too bad these pictures can’t show how much they’re bursting with deliciousness!

Pretty much everyone who’s tried the various Chinese dumplings that I make say they’re all tasty, but these lamb ones are by far the best!  These have now become my favourite jiaozi too!

So…after all these years with no written recipe and just eyeballing the ingredients, I’ve finally (painstakingly!) measured out everything precisely so I can share this with you! Enjoy! 🙂

LAMB DUMPLINGS (Makes approximately 115 dumplings)

Ingredients:

500g ground lamb
1 large onion, finely diced
1 1/3 Tbsp (20 ml) soy sauce
2/3 Tbsp (10 ml) oyster sauce
1/2 Tbsp (7 ml) sesame oil
1 small egg, beaten
2 tsp cornstarch
40 ml vegetable oil
40 ml water
1/3 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

To assemble:
dumpling wrappers (you’ll need about 115)
extra water 

Method:

1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well.

2. Prepare a small bowl of water. Place about 1 teaspoon of the filling in the centre of each wrapper. Dip your finger in the bowl of water and trace around the edge of the wrapper to moisten it.

3. Fold in half and press firmly to seal.  Place on a baking sheet in a single layer.

4. Took cook, bring a large pot of water to a boil, and drop the dumplings in.  Cook until the dumplings float to the top and the skins look translucent (this will only take a few minutes).  Using a slotted spoon, dish out onto a platter.

5. Serve hot with soy sauce and/or chili sauce.

Tip: These can be made ahead of time and frozen. Once you make the dumplings, place them on a baking sheet, separated, and in a single layer. Cover with cling wrap and place in the freezer. Once they are frozen, gently remove them from the baking sheet and place the dumplings in a resealable bag. So any time you want a quick and easy meal, just place the frozen dumplings directly into a pot of boiling water to cook, and they’ll be ready to eat in minutes!

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