Wheat is a staple crop in the northern region of China, so the cuisine of the north is known for dumplings and noodle dishes. In Tina’s village, the
women would sit for hours making these dumplings in preparation for the new year, eating and gossiping as they worked. Tina makes her thin dumpling skins with just two ingredients: flour and water. Then she stuffs each skin with a savory pork filling that she mixes up with chopsticks, and she seals each one with perfect, identical pleats in the blink of an eye. Tina’s secret for super-moist dumplings is her addition of soft tofu. She feels pork here in the United States is too lean, so she adds the tofu to soften the filling and give it a juicier bite.
This recipe takes a bit of elbow grease, but if you are simply serving it as an appetizer, you’ll be left with plenty of extra that you can pop in the freezer. They are so delicious and versatile—try them steamed, fried, or even boiled in your favorite soup!