Optional step to make your own dumpling wrapper dough:
If you’re making your own dumpling wrappers, start by preparing the dough. Put the flour in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the water. When a dough forms, continue kneading on low speed for about 8 minutes. (Alternatively, put the flour in a large mixing bowl. Gradually add the water to the flour and knead into a smooth dough. This process should take about 10 minutes.) Cover with an overturned plate and let the dough rest for 1 hour.
To make the filling:
Take your minced celery, and add 1 teaspoon salt. Allow to sit for 30 minutes, and the celery will sweat out excess water.
n a small saucepan or pot, add 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil and the Sichuan peppercorns, if using. Place over medium heat, and when the oil starts to bubble around the peppercorns, turn the heat down to medium low. Allow the oil to infuse for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and cool completely. If not using Sichuan peppercorns, simply cook the oil over medium heat for 5 minutes, and let cool. This “cooked” oil will give the dumplings more flavor than you’d get by simply adding raw oil to the filling.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a small pan or wok over medium heat. Fry the carrots in the oil until the carrots are slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and cool completely.
Squeeze out the excess water from the celery, and add to the bowl of your stand mixer (or a large mixing bowl), along with the cooked and cooled carrot, minced scallions, minced ginger, ground pork, sugar, sesame oil, oyster sauce, and soy sauce.
Turn on your mixer (fitted with the paddle attachment) on low speed, and gradually stream in the Shaoxing wine and water.
Continue mixing on low speed for 5-7 minutes, until the mixture has emulsified, absorbed the added liquid, and resembles a sticky paste. Alternatively, mix by hand with a pair of chopsticks in 1 direction for 10 minutes, or as long as it takes to yield an emulsified paste. If you do not mix long enough, your filling may look wet and have a grainy texture after cooking.
Remove the peppercorns from the cooled oil, and add the oil to the filling mixture. Mix again on low speed for 1 minute, just until the oil is emulsified into the mixture. That’s the filling!
To assemble the dumplings:
If you made homemade dumpling wrappers, divide the dough into small pieces (each piece should weigh about 15-20g), and roll it into a ball in your hands. Flatten the ball on a clean, smooth surface (such as a cutting board or clean countertop), and roll into a thin 3½ inch circle. Place about 1 tablespoon of filling in the middle, and pleat the dumplings closed.
If using store-bought dumpling wrappers, moisten the outer edges of the wrapper, and add 1 tablespoon of filling in the middle. Pleat the dumpling closed, using additional water to make sure the dumpling is fully sealed. For more detail on this step, check out our post on How to Fold Dumplings 4 Ways.
Place on a parchment lined baking sheet ½ inch apart so the dumplings aren’t touching. At this point, you can wrap the dumplings and freeze them on the tray. Then transfer to a freezer bag and store for up to 3 months. (No need to thaw them before steaming, pan-frying, or boiling).
To cook the dumplings, pan-fry, steam, or boil them. Follow the instructions in our How to Cook Dumplings post. Enjoy!
Makes about 6 dozen dumplings. Note: prep time does not include optional step of making dumpling dough.