Duck Dumplings

By James Ramsden •

Ever tried making dim sum? Wonton dumplings are surprisingly easy to make as James found.  Follow his delicious recipe to make these tasty morsels for yourself.

I know very little about Chinese food. Until fairly recently I’d dismissed it as gloopy over-sweetened trash, based on one too many visits to Mr. Chow’s All-U-Can-Eat buffet and too many unidentifiable vittles in black bean sauce. But I’m slowly falling for it in a big way.
Rather like “Italian” food, there is no such thing as “Chinese” food - there is as much diversity between each province as there is between British food and American. So at this point I humbly submit that this recipe might be delicious and vaguely “Chinese” but is very possibly as authentic as a fortune cookie.

It came about, as dinners often will, as a means of using up the bits and bobs that were lurking at the back of the fridge. A packet of wonton wrappers, a few iffy-looking spring onions, a thumb of ginger…and it’s not every day, I grant you, that I have half a roast duck kicking about, but I’d been testing recipes for something else, and there it was. You could use chicken instead.
Perhaps I’m not selling this hard enough. It was delicious. I sat greedily in front of BBC2’s The Restaurant Man, popping one after another first into a little bowl of soy sauce, and then into my mouth.

Duck Dumplings

Makes 30

(serves 2 as a main, 4 as a starter)

200g cooked duck, shredded
4 spring onions, trimmed and very finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, crushed to a paste
About 1 tbsp grated ginger
1 large red chilli, deseeded and very finely chopped
1 tsp Chinese five spice
1 generous tbsp hoisin sauce
30 wonton wrappers
A splash of shaoxing rice wine, or dry sherry
75ml water, with extra to seal
Salt and pepper
Groundnut or vegetable oil
Soy sauce (to serve)

Mix together the duck, spring onion, garlic, ginger, chilli, five spice, hoisin sauce, and season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Put a spoonful of the mix in the centre of a wonton wrapper. Dip your finger in a glass of water and dab it round the edge of the dough. Fold over and seal, then crimp the edges, both to help seal but also for prettification. Repeat with the remaining wrappers, covering the finished specimens with a damp tea towel to prevent them from drying out.

Heat a splash of oil in a frying pan or wok, and add the dumplings. Fry until they’re crisp on the bottom, then add a splash of rice wine and the water. Cover tightly and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, until the steam has all been absorbed.

Serve with soy sauce. 

Inspired?  For more duck recipes visit Great British Chefs collection.



James Ramsden

James Ramsden is a food writer and broadcaster. He has written about food and cookery for the Guardian, the Times, the FT, delicious., Sainsbury's Magazine, London Evening Standard and many others, and presents the Lad that Lunches on BBC Radio 1. His supper club, the Secret Larder, is one of the most popular in London and was described by one journalist as "harder to get into than the Ivy."

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