These dumplings are delicious whether you put the classic pleats in them or not.
yield: Makes 4 main-course servings (makes 32)
active time: 1 1/4 hr
total time: 1 1/4 hr
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for dusting
1 (2-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger
1/2 cup light soy sauce
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
3/4 lb ground pork (from shoulder; not lean)
a 3 1/4-inch round cookie cutter
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* Stir together flour and 1/2 cup lukewarm water in a bowl until a dough forms. Knead on a lightly floured surface until just smooth, 1 to 2 minutes, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature at least 10 minutes.**
* While dough stands, halve ginger, then finely chop 1 half and cut remaining half into very thin matchsticks (less than 1/8 inch thick).
* Combine 5 tablespoons soy sauce with ginger matchsticks in a small bowl.
* Reserve 2 tablespoons scallions for garnish, then finely chop remainder and put in a bowl along with pork, finely chopped ginger, and remaining 3 tablespoons soy sauce. Gently knead with your hands in bowl until just combined. Chill, covered, 10 minutes.
* While pork mixture chills, line a large baking sheet with paper towels and dust lightly with flour, then lightly dust a work surface with flour. Halve dough and rewrap 1 half. Pat remaining half into a flat square. Roll out dough into a 13-inch square (less than 1/8 inch thick) with a lightly floured rolling pin, dusting work surface with additional flour as needed, then cut out 12 rounds (very close together) using cookie cutter. (If dough is sticking to cutter, lightly dip cutter in flour and shake off excess before cutting out each round.) Reserve scraps.
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* Transfer rounds to lined baking sheet and cover loosely with another layer of paper towels lightly dusted (on top) with flour. Roll out remaining half of dough and cut out 12 more rounds in same manner, then transfer rounds to lined baking sheet. Combine scraps of dough and wrap in plastic wrap, then let stand at least 10 minutes.
* While scraps are standing, begin forming dumplings. Line another large baking sheet with paper towels and dust lightly with flour. Put 1 dough round on fingers of 1 hand near palm and put 2 slightly rounded teaspoons pork mixture in center of round. Fold round in half, enclosing filling, and pinch edges together to seal. Put dumpling on lined baking sheet and form 23 more dumplings in same manner (you may have some filling left over). Cover dumplings loosely with more paper towels. Roll out scraps into a 10-inch square (less than 1/8 inch thick) and cut out 8 more rounds. Form 8 more dumplings for a total of 32. Discard remaining scraps.
* Gently drop all dumplings into a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling water, gently stirring once to prevent sticking, and cook 6 minutes. (Dumplings will float to top while cooking.) Transfer dumplings with a slotted spoon to a serving dish and sprinkle with reserved scallions. Serve with ginger dipping sauce.
* Dumplings can be formed 1 day ahead. Chill in 1 layer, not touching, on lined baking sheet, loosely but completely covered with plastic wrap.
**Store-bought wrappers can be used as a homemade dough alternative.
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