Photography by Helen Coetzee
Recipe and styling by Sydney food stylist Jane Collins
We love foodies at our place, and we love long lunches at Bungan on the balcony. Mind you while they start at lunchtime, they seem to linger longer and longer, hanging into the evenings and beyond, and we eat more and more food to fill in the time. We always have a tribe of testers and tasters and before you can say yum- a recipe is sorted and the favourite sauce is nominated. I love how food and conversation can bring the oddest bunch of people together and they can be happy in the therapy that is food.
I first fell in love with dumplings when working at a Sydney modern Australia Fusion restaurant – they combined Asian techniques and recipes with modern Australian flare and flavours. The chefs taught me how to master these dumplings and I really enjoy create different flavours and sauces.
My two favourite sauces are black vinegar and chilli, and the classic tomato concasse.
Try these dumplings out, you will soon be experimenting yourself.
Spinach and ricotta dumplings
Prep time- 20 minutes
Cooking time – 15 minutes
2 Tbsps vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 bunch /200g English spinach, trimmed
½ cup firm ricotta cheese
Sea Salt & cracked pepper
275g packet / 30 gow gee pastry wrappers
Soy & Black vinegar dressing
2 Tbsps soy sauce
1 Tbsp Black vinegar
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp caster sugar
1 red chilli, halved
1 Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large non stick frypan over medium high heat. Cook onions for 1-2 minutes, add garlic cook and stir for 30 seconds.
2 Chop spinach, wash and drain well. Add to pan and cook for 1 minute, till wilted but still bright green. Remove from heat and cool completely for 10 minutes. Add ricotta to cooled spinach mixture, season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.
3 Arrange wrappers on work bench. Working with about 5-6 at a time. Lightly wet edge of one side of each wrapper.
Place a heaped teaspoon of spinach mixture on one side of each wrapper. Fold wrapper in half to enclose filling and make a half moon shape. Pleat edge to seal.
4 Heat remaining oil a large non stick frypan over medium heat, in a circular fashion.
Pour approx ½ cup water down the side of the pan and place the lid on the saucepan. Cook for 4-5 minutes till pastry is softened and water has evaporated. Remove lid and gently ease each dumpling from surface so it doesn’t stick. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 8-10 minutes more till bases are golden brown.
Serve with Soy & black vinegar sauce.
To make Black vinegar sauce-Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
Sizzle sub– I also serve these dumpling with my tomato concasse. See archives for concasse recipe. If you don’t have black vinegar use white vinegar, it will just have a milder taste .
Sizzle tip- you can steam the dumplings in a bamboo steamer and not brown the base.