Zucchini Dumplings: the Taste of Summer

Finally, it is summer time!  Summer in Michigan means lots of fresh local produces in farmer’s market.  I get so excited that I always automatically wake up earlier on Wednesday and Saturday morning, so that I can go to our local farmer’s market to see what good eats are available today. To me, summer is the best time of the year.  Yes, it is way better than the holiday season!

Among the produce I am so looking forward to is zucchini.  They are fresh, sweet, tender and refreshing.  There are many ways to cook with zucchini and each and every way is good.  I use them in stir-fries, soup, savory pancakes and dumplings.

Making dumplings is really a good use of zucchini.  But I don’t just chop it up and use it like that.  I dehydrate the zucchini first, so that the flavor is more intense, and zucchini won’t be mushy when cooked.  

For whole-wheat dumpling wraps:

3 cups bread flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon oil


For dumpling filling

1 1/2 pound ground pork
3 large zucchinis
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 rice cooking wine
2 to 3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 ground ginger
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
salt to taste
1/4 to 1/2 cup water/ chicken stock


Rinse the zucchinis under running water.  Pat dry and slice them thinly with a mandoline slicer. Spread zucchini chips on one or several racks. Dehydrate them under the sun or in a food dehydrator until zucchinis are half way dry.  


In a large bowl, add bread flour, whole wheat flour, oil and salt.  Whisk while gradually adding water to the bowl.  When flour starts to come together, knead with hands until smooth and elastic dough forms. 

Cover and let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes. 

In another large bowl, add ground pork, ground white pepper, sesame oil, soy sauce, oyster sauce, ground ginger and salt.  Whisk with a pair of chopsticks.  If you whisk hard enough, the ground pork, just like the flour, is going to come together and develop some kind of gluten.  Add water/ chicken broth, little by little; and keep whisking.

Add dehydrated zucchinis to a food processor.  

In seconds, zucchinis are evenly and finely chopped. I love my newly bought cuisinart 14 cups food processor.  It can be so helpful in the kitchen.


Add finely chopped zucchinis to the ground pork.

Whisk until the whole pork filling is well combined.  Add salt to taste.

Run the dough through stand mixer pasta roller several times.  


Set the thickness to 5, and run it one more time.

With a round cookie cutter, cut out round dumpling wraps. 


He is working on the dough and wraps; while I am working on dumplings. O(∩_∩)O~

Put 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoon pork filling in the center of one wrap.

Fold the wrap over.  Press the sides together and make a couple creases on the each side.

That is how you make a authentic Chinese dumpling.

Line up the dumplings on a well-flour-dusted board.

I like to make dozens of dumplings at a time and freeze the extra and keep them in large Ziploc bags.  They are so much better than the dumplings you find in grocery store freezer.

Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Add dumplings.  When the water boils again, add one cup of cold water to the pot.  That should help to cook dumplings evenly inside and out. When the water boils again, add another cup of cold water to the pot.  Repeat it one more time and the dumplings should be ready. 

I like to serve my dumplings with garlic chili sauce.  This is the home version.  I post it before: http://www.yankitchen.com/blog/2k1o27b6fzy82wn0sphsah9oqd3hbo

Take a bite!

The dehydrated zucchini has more intense flavor.  I didn’t add any sugar to the filling, but it taste very sweet and refreshing, just like the way zucchini should be.  If you cook with zucchini before, you will know cooked zucchini are most likely to be mushy and watery.  But my version of zucchini dumplings are the very opposite of that.  It is sweet and tender, and well worthy of all the labor work. O(∩_∩)O~