Frugal chef: 100 homemade dumplings for $13

Ryan Boyd
Frugal chef: 100 homemade dumplings for $13

It’s Chinese New Year, and while dumplings taste good any time of the year, now’s even more reason to roll some pasty and fill it with whatever goodies you like.

We asked our frugal chef Cindy Wang to show how she can make over 100 dumplings with quality fillings for as little as possible.

In the below video, she and her friend Camellia create four different flavours (beef and cabbage, prawn and mushroom, egg and chives, and mushroom and cabbage), including rolling out the dough.

“If you're short on time you can easily get the dumpling pastry from Asian supermarket for about $4.50 for 50 pieces,” Cindy says in the video.

“But if you make you from scratch you can easily make about hundred pieces for about $1.70.”

One thing that makes making dumplings at home so popular is that you can add the things that you like to eat in them, even if it’s something super simple.

“The thing about dumplings is they are so versatile,” Cindy says in the video. “You can add anything you like to it.

“My husband he likes to add mashed potatoes to it just mashed potatoes. He's a Kiwi.”

All in all, Cindy and Camellia made 110 dumplings at a total cost of $13.85, or about 13 cents each. Much cheaper than what the restaurants will charge, and very satisfying to know you created them.

Recipes

Vegan cabbage dumpling

Ingredients

  •   Mushrooms 200g

  •   Cabbage 300g 

  •   (Can also use chives, mushrooms, carrots, beans, bamboo shoots, either individually or in combinations, beef to veges ratio: 1:1)

 

Optional herbs

  •   Spring onions: 4 leaves or 1 whole spring onion

  •   Ginger: 1 tsp

  •   Garlic: 2 cloves

  •   Basil: a few leaves to half cup

  •   Sesame oil: 1 tsp (optional)

  •   Chili sauce: 1/2 tsp (any type, optional)


Instructions

  1. Cut ginger, spring onion and garlic to small pieces; roughly chop up the cabbage and mushroom.

  2. Heat oil, add ginger, garlic and 1/2 spring onions to it, and lightly stir fry until fragrant. 

  3. Add chopped cabbage, sauté for about 2 mins and then add the chopped mushroom, sauté for another 2 mins or until fragrant.

  4. Add sautéed cabbage and mushroom to the blender, add basil, rest 1/2 spring onions, chili sauce, sesame oil, salt and pepper to taste, stir it up, then it's ready.

 

Beef and cabbage

Prepare the above filling without the mushroom, then add to a blender with beef and one egg, blend, then it's ready. Can also use other meats such as pork, lamb, chicken.

Ingredients

  •   Beef mince 250g (can use other forms of proteins including eggs)

  •   Cabbage 300g

  •   (Can also use chives, mushrooms, carrots, beans, bamboo shoots, either individually or in combinations, beef to veges ratio: 1:1)

 

Optional herbs

  1. Spring onions: 4 leaves or 1 whole spring onion

  2. Ginger: 1 tsp

  3. Garlic: 2 cloves

  4. Basil (a few leaves to half cup)

  5. Sesame oil: 1 tsp (optional)

  6. Chili sauce: 1/2 tsp (any type, optional)



Instructions

  1. Cut ginger, spring onion and garlic to small pieces; roughly chop up the cabbage and mushroom.

  2. Heat oil, add ginger, garlic and 1/2 spring onions to it, and lightly stir fry until fragrant. 

  3. Add chopped cabbage, sauté for about 2 mins and then add the chopped mushroom or until slightly transparent.

  4. Add sautéed cabbage and beef to the blender, add egg, basil, rest 1/2 spring onions, chili sauce, sesame oil, salt and pepper to taste.

  5. Blend to a paste, then it's ready.

  6. Can also add curry powder to spice things up.

 

Prawns and mushroom

Ingredients

  •   Prawns 250g

  •   Mushrooms 250g

  •   Optional herbs

  •   Spring onions: 4 leaves or 1 whole spring onion 

  •   Ginger: 1 tsp

  •   Garlic: 2 cloves

  •   Basil (a few leaves to half cup)

  •   Sesame oil: 1 tsp (optional)

  •   Cooking alcohol

 

Instructions

  1. Prawns: add salt and pepper, thin ginger slices, a dash of cooking alcohol (optional), marinate for 15 mins.

  2. Cut ginger, spring onion and garlic to small pieces; roughly cut up the mushrooms.

  3. Heat oil, add ginger, garlic and 1/2 spring onions to it, and lightly stir fry until fragrant. 

  4. Add chopped mushroom, sauté for about 2 mins or slightly wilted. Add salt and pepper to taste.

  5. Add sautéed mushroom and 2/3 prawns (including the ginger) to the blender, sesame oil and blend to a paste.

  6. Chop rest 1/3 prawns to small pieces and add to the paste, mix it up. Then it's ready.

 

Eggs and chives

Ingredients

  •   Eggs: 4 

  •   Chives: 2 cups

  •   Sesame oil: 1 tsp

  •   Soy sauce: 1/2 tsp

  •   Spring onion: 2 leaves


Instructions

  1. Cut up chives finely, set on with salt and pepper, and leave aside.

  2. Crack the eggs, add salt and pepper, and mix it up.

  3. In a wide pan, heat up the oil till really really hot, then pour eggs in, stir fry until all liquid gone.

  4. Chop up the eggs to small pieces

  5. Squeeze the water out of the chives, then add to the egg pieces, add sesame oil, finely chopped spring onions, mix it well,  then it's ready.

 

Dumpling pastry

Cindy uses this recipe for her pasty. If you want to make coloured dough, replace some of the water with beetroot or spinach juice, or just a add  few drops of food colouring.

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