- 7 ounces firm tofu, drained
- 4 dried chiles de árbol, stemmed
- 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
- 1/2 pound fatty ground pork, preferably pork butt
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 scallion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup minced peeled fresh ginger
- 1/2 cup finely chopped flowering chives
- 1/4 cup black bean paste with chile
- 1 tablespoon ground bean sauce
- 1 tablespoon tobanjan (fermented broad-bean paste)
- 3 tablespoons Shaoxing wine
- 1 large egg white
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 36 Basic Dumpling Wrappers
- Canola oil, for frying
How to make this recipe
Cut the tofu into 1/4-inch-thick slices; put them on a paper towel–lined plate and press dry with paper towels. Finely chop the tofu and transfer to a large bowl.
In a spice grinder, combine the chiles and Sichuan peppercorns and finely grind. Add to the tofu in the bowl along with all of the remaining ingredients except the cornstarch, dumpling wrappers and canola oil. Fold gently until well blended. Fold in the cornstarch just until incorporated.
Lay a wrapper in the palm of one hand. Using your finger, brush the outer edge with water. Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon of filling in the center. Fold the wrapper over the filling to form a half-moon; pinch at the top to adhere. Fold a pleat in the wrapper on the top left, angling back toward the center. Press with your fingers to adhere. Repeat the pleating on the top right of the wrapper to meet the first pleat in the center. Transfer the dumpling to a parchment paper–lined baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap; repeat with the rest of the wrappers and filling.
Pour enough canola oil into a large nonstick skillet to cover the bottom. Arrange some of the dumplings in the skillet with a non-pleated side down (you will need to work in batches). Cook over low heat until golden on the bottom, about 3 minutes.
Carefully pour in enough water to reach halfway up the dumplings. Cover and cook until almost all of the water is absorbed and the filling is cooked through, about 4 minutes. Uncover and cook until all of the liquid has evaporated and the dumplings are crispy on the bottom, about 2 minutes longer. Carefully invert onto a plate. Repeat the process with the remaining dumplings. Serve warm.
The filling can be refrigerated overnight. The assembled, uncooked dumplings can be frozen for up to 1 month and cooked from frozen. Just add 2 minutes to the covered cooking time in Step 2. Alternatively, you can boil or steam the frozen dumplings for about 8 minutes.