Century Old Dumplings

  • 4oz of pork chop meat (duck is illustrated here but pork meat is much better)
  • a small sachet and a half of sago
  • 20 salted peanuts
  • 1/3 of a turnip
  • 1 chinese sausage/lap-cheong
  • 4 medium chinese mushrooms/dung-goo
  • 2 chinese spoonfuls of dried shrimps

  • a cube of chicken stock

  • good cornflour
  • sesame oil
  • oyster sauce
  • salt & white pepper
  • sugar

- optional: 2 spring onions (only use the whites)


The recipe for this springy textured, sumptuous dumpling is an ancient hand-down from my dad's hometown and pictured here are a few that my mother made for his birthday.

Note: these ingredients have been adjusted from the original super-batch amounts, the quantities here I think, can make around 20 dumplings..


  1. Wash and steam the chinese sausage for 30 mins then soak the mushrooms in warm water for 1-2 hours until they soften. Then do the same for the dried shrimps, for one hour.

  2. Chop all of the filling ingredients into tiny pieces.

  3. Prepare the sago by immersing it into cold water so that it just overlaps the surface and leave it stand for no longer than 15 minutes. Avoid too much water. (It may be a good idea to save some dry emergency-sago so that you can later add it to the dough if you find the consistency isn't right.)

The filling

  1. Add a little oil, heat the pan up high and toss in all the ingredients. Add sugar, salt, pepper, sesame oil and a teaspoon of oyster sauce then stir fry for a few minutes. Turn the heat right down then add enough water to prevent pan from overheating. Cover the lid leave for 15-20 mins.

  2. Let the filling cool down.

The skin

  1. Take a handful and start to knead it together in your palms. Keep adding to it and kneading till it's a doughy texture.

  2. Pinch out some dough about the size of 3/4 of an egg. Shape it into a ball and squash into your palm to make a flat circular disc about half a centimetre thick.

The dumpling

  1. Place about a teaspoonful of the filling into the centre of your skin, then add a peanut. Fold the skin in half over the filling and lightly pinch the exposed edges together. Use the cornflour on your fingers to prevent the sago from sticking to you and place each one neatly and away from each other on a plate.

  2. Steam for 30 minutes.

  3. Carefully lift out after 30 minutes, garnish as you like with herbs, crushed nuts etc. and there you have your plump and savoury little dumpling!