In my corner of Instagram there’s a fair share of people making sourdough bread and lasagna but mixed in are just as many who are trying their hand at folding dumplings. And of course, every good dumpling recipe needs a sauce to go with it. You could combine sriracha and soy sauce for a quick fix but if you’re looking for something that’s savory and delicious, consider chili oil. Yes, it’s trending right now and no, it’s not dangerously spicy. In fact, this Chinese condiment is better described as smoky and savory, with just a hint of heat.
If you’re an adventurous cook, you can make up a batch of chili oil to use as a topping on everything from dumplings to stir-fried veggies to noodles. And should you want to go the extra route, you can swap in a cannabis-infused olive oil instead of the standard canola oil. The earthy funk of the plant pairs nicely with all of the spices, especially if you’re using a strain high in caryophyllene, which is a terpene naturally found in black peppers.
Olive oil will settle in the fridge, so you’ll want to give this a stir before you use it. Also, use a ceramic bowl instead of a glass jar when you make the sauce because glass may shatter under high heat. If you’re using a pre-dosed oil like Potli, don’t worry about decarboxylating it — because it’s being heated slowly over time, it will go from THCa (non psychoactive) to THC (psychoactive) during this process.
Should you want to try your hand at dumplings, we’re also including a recipe for pork-and-shrimp chive dumplings. But if you’re lazy, you can also try this sauce on store bought ones too.
Cannabis-Infused Chili Oil
Makes approximately 1 ½ cups of jarred oil
1 cup of cannabis infused olive oil, like Potli
3 tablespoons of Sichuan peppercorns (find it here)
4 star anise pods
1 stick of cinnamon
3 tablespoons of red pepper flakes, preferably the Chinese kind (find it here)
2 tablespoons of sesame seeds
1 ½ teaspoons of salt (to taste)
In a small saucepan pour in oil and add in Sichuan peppercorns, star anise pods, and cinnamon stick. Heat it until you see tiny bubbles form but don’t let it start bubbling too much. You don’t want your spices to burn.
Once you see tiny bubbles, turn down your heat to low and let it simmer slowly for 30 minutes. Check to see that it’s infusing and not burning. You may have to turn the heat up or down as needed. You want the spices to get some color but not get too dark or smell like they’ve burned.
After 30 minutes take the saucepan off the heat and let it cool for five minutes.
In a heat proof ceramic bowl, add in your sesame seeds, red pepper flakes, and salt.
Carefully pour your oil into the bowl, making sure that none of the heated spices fall into your bowl. You want the infused oil only! If you have a strainer or a slotted spoon, you can also fish them out before this step.
Let all your spices mingle and cool before transferring to a jar for storage. This will keep up to six months (but you’ll probably finish it beforehand!).
Classic Pork, Shrimp, and Chive Dumplings
Makes approximately 36
½ pound of ground pork (the fattier, the better)
½ pound of shrimp, shells and veins removed, finely chopped
1 ½ cups of chives, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
2 tablespoons of toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons of Chinese cooking wine (optional, you can also substitute dry sherry)
1 tablespoon of white pepper (optional, can also substitute black pepper if need be)
1 package of dumpling wrappers (set them out about 1 hr before wrapping so they’re easier to manipulate)
A small dish of water (to seal the wrappers)
In a large mixing bowl add ground pork, chopped shrimp, chopped chives, and egg.
Add in soy sauce, sesame oil, Chinese cooking wine, and white pepper.
Using your hand, mix through until well combined. You may need to add more seasoning at this point — a properly flavored dumpling filling should smell fragrant but you should also be able to distinctly pick out the sesame oil, soy sauce, and white pepper notes. If you don’t add a little more of whatever you can’t smell and don’t worry: the cooking process leaches out some of the salt so it won’t be overkill.
Set up your wrapping station: bowl of filling, a teaspoon, a dish of water, and a cookie sheet for your completed dumplings.
Take one wrapper in your non-dominant hand and cup it so the center slightly dips. Using a teaspoon, grab just enough to fill the spoon. It should not be a heaping amount. Dollop your filling into the center. It should resemble a football in shape. Do not overfill: your dumplings will expand while cooking.
Using your dominant index finger, dip into the water and run your finger across the edge of the dumpling. You can fold it in half or if you want to try fancier pleats, consult this helpful YouTube video.
Place your completed dumpling on your sheet tray and repeat until you’re out of wrappers. You can freeze any leftover filling for later use or steam it in a small bowl to be enjoyed over rice.
To make your dumplings you can either boil or pan fry them. If you’re boiling, they’re ready when they float.
If you’d rather pan fry, begin by adding a tablespoon of a neutral oil like canola to a heated, non-stick pan. Place your dumplings flat side down and let them brown, approximately 2-3 minutes. Then add in ⅓ cup of water and cover for another five minutes to steam cook. Remove your lid and let any water evaporate for another minute before serving.