Pumpkin Gochujang Pork Dumplings
These pumpkin gochujang pork dumplings are the perfect homage to the changing weather, my favorite season, and my love for twisting classic Chinese dishes with unexpected ingredients or flavors! Pork dumplings are a staple in my house! We’ll whip them up quickly with a bunch of chives or scallion, toss in some soy sauce and shaoxing wine, and wrap them up in store bought wrappers and call it a night! Other times, we crave slowing down. We’ll take the time to make our own wrappers and add a few more special ingredients to elevate the flavors of our dumplings.
Any way we make them, dumplings are always well loved and gobbled up as quickly as we can fold them! We dip them in soy sauce, chili oil, or sometimes we’ll make up a quick soy and vinegar sauce that balances out all the flavors wonderfully!
So next time you have a cozy night in with the family, set yourselves up with the ingredients and make it a fun project for everyone to help out with!
Making your own dumpling wrappers
For these pumpkin gochujang pork dumplings, I made my own dumpling wrappers because I wanted a fun orange wrapper shaped like a “bao zi” or steamed bun to represent the pumpkin in it! Other than wanting to add a bit of color to the wrappers with gochujang, homemade wrappers also make it possible to pleat more intricate dumpling shapes like these! Store bought wrappers are great for convenience, but the firm texture of them would never allow you to be able to pleat or fold the dumplings this way!
Making your own wrappers might seem like a difficult task, but with a little patience, they’re actually super easy to make!
What is Gochujang?
In this recipe, I included gochujang in both the wrappers (to create a bright orange color) and in the filling. Gochujang is a Korean fermented red chili paste that has a unique flavor composition. It’s sweet, spicy, and savory all at the same time! It’s one of my go-to ingredients whenever I want to add a little umph! to a dish!
What You’ll Need
- Mixing bowls
- Wooden chopsticks (optional)
- Measuring cups
- Food scale
- Sharp knife
- Baking sheet/pan
- Small rolling pin
- Large non stick frying pan
Ingredients for Pumpkin Gochujang Pork Dumplings
- All purpose flour
- Small sugar or pie pumpkin (or any winter squash you like)
- Olive oil
- Black pepper, salt, garlic salt, curry powder, white pepper
- Ground pork
- Fresh ginger
- Soy sauce
- Sesame oil
How to make Pumpkin Gochujang Pork Dumplings
- Make dumpling wrapper dough: combine gochujang with just boiled water and mix into flour to form a dough. Knead until smooth and let rest.
- Roast pumpkin for filling: cut pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds, peel the skin, cut into slices, toss with oil and seasonings, and roast in oven. Set aside to cool.
- Make the filling: In a large bowl, combine the pork, scallion, ginger, garlic, gochujang, soy sauce, sesame oil, and white pepper. Mix very well with chopsticks, then mix in the roughly chopped roasted pumpkin. Set aside in fridge to keep cool.
- Roll out dumpling wrappers: Poke a hole in the middle of the rested dough and stretch to create a donut shape. Stretch out a bit more and then cut into 4 equal pieces. Working with one piece at a time, roll into an 8-10 inch rope and cut into 8 equal pieces. Toss in flour. Grabbing one piece, flatten it with the palm of your hand on top of flour to coat, flip and flatten again. Roll out the dough into a 4 inch circle (optionally, you can use the dumpling wrapper rolling technique pictured below).
- Fold dumplings: Only make 8 wrappers at a time and fold them before rolling out more dumplings. Place about 1.5 TB filling in the middle of the wrapper. For the bao zi shape, place the wrapper in the middle of your hand. place about 1.5 TB filling in the middle of the wrapper. Place the thumb of your dominant hand on the top inside part of the wrapper, and with the pointer finger of your other hand on the outside of the wrapper, push a fold and pleat it down under the outside of the wrapper. Squeeze the fold down and repeat (view photos above or watch my video on instagram for reference). Place each folded dumpling on a parchment lined baking sheet or plate. Repeat rolling out more dumpling wrappers 8 at a time, and fold them.
- Pan fry dumplings: Heat oil on a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Place dumplings about 1/2 inch apart and let brown the bottoms for about 2-3 minutes. Add water to the pan, cover, and let cook for 8 minutes. Remove lid, and cook for an additional few minutes, letting any excess water in the pan cook away and until the bottoms are deep golden brown and crispy. Place dumplings on a plate and enjoy with preferred dumpling sauce!
A twist on the classic pork dumplings, these pumpkin dumplings are a fun and super flavorful way to enjoy our favorite fall ingredient!
for dumpling wrappers
- 2 1/2 c (320g) all purpose flour
- 165g just boiled water
- 1 1/2 TB gochujang
for dumpling filling
- half of one small pie or sugar pumpkin (any winter squash would work here)
- 2 TB extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp garlic salt (or just garlic powder)
- 1 tsp curry powder (optional)
- 1/2 lb ground pork
- 4-6 stalks scallion, chopped
- 1 TB grated fresh ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 TB gochujang
- 1 TB soy sauce
- 1 TB sesame oil
- 1 tsp white pepper
Prep dumpling wrapper dough
- Place flour in a large bowl and make a well in the middle.
- Measure out 165g just boiled water into a glass measuring cup and stir in gochujang until dissolved. Pour gochujang water into the flour and mix with chopsticks or a wooden spoon until a shaggy almost dry looking dough starts to come together.
- Using your hands, start kneading the dough in the bowl, trying to evenly hydrate the dough and incorporate any dry flour bits around the bowl. Once every bit is incorporated, knead dough on a clean surface. It should be a slightly firm dough that is slightly tacky but not sticky. Knead for 5-7 minutes, until dough is elastic and smooth. It may still look a bit dimply, which is ok.
- Place dough ball in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest for at least 45 minutes, up to 2 hours.
Roast pumpkin for filling
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- While the dough is resting, roast the pumpkin for the filling:
- Cut the pumpkin in half (use a sharp knife and be careful). Scoop our the seeds and fibrous stringy parts. Cut the skin off and then cut into 1-inch wide slices and place on a baking sheet.
- drizzle olive oil on the pumpkin slices, then add pepper, salt, garlic salt, and curry powder. toss around to coat slices well.
- roast in oven for about 25 minutes, flipping them halfway. set aside to cool
Make the filling
- In a large bowl, combine pork, scallion, ginger, garlic, gochujang, soy sauce, sesame oil, and white pepper. Stir together VERY well, preferably with a pair of chopsticks. Mix vigorously for a minute.
- Roughly chop up the roasted pumpkin and add to the meat mixture. Mix well and set aside in fridge.
Roll out dumpling wrappers
- After the dough has rested, poke a hole in the middle and start stretching it to create a large donut shape. Continue to stretch a bit more so the diameter of the rope is about 1-1.5 inch wide.
- Cut the donut into 4 equal pieces. Work on one piece at a time and cover the rest with plastic wrap or a damp towel.
- On a clean surface, roll the rope out until it's about 8-10 inches in length. Cut it into 8 equal pieces by cutting it in half, then cutting those halves in half, and so on.
- Move the cut pieces of dough to a well floured corner of your work surface and sprinkle a generous amount of flour on top of them.
- Take one piece of dough and flatten it with the palm of your hand onto flour, flip it and flatten once more, coating with more flour. With a small rolling pin, gently roll the piece of dough out in all directions, to create a slightly flattened circle. At this point, you can continue to roll it flatter into a 4 inch circle in this manner, or with this technique: taking the rolling pin under the palm of your dominant hand, and holding one side of the flattened circle, roll the edge of the wrapper up, towards the middle of the wrapper. Rotate the dough counter clockwise and roll the edge up again. Continue this technique until you've gone all the way around, making the edges slightly thinner than the middle of the wrapper.
- Stop after you've rolled all 8 pieces of dough so you can start assembling dumplings. The wrappers are best used as soon as possible after being rolled out.
- I folded these dumplings into a "bao zi" shape to go with the pumpkin theme, but you can fold them with whatever technique you most prefer.
- For the bao zi shape, place the wrapper in the middle of your hand. place about 1.5 TB filling in the middle of the wrapper. Place the thumb of your dominant hand on the top inside part of the wrapper, and with the pointer finger of your other hand on the outside of the wrapper, push a fold and pleat it down under the outside of the wrapper. Squeeze the fold down and repeat (view photos above or watch my video on instagram for reference).
- Place each folded dumpling on a parchment lined baking sheet or plate.
- Repeat rolling out more dumpling wrappers 8 at a time, and fold them.
Pan fry the dumplings
- Place a large non stick frying pan over medium heat with about 2 TB cooking oil and coat pan evenly with oil.
- Place dumplings on pan, at least half an inch apart. Let cook uncovered for about 2-3 minutes, to get a bit of color on the bottoms of dumplings.
- Carefully pour 1/3 cup of water into the middle of pan and cover with lid. Lower heat to medium low and cook for 8 minutes.
- Remove lid and let the dumplings cook for an additional few minutes, until any excess water has cooked away and the bottoms of dumplings are deep golden brown and crispy.
- Place cooked dumplings onto a plate, let cool slightly and enjoy with your fave ginger soy sauce or chili oil!