Hand-mincing meat and adding more pork belly results in the juiciest dumplings. Traditionally, some Chinese cuisine uses hand minced meat for their dishes. For example, lots of dim sum items like siu mai, pork buns, beef meatball, and more use hand minced meat to control the texture and fat content of the dish! Hand mincing meat is fairly easy and takes 5 additional minutes to cooking. You can hand mince pork, beef, and chicken. I learned this technique from Woks of Life and it truly makes the food taste so much better!
Some cuts that I like to use for pork: pork shoulder, pork butt, and pork belly. As for chicken, you can use chicken thigh or chicken breast, depending on your preference. Before you do this, its very important that you use a high quality and sharp knife! Hope you get to try this easy cooking technique to make your ground meats more tender & delicious.
Why ‘hand mince’ the meat?
I do it for the texture and I am able to control what type of meat goes in my food. Sometimes, they use scraps or use too much or too little fat in the pork.
This hand mince method allows me to add more pork belly, which results in a juicier filling. When you also chop in smaller pieces, it also helps tenderize the meat (similar to a meat tenderizer kitchen tool).
INGREDIENTS YOU NEED FOR YOUR THE JUICIEST DUMPLINGS (MINCED PORK):
- 1 pound pork shoulder or pork butt
- 1 inch pork belly (optional)
STEPS TO MAKE THE MINCED PORK:
- Step 1. This step you will not cut your pork all the way through. Cut diagonal slices ½ inch in between each slit and slice the pork 75% of the way. The reason being is that this step helps us cut the pork in a more uniform manner when we mince in smaller pieces.
- Step 2. Flip the pork over and do the same exact diagonal slit, BUT in the opposite direction. The end result looks like accordion cut on the pork.
- Step 3. This is optional, but I like to slice 1 inch of pork belly to my minced pork so my dumpling can be juicier. You can always slice more if you like extra juicy and fatty dumplings. Then, slice the pork belly in small pieces.
- Step 4. Slice all the pork in small pieces by chopping and mincing. Use a similar motion to chopping garlic. This step will help tenderize the pork and you can control how small the pieces are.
- Step 5. Make you dumpling filling with your choice of vegetables and seasonings.
You can check out my siu mai recipe here for some inspiration. Happy cooking!